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Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quartet series Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Orson Scott Card
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,671 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

Speaker for the Dead, the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Ender Quintet, is the winner of the 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Books In This Series (4 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews Review

    A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.


    Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.

    The following Ender's Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Game, Ender In Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind.

    Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.

    The following Ender's Shadow Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight.

    The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.

    Earth Unaware, Earth Afire.

    Ender Novellas

    A War of Gifts, First Meetings.

    The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe. Review

    Ender Wiggin, the hero and scapegoat of mass alien destruction in Ender's Game, receives a chance at redemption in this novel. Ender, who proclaimed as a mistake his success in wiping out an alien race, wins the opportunity to cope better with a second race, discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. Orson Scott Card infuses this long, ambitious tale with intellect by casting his characters in social, religious and cultural contexts. Like its predecessor, this book won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.

    Product Details

    • File Size: 2121 KB
    • Print Length: 419 pages
    • Publisher: Tor Books (November 30, 2009)
    • Sold by: Macmillan
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003H4I4JU
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,967 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    301 of 311 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game? No. Impressive? Definitely. April 25, 2000
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    I went through various stages of opinion while reading this book... First was, "Hey- why is this nothing like Ender's Game? Drats!" Then, "What is with all this Portuguese stuff, and religious garbage?" and "Why is Ender some kind of space-detective?" And so I began trudging through this book with a lack of enthusiasm. Then slowly but steadily, this story pulls you in. You don't mind the lack of Game's glorious action. This is a very mature piece.
    I doubt that anyone will be able to read Ender's Game and stop there. You want more. Speaker for the Dead is where you have to go. I find it extremely hard to consider this a sequel, because never have I seen an author switch his style this drastically within one series. Card forces you to accept all of his changes, but those who adapt to this book are highly rewarded! I found myself involved with Card's characters quite alarmingly, and touched by his themes on so many levels.
    One thing that really impressed me- Card takes our first intelligent contact with aliens and compares it with 16th century European explorers encountering the natives of South America. It shows the barriers of language, technology, religion, and misunderstandings -as well as mankind's need to control or dominate any new race it meets. This book is like a history lesson that teaches us not to make the same mistakes when we reach this point of our future. Very interesting.
    There is no doubt I will be continuing this series.
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    260 of 286 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Orson Scott Card's best work August 6, 1999
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    As a habit, I avoid best sellers. When I heard there was a sequel to Ender's Game, I shuddered. That book had affected me so deeply, I could not imagine a sequel to it.
    This book is in all ways, barring one, superior.
    This book reminds me of Ursula LeGuin at her best, and I do not invoke her name lightly. She is one of the few sci-fi authors who understands something of anthropology and, more importantly, the human condition. Card in this one books has levelled with her.
    Ender is a far richer and deeper character in this book than he was in Ender's Game. Here he is having to live with his own guilt and the positive and negative aspects of his own legend. He has inspired a cult of sorts, the Speakers of the Dead, people who speak not well of the dead, but realistically. How does one live with such a legacy?
    The Piggies are intrinsicly fascinating. They are not small humans. They are not just randomly acting individuals. They act in a consistent, rational manner -- once you know all the peices of the puzzle. Most of these peices are not revealed except with time. Jane is also fascinating. "She" acts in a logical manner as well, but again it is not a HUMAN manner. The Hive Queen is very real and, again, not human. There is a delicate balance inherent in this book.
    This book is far superior to Ender's Game, a book which is one of those rare sci-fi novels that I have read twice. It speaks to the core of humanity within us all, it speaks to our fears, our dreams, our hatreds, our prejudices, our nobility, our failings, and our longings. It is not a shoot-em-up. This book is literature, not science fiction. It may be read again with profit. It is not a book about plot and action (thank all the powers!).
    Read more ›
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    96 of 109 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A landmark of sci-fi and humanism July 1, 2000
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    As he tells us in the introduction (which is, by the way, the best introduction I've ever read), this is the book Card intended to write when he began the ever-popular Ender series. Ender's Game was simply a prologue -- originally a short story.
    There are so many good things about this book. Card has a talent for writing deep, real characters that I've never seen in sci-fi and seldom in any modern literature. He is a master storyteller, and this book is wonderfully paced -- you will continually be twisting your brain trying to uncover what is up with the pequeninos before the scientists do.
    But most of all, this book is a eloquent manifesto of humanism. As Speaker for the Dead, it is our hero Ender's lifelong task to understand people and tell the truth about them -- a truth that will reveal their good, bad, and ugly, but most importantly, their inherent worth and um, goodness. This truth-seeking carries from the individual to the entire races, as Card (and Ender) examine how we relate to those we don't understand, even those we can't understand.
    So what is it? It's a page-turner, crazy idea-filled(as all sci-fi should be) thrilling, thoughtful, powerful, funny, poignant novel. It is an excellent piece of writing that I would love to see taught in high school classrooms.
    My only problems with it are that terrible cover(who designed these covers? They have nothing to do with the story -- not even the tone of the story) and the sometimes indecipherable use of portuguese. But those are both minor.
    An excerpt:
    "We know you now. That makes all the difference, doesn't it? Even Quim doesn't hate you now. When you really know somebody, you can't hate them.
    Read more ›
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    42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    By A Customer
    Format:Mass Market Paperback
    As a teacher, I have insisted that my high school freshmen all read Ender's Game. The fast pace and excellent character development engage the students and lead them toward discussion of serious issues, like how we treat those who are "different" and the ultimate goals and purposes of education. Speaker for the Dead has a different focus, and perhaps a different audience. Although many of my students have read it because they so loved Ender's Game, not many were ready for its sophistication.
    Speaker for the Dead works for me in its treatment of two major issues. The first of these, expressed through the interaction (and its disastrous results) between the piggies and the humans, has to do with cultural relationships and the arrogant assumptions often made by the dominant culture. The humans function at a level of cultural blindness hard to understand through most of the novel, and that blindness has tragic consequences.
    The second issue I love in this book is the concept of the Speaker for the Dead, the role that Ender Wiggin has taken on in his adulthood. A Speaker's job consists of traveling to places he is called to "speak" the life of someone who has died. These itinerant Speakers come to the person's life completely objectively, and thus they are able to speak the truth about that person--good and bad. The speaker helps the community deal with the person's death by allowing them to see that person completely; all the person's facets, foibles, and fortes are displayed. I found myself thinking that if mopre people read this book, we might have a whole new funereal ritual to deal with.
    In short, while of a completely different tone than Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead brings up some important issues, and it is well worth the time spent in reading it. Invest several days in this book; it deserves them.
    --Prudence Plunkett (
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time.
    Really disappointing. Boring. Drawn out. Extremely poor character development. I'd like those hours of my life back.
    Published 18 hours ago by theDARKmachine
    5.0 out of 5 stars Was hesitant about this one based on the description but I sat down...
    Ender's all grown up. Was hesitant about this one based on the description but I sat down and knocked it out in a day and really enjoyed it.
    Published 20 hours ago by Scott Ayotte
    1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
    I loved Ender's Game. I couldn't even read this book.
    Published 5 days ago by nancyjeantx
    5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful
    Check out my full review on my blog!

    Speaker for the Dead was the book Orson Scott Card originally meant to write. Read more
    Published 9 days ago by Lynette @ Escaping Reality - One Book at a Time
    3.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing after Ender's Game.
    Not his best.
    Published 10 days ago by Stephen I. Bricker
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read.
    Quick read and makes you think a little at the end.
    Published 13 days ago by Z. Miers
    5.0 out of 5 stars Omg
    I love this series. I just finish this book and I got it yesterday. It can see it being love by anyone who reads it.
    Published 15 days ago by Kaitlyn Kahabka
    5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the series
    This is the best of the novels of Ender's world I have read thus far. Thought provoking with beautiful prose.
    Published 16 days ago by Elise Mecham
    3.0 out of 5 stars iT was quite interesting how many different societies and Religions...
    iT was quite interesting how many different societies and Religions were discussed. The Peconinos and the life evolution was really fascinating....
    Published 16 days ago by PamiePoo60
    5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it every bit as much as the first
    Speaker for the Dead displays a clear evolution in the author's writing as the second book in The Ender Quartet. Read more
    Published 16 days ago by Nicholas Koch
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    More About the Author

    Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.

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    what is by orson scott card that is clean?
    I do not know where you got the "unclean" idea on OSC books. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to read some of the best sci fi ever written. Beware though: he will actual make you THINK about what he has written and the thematic ideas contained in his stories.
    I have read... Read More
    Jun 19, 2008 by T. L. Holcomb |  See all 9 posts
    What's the best order to read the Ender books?
    I just finished Ender's Game and am, of course, eager to continue the saga, so this question is pertinent. I was going to proceed to Speaker for the Dead, but after reading several reviews, and learning of both the 3000 year time skip and the vast change in tone of the book, I am considering... Read More
    Jan 19, 2014 by Ken Colvin |  See all 4 posts
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