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The Gate Thief (Mither Mages) Mass Market Paperback – February 25, 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 357 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Mither Mages Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The sequel to The Lost Gate (2010) finds teenager Danny North confronting the consequences of his actions at the end of that book. He’s rendered the being formerly known as Loki virtually powerless, having taken most of Loki’s gates—wormholes in spacetime that link places that are separated by vast distances—and created the Great Gate, allowing people to pass back and forth between Earth and Westil, the home world of the former gods now living on Earth as (mostly) ordinary people. But is Danny a hero, or has he opened a door that will allow an even more powerful being to slip through and reignite an ancient war that could wipe out humanity entirely? And can Danny really trust that the enemy he vanquished in The Lost Gate is now his willing ally? Familiarity with The Lost Gate is useful, but not essential, as Card gives readers enough background to have at least a partial understanding of the world he’s created. Like the first book, this one’s a bit talky in places, but it boasts defined characters and a highly imaginative story. For the author’s fans, a must-read. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: As one of the biggrst names in science fiction, Card has a built-in audience clamoring for more. --David Pitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Mr. Card is giving a kind of tour of fantasy possibilities while integrating them into his intricately imagined system of magic. One of the system's charms is that it explains such a lot: what ghosts are (the fading "outselves" that mages can project), what fairies are (playful creations that mages make from trash, plants and petals), and why all Indo-European gods have such strong family resemblances. The hints of real history behind the families are especially enticing: I look forward to learning more.” ―The Wall Street Journal on The Lost Gate
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Product Details

  • Series: Mither Mages (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; Reissue edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765365391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765365392
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (357 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm not sure how I feel about this book it is muddled in my mind. First I generally have enjoyed books by Orson Scott Card and some of the story was there for me and other aspects just missed the mark.

Things I liked include:

The back story of Bel and Loki and understanding why Loki decided to start eating gates. I enjoyed Loki/Wad's half of the story on Westil trying to help Anonoei get her sons to safety and revenge on Queen Bexoi. The Westil part of the story was very intriguing for me and played out well. The flow was good and I wanted to learn more. Learning more about Mages was cool and Danny figuring out his new powers and coming out to some of his friends all good parts to the story. I also like Anonoei's boys I think that is setting up nicely to turn into something in the next book.

Things I didn't like:

All the introspection and explanation of the Kah and Bah the innerself and outerself I think I just re-fell asleep typing that. Also the addition of even more magic or the whole new Egyptian lore added on top of the Norse lore it just seemed like an overabundance of mythology and then they threw Jesus on top of all that.
But my biggest gripe is why why why does every girl in Danny's life now want to sleep with him? Not only do they want to sleep with him which maybe I might buy into with his new godlike status, but they want to have his baby. What teenage girl in her right mind is looking to sleep with someone in high school just to get pregnant? To me that part was ridiculous and took up way too much time.
The parts of the book I liked I really liked but the parts I hated I absolutely hated. There were some great twists at the end but honestly I was a little bored by then. This was an okay book and I will probably read the last one to see how it all plays out hoping that this is just the middle book syndrome and the third book will be able to rise above the drudgery.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the worst OSC book that I've yet to read.

I quite enjoyed the first book, and was quite excited to see this show up on my Kindle a few days ago. Then I read it. Ick.

One of OSC's talents in the past has been writing believable young children. Ender, Peter, and others have all been very believable characters. With this book I'm afraid Card has Jumped the Shark.

Our Gatemage here is nothing but a whiny caricature of a person. His only personality trait is to be exactly what Card needs in any given scene. Need a morally snotty teen? Check. Need a mouthy kid? Check. Need a respectful kid? Check. Danny completely morphs from scene to scene and has absolutely no internal consistency.

Add the exceptionally weak plotting, a stupid and clearly very rushed "We're on a deadline here!" ending, and you have all the makings for a pretty horrible book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Like so many others, I waited eagerly for this installment. Like so many others I found Danny's character to be a massive let down. Schizophrenia can be the only explanation. At times he is a calculating and inquisitive gatemage who is eager to both hone his skills and understand the ramifications of his existence. Other times, he is self-centered, simple and whiny, as other readers have noted. While adolescence is difficult and hormones can create interesting dynamics in youth people, its simply isn't plausible on any level.

Which brings to the subject of the dialogue between Danny and his more youthful friends. It's strained, poorly written, overly formulaic at moments and a caricature of true teen interactions. In a book like this, its important to know how teens talk and the author falls way short. Some of this existed in the first book, but not to this extent. It was very distracting.

As others have mentioned there is a significant time spent discussing how (spoiler) Set and his minions enter and take control of drowthers and mages. As some point - early on - it held the story back. The easiest way to offer a clear explanation is to let the story and character interaction offer insight. Instead, we got paragraphs and paragraphs of description. I actually sat the book down for about 4 days because it.

The ending was abysmal. It left a tremendous amount of questions, left the story untold at a critical moment and most importantly, contradicted everything we had been led to believe about a gatefather. It felt rushed, like the author had simply exhausted himself to a point where he wanted out of his own story. In many ways it was an arrogant and selfish way to end a book that so many people had patiently waited for so long.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Card's second installment in the Mither Mages was an easy, fun read. I thought it was an improvement over The Lost Gate (book one) as both the characters and the mythology deepened. The protagonist, Danny North and the Gate Thief Wad both become much more compelling. The Mither Mages world invented by Card is interesting and compelling. The vast quantity of detail conveyed was impressive, especially since it was done without boring the reader. While I wouldn't put this series on par with Tolkien's Middle Earth or Lewis' Narnia, it did evoke a similar pleasure of exploring a broad new mythos. The greatly enjoyed being walked by Card through his world building.

This book is only 4 stars, rather than 5, primarily because it seemed to lack an adequate conflict and resolution. Instead, we had mythology and character development setting the state for book 3. Series are best when they do both: build the series story arc and present a somewhat self-contained conflict and resolution. The Gate Thief felt like the first half of a longer book rather than the second book in a trilogy. One other negative: Card's teenage characters (which seem to be a huge obsession across various novels/series) are less than realistic. All the teen girls want to be with Danny right away and they're all making blatant public plays at him? And one just wants his baby in her before he goes off to war--when fearing for him, her hands instinctively moved to her empty uterus? I'm no teen girl but that seems incredibly far-fetched to me.
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