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The Lost Gate (Mither Mages) Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Card's newest series opener can't decide whether it's a thought experiment featuring a nifty magic system, a YA urban fantasy, or a series of fantasy interludes, so it settles for performing all three tasks satisfactorily, if not spectacularly. Danny North, descendant of exiled mages from another world, is taken aback when he comes into his true powers as a gatemage. He could reconnect his people with their long-lost home world, but gatemages are usually killed to maintain a fragile peace among the exiled clans. Fleeing his home, Danny finds refuge and slowly explores his potential, planning to open the first Great Gate in 14 centuries. Meanwhile, on the far-off world of Westil, a young gatemage named Wad finds love, conspiracies, and betrayal in a remote castle while struggling to recall his hazy past. Though occasionally uneven and meandering, this ambitious tale is well crafted, highly detailed, and pleasantly accessible. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Teenager Danny North has always suspected he was different from other members of his family, and you should know right off the bat that the members of Danny’s family are, or rather used to be, gods. Danny’s immediate relatives were formerly known as Odin, Thor, and Freya. For the past 14 centuries, ever since Loki closed the space-time gates that linked the planet Mittlegard (otherwise known as Earth) to far-off Westil, the once-powerful gods have existed as shadows of their former selves. But that could be about to change because Danny discovers that he possesses that rarest of gifts: he can create gates. Problem is, Danny’s family and the other families have a long-standing agreement that any “gatemage” will be killed immediately, to keep any one family from having the power to create gates and return to Westil (and regain its full powers). So Danny goes on the run, hiding among the drowthers (ordinary humans), but a mage as powerful as Danny can’t keep himself hidden for long, and soon he’s locked in battle with a powerful and dangerous opponent, with the fate of humanity at stake. Card has a lot on his plate, here: he’s creating not just a fictional world but also a mythology and an internally consistent magic system to go with it. But that’s the sort of thing he’s so very good at, and his legion of fans—especially devotees of his classic novel Ender’s Game, which also features a boy discovering his unique gifts—should enjoy this similar tale immensely. --David Pitt --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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That's the background, the story follows Danny as he grows up, discovers who he is, and fights for his birthright. An excellent and well crafted adventure.
Read this book.Foxborn
These books read like they'll be great for younger readers, but personally, I enjoy them immensely as an adult.
There have been quite a few authors who have re-worked traditional mythologies with a new system of magic to explain them, but Card's work here is not tired. He puts a new twist on the ancient tales of magic in our world and throws some great thinking into the mythology he creates.
Fantasy can get predictable sometimes, but he keeps these tales moving, and makes the characters feel real. I found both the first two books very engaging, and can't wait to read the third!
I'm only familiar with the author from his Ender novels. Like those, this novel features a precocious young hero who very possibly has what it takes to save the world - or at least his corner of it.
Pros: The story is wonderfully paced. It doesn't linger too long in any one place and doesn't get bogged down in magical or familial detail. I once thought that this type of thing was rather easily accomplished but, after having read many amateur authors that publish on Kindle, I've come to appreciate that crafting a story that keeps the user intrigued with richly detailed backstory but only uses that detail as required to propel the narrative forward is not a simple task. I was sucked in. It's also lots of fun leveraging Danny's magical ability in our comparably mundane world.
Cons: I was a bit dissappointed that the story didn't spend a bit more time exploring the other magical abilities that it merely hints at. Danny's ability is explored in depth but we're left thinking that the other magical powers are of little importance. (I do hope that we'll explore these others in future installments of the series.) Also, it seemed that Danny had a rather easy time of it. I was never ultimately concerned about his fate.
Despite these small quibbles, overall a thoroughly enjoyable, creative, fast-paced read.
Most recent customer reviews
"The Lost Gate" is a book which starts off strong but gets mired by unimportant storylines, some cringe-worthy moments, and Card's own limitations.Read more