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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Seventh Son (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 15, 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From the award-winning Ender's Game on, each of Card's last three novels has featured a secular saint, less a character than a catalyst to galvanize those around him into reexamining the thorny moral tangles in which they live. This first volume of the Tales of Alvin Maker introduces young Alvin Miller Jr., the seventh son of a seventh son, who lives on the frontier of an alternate early 19th century America, where folk magic such as faith healing and second sight really works. While Alvin embarks on his mythic struggle against the Unmaker of all things, he is watched over by a flesh and blood guardian angel; he is pursued by the rigid, zealous Reverend Thrower; and he is guided by the wandering Taleswapper, William Blake. This beguiling book recalls Robert Penn Warren in its robust but reflective blend of folktale, history, parable and personal testimony, pioneer narrative. The series promises to be (in Warren's phrase) a "story of deep delight."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA Set in the Northwest Territory in the late 18th Century, this is an American fantasy in the tradition of T. H. White's Sword in the Stone (Putnam, 1939). Mixing fantasy with philosophy and historical figures with imaginary ones, this first book in the ``Tales of Alvin Maker'' series succeeds on several levels. Alvin Miller, seventh son of a seventh son, is heir to great powers that he must learn to use and control. A rich cast of characters try either to help or destroy Alvin in his childhood. It is apparent that Alvin is the focus of gathering forces of good and evil preparing for battle. Readers will be left at the end of the book wondering what will happen to young Alvin in his coming apprenticeship. The sequel will be eagerly awaited. Mary Williams, Harris County Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Alvin Maker (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (June 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812533054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812533057
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I tend to read in spurts. I 'discovered' Card at the very beginning of his career, when I read Ender's Game in Analog. And I was taken by the story and wanted more. I kept up with Card through Songbird, continued buying his books and adding them to my unread piles, and occasionally dipping into them. I knew he was writing a saga entitled The Tales of Alvin Maker, but I didn't delve into them, waiting until the series was finished. But someone insisted I read Seventh Son recently, and I found myself entranced, again, with Card's vision. I forget, from spurt to spurt, just how well he writes. Here are fully-fleshed out people, with vision and pettiness mixed. Here, also, is an excellent ear for the spoken language. And most of all, here is a surprisingly clever alternate history of America, in which small magicks and hexes really work, and American Indian visions come true. It also isn't often that an alternate history takes place in the past, and makes you wish it were true.
But regardless of how clever the setting is, the people are are the most important: the family members full of love and fears; Talespinner, a man seeking his own visions and the teacher of young Alvin; devout Armor-of-God (what a wonderful name!), married into a family of magickers and unsure how to handle it; Reverend Thrower, a preacher tormented by his own temptations; and young Alvin Jr., a special boy full of magick he only begins to understand by the time this part of the story ends; and his father, filled with visions of Alvin's death by his own hands. The book is full of moral choices, without the preaching a lesser writer might force upon the reader: how one views the world, challenges to those views, what is right and wrong, and how does faith fit in, are all woven into the story seamlessly.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Seventh Son is set in the early 1800s--a tale of "a magical America that might have been." In this world, hexes and spells work. Alvin Miller Jr. is the seventh son of a seventh son, a very magical birth indeed. Alvin is no ordinary child--all his life, he has had a "knack" for making things (hence the name of the series, Alvin Maker). When a Presbyterian preacher from Scotland builds a church near the Miller homestead, things turn worse for young Alvin. The preacher alienates Alvin Sr. immediately, preaching that hexes and the like don't work and are just foolishness. The preacher, Philadelphia Thrower, is told by a Visitor that he must turn Alvin to God's way before he is fourteen years old. Thrower seems to hate Alvin, constantly trying to 'reform' the mischievous boy, making Sundays a nightmare. Then a wanderer named Taleswapper comes to town...
This is a really great book! I loved it, and I can't wait to read the next one. Once you pick it up, you can't put it down! Orson Scott Card is a wonderful writer. I've *never* been disappointed by one of his books. Seventh Son is a superb (did I spell that right?) novel!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first book in Orson Scott Card's "Tales of Alvin Maker" series, SEVENTH SON introduces the reader to a remarkable alternate history in which early 19th-centrury America looks much different than our own and folk magic is real.
The novel opens with the tumultuous birth of Alvin Miller, a seventh son of a seventh son, as his family moves through Ohio hoping to start a better life in frontier territory. Alvin's heritage means he'll have great powers, and even from the start it becomes apparent that some force is moving against him. Through this slim first novel, we are acquainted with Alvin's boyhood and the world in which he lives, where hexes and beseechings are commonplace and actually work.
Card's alternate history is one in which the Restoration never happened in England, leaving the Puritans in power there and resulting in a very different America. The Stuart dynasty is in exile in the Southeast, New England is still run by fundamentalist Pilgrims, and the United States consists of only a few key states between. West of this, in what in our world would be Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, is the frontier where Alvin grows up.
SEVENTH SON is a very light opening to The Tales of Alvin Maker, and the action begins really from the second book, RED PROPHET, in which Alvin's destiny is revealed. Card gives one just enough here to see if it's right for the reader. For myself, I found Card's setting so fascinating that I went on to the rest of the series. I give the book only three stars for two reasons. One was I didn't like the fact that he made the first book so insubstantial compared to the subsequent novels. The second is that while the series is very good, Card's strength is his ideas, not his writing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed Seventh Son and would recommend it to anyone. It takes place in the colonial era of America, but there are many differences. For one, the old monarchs of England rule in the south after Oliver Cromwell took over, there is no United States of America, and most of what we consider colonial America is split into different countries. Also, many people seem to have some sort of magic or "knack." Here enters Alvin Miller, who is the seventh son of a seventh son, making him twice blessed. He was gifted with the possibility of becoming a Maker, someone who can make things out of thin air. The book is about Alvin as he grows from his birth and goes through the attempts on his life by what can only be called evil itself. Mostly he doesn't notice them because he has an unseen protector in the form of Peggy who was present at his birth.
I think this book is good because it puts the presence of magic in a place we already know-our past. It makes the possibility of magic seem more likely because it includes people from our history. One such person was Benjamin Franklin, who great scientific works made many people think he was a Maker. Another was Thomas Jefferson, a politician in the country of Apalachee. The list goes on. The way Card ties real people into his work of fiction lends their credibility to his book and its events. Everybody wants to believe that magic exists, and this book brings out that feeling in its readers, igniting the hope that there is real magic, even if its only things always knowing a lie, or being able to charm people into agreeing with you, or other such "knacks" that people have.
Also, like many other great stories, Seventh Son is a story about Good vs. Evil, Light vs. Dark, Creator vs. Destroyer.
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