Synopses & Reviews
Using the lore and the folk-magic of the men and women who settled North America, Orson Scott Card has created an alternate world where magic works, and where that magic has colored the entire history of the colonies. Charms and beseechings, hexes and potions, all have a place in the lives of the people of this world. Dowsers find water, the second sight warns of dangers to come, and a torch can read a person's future---or their heart.
In this world where "knacks" abound, Alvin, the seventh son of a seventh son, is a very special man indeed. He's a Maker; he has the knack of understanding how things are put together, how to create them, repair them, keep them whole, or tear them down. He can heal hearts as well as bones, he build a house, he can calm the waters or blow up a storm. And he can teach his knack to others, to the measure of their own talent.
Alvin has been trying to avert the terrible war that his wife, Peggy, a torch of extraordinary power, has seen down the life-lines of every American. Now she has sent him down the Mizzippy to the city of New Orleans, or Nueva Barcelona as they call it under Spanish occupation. Alvin doesn't know exactly why he's there, but when he and his brother-in-law, Arthur Stuart, find lodgings with a family of abolitionists who know Peggy, he suspects he'll find out soon.
But Nueva Barcelona is about to experience a plague, and Alvin's efforts to protect his friends by keeping them healthy will create more danger than he could ever have suspected. And in saving the poor people of the city, Alvin will be put to the greatest test of his life---a test that will draw on all his power. For the time has come for him to turn to his old friend Tenskwa-Tawa, the Red Prophet who controls the lands to the west of the Mizzippy. Now Alvin must take the first steps on the road to the Crystal City that was shown to him in a vision so long ago.
"With delicacy and insight, incorporating folk tales and folk magic with mountain lore and other authentic details, Orson Scott Card has evoked a vision of America as it might have been." Greensboro Tribune-Review
This long-awaited title in the Alvin Maker Tale series continues the story of Alvin and his wife Peggy as they work to create The Crystal City.
This full-cast production of Orson Scott Cards newest title is finally available on audio
From the end of the 18th century, Americans travelled west to find new homes and new lands. They brought with them the magics of plain people. It is from these roots of the American dream that award-winning writer Orson Scott Card has crafted what the Charlotte Observer called “a uniquely American fantasy.” Using the lore and the folk magic of the men and women who settled a continent, and the beliefs of the tribes who were here before them, Card has created an alternate frontier America. Charms, beseechings, hexes, and potions all have a place in the lives of the people of this world.
Alvin Miller is the seventh son of a seventh son, born while his six brothers all still lived. Such a birth is a powerful magic; such a boy is destined to perhaps become a Maker. Rejoin the tale of Alvin and his wife Peggy as they work to create the Crystal City of Alvins vision, where all people can live together in peace.
About the Author
Born in Richland, Washington in 1951, Orson Scott Card grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He lived in Brazil for two years as an unpaid missionary for the Mormon Church and received degrees from Brigham Young University (1975) and the University of Utah (1981). The author of numerous books, Card was the first writer to receive both the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel two years in a row, first for Ender's Game and then for the sequel Speaker for the Dead. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Stefan Rudnicki was born in Poland and now resides in Studio City, California. He has narrated more than 100 audiobooks, and has participated in more than a thousand as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He is a recipient of multiple Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as a Grammy Award as an audiobook producer. Along with casts of other narrators, Stefan has read a number of Orson Scott Card's best-selling science fiction novels, published by Macmillan Audio. In reviewing the 20th anniversary edition audiobook of Cards Ender's Game, Publishers Weekly stated, "Card's phenomenal emotional depth comes through in the quiet, carefully paced speech of each performer...In particular, Rudnicki, with his lulling, sonorous voice, does a fine job articulating Ender's inner struggle between the kind, peaceful boy he wants to be and the savage, violent actions he is frequently forced to take. This is a wonderful way to experience Card's best-known and most celebrated work, both for longtime fans and for newcomers." M.E. Willis is a performing member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has read a range of audiobooks, including several Earphones Award winners. His credits include Walter Mosley's Bad Boy Brawly Brown, Terry McMillan's A Day Late and a Dollar Short, Orson Scott Card's The Crystal City, and Ben Bova's The Rock Rats.
Table of Contents
Nueva Barcelona -- Squirrel and moose -- Fever -- La Tia -- Crystal Ball -- Exodus -- Errand boy -- Plans -- Expeditions -- Mizzippy -- Flood -- Springfield -- Mission -- Plow -- Popocatepetl -- Labor -- Foundation.