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Seventh Son: Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 1 | [Orson Scott Card]

Seventh Son: Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 1

Born into an alternative frontier America where life is hard, and folk magic is real, Alvin is gifted with power, but he must learn to use his gift wisely. Dark forces are arrayed against Alvin, and only a young girl with second sight can protect him.
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the award-winning Ender's Game comes the unforgettable story of young Alvin Maker, the seventh son of a seventh son.

Born into an alternative frontier America, where life is hard and folk magic is real, Alvin is gifted with power, but he must learn to use his gift wisely. Dark forces are arrayed against Alvin, and only a young girl with second sight can protect him.

Don't miss the sequel to this book, Red Prophet.

©1987 Orson Scott Card; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, 1988

"A tribute to the art of storytelling, this is highly recommended." (Library Journal)
"Seventh Son begins what may be a significant recasting in fantasy terms of the tall tale of America." (Washington Post Book World)
"A consistently gripping tale featuring solid historical research and a keen understanding of religious experience. Another major effort by a world-class talent. Highly recommended." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Harold D. Doublename Bellingham, WA` 05-01-07
    Harold D. Doublename Bellingham, WA` 05-01-07 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, great reading"

    Seventh Son has always been one of my favorite books. I waited for a very long time for an unabridged audio version. I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to my high expectations, but the cast more than delivered. All the readers are so very talented. My only complaint is that Rev. Thrower sometimes lapses in and out of his Scottish accent, but it happens at appropriate enough times.

    Seventh Son is creative storytelling at its very best. As an "alternate history" of America, you can't beat this book for color and charm. The characters are thoroughly believable and sympathetic.

    Frontiersy magic-stories might be a departure for Card fans who are used to his sci-fi works, but give Seventh Son and its sequels a try anyhow. Card comes through with his usual brilliant characterization, real dialogue, and perfectly paced plot.

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Webb City, MO, USA 10-18-07
    Tom Webb City, MO, USA 10-18-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Captivating Writing"

    With this book, first in a series, Orson Scott Cards brings the reader into a world both familiar and wonderfully alien. Set in the closing years of the eighteenth century, the book describes the emerging nations of a North America that could have been. Here the Iroquois have formed into a state, and the forme British colonies have aligned themselves differently Even the history of Britain is altered, with the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell enduring. Card shows a broad and surprisingly detailed knowledge of actual history and people of the period, as he unfolds his story on the backdrop of this alternate history.

    The centerpiece of the story, however, is a single seemingly ordinary family, the Millers. The birth of their seventh son, Alvin, occurs durng a perilous journey into the Wabash country. It is quickly apparant they live in a world that includes people with extraordinary abilities, often described simply as special "nacks." We would call these nacks magic. Many use one of the four elements: earth, water, wnd, and fire. Others are more subtle. Indians, called "Reds," have a natural sense of earth and life unknown to whites. Hexes and charms weld genuine power, and common folk are accustomed to the fact some folk with various "nacks" grow up and live among them.

    The most powerful of these, and the focus of the series, is newborn Alvin Miller, seventh son of a seventh son. His nack is so powerful and subtle that neither he nor others around him have the faintest idea when, where, or how it will manifest itself. It emerges that he is the rarest of all these extraordinaries, a "maker" - one who can bend the normal workings of the world to make things right, the way they ought to be. From the beginning, the mysterious force, the un-maker, seeks to destroy the Alvin the Maker while he is still young and reatively helpless.

    I have enjoyed a number of Card's works, but Seventh Son, and the series it begins, is surely my favorite.

    28 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 02-13-14
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 02-13-14 Member Since 2015

    I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like nothing else"

    This is a really unique book and series. It takes place in the frontier age of the United States and offer a vastly different timeline where most everyone has a magic ability or knack. This leads to some major divergences from our own history. i don't do spoilers so you will have to read to find out. Even though this was written long ago it holds up quite well. It has three different narrarators and they do a good job. This is not your usualy fantasy fare but I found it definitely worth a listen.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-05-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-05-13 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Atleast They Were English Scum"

    BEN FRANKLIN; AMERICA'S MOST POWERFUL WIZARD
    This is an Alternate History American Fantasy. This alone is makes for a great story. This is an America divided up between England, Spain, Dutch, French and North American Indians. The map alone is cool. There are Duchies, States and Territories. There is a New Sweden, Camelot, New Orange, Suskwaheny, Noisy River Terr. and Irrakwa State. Canada is French.

    SHE SHOULD HAVE LEARNT THE WORD NO, BEFORE SHE HAD 14 MOUTHS TO FEED.
    This is about a very large family, struggling to survive in a harsh world. A world where people have knacks and certain gifts. They survive by using charms, beseechings, hexes and potions. Often these are used against them. It is a struggle between good and evil. This is different from Card's Sci-Fi, but it is still written with his talent and is a great entry into Fantasy if you have never tried it.

    A MAN ALWAYS ASSUMES THAT OTHERS ARE AS VIRTUOUS AS HIMSELF.

    I read this over 30 years ago and wondered if it would stand up to my memory of it. It was just as good if not better. This is one book you could read over and over and get more out of it each time.

    NOT + NOT= NOT
    My one irk with the whole thing was the narrators. There are several narrators including Orson Scott Card. One of the narrators is one of my favorites and there is one I hate. I usually like Card's voice, but believe he should have left this to the professionals. All the narrators do all the voices instead of doing certain characters. Sometimes a character has a certain accent, and then sometimes he does not. This is a small complaint, the writing makes up for any narrator problems and those are few.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry W. Dilldine ohio 07-28-15
    Larry W. Dilldine ohio 07-28-15 Member Since 2012

    larry

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    "Couldn't stop listening"

    The prose and the images in storyline make this as good as any book I've ever read. The narrative was exceptional.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kress 07-22-15
    Kress 07-22-15
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    "Nothing like Tolkien (and I love it)"

    Card once again takes you on an adventure that is fun and fantastic, while also being deeply philosophical. I read the Ender quartet and loved this book just as much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-26-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Orson is amazing"

    I love where he can take your mind listening and reading these books like this and Ender

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Killeen 03-13-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Not what I expected"

    To be honest, this was a good story. I was really torn between getting it three stars or four stars. I guess I made the mistake of setting my expectations based on the movie trailer that I had seen before reading the book. The main issue I had, would be the confusing performances by the difference narrators. it seems that throughout the book, different characters would be read by different artists at different points in time. To be it became a little confusing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross 03-09-15
    Ross 03-09-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Hearty and satisfying storytelling"

    Well written with vibrant poetry, an undercurrent of vision and a deep understanding of humanity and the essences that move it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alexander 02-24-15
    alexander 02-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "loved it! loved it!"

    great story, Orison really has an abilety to right a story with ritch content. I realy recomend this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    4/9/09
    Overall
    "Almost 4-star."

    I couldn't quite give this a four-star, but it almost made it and I do recommend it. This is the first book of a series of seven (unsurprisingly!), and it introduces a wealth of great storylines that will be carried forward in subsequent books, but unfortunately closes none. In this sense it is a little disappointing - some series, such as the Ender series by the same author have self-contained books that one can read and have a full experience, with closure. With Seventh Son, there is a sense that one is going to have to read the whole series, which is no great toil as this book was a good read, but personally I would have liked the choice to see what I thought of a self-contained book and decide to move on to the next. The book is very well read by multiple narrators, all of whom are excellent. All in all, this is a promising, interesting story but if you decide to read this, please be aware that you are buying one seventh of a considerably larger book. After all my moaning, I will be Audible-ing the next in the series - 'Red Prophet'!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    1/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Nothing really happens"

    I really wanted to like this as I didn't like the last one of his I read, but adored "The Lost Boys".

    Sadly, and for a relatively long production, nothing much happened. A seventh son of a seventh son is born, he seems to be in danger all the time, but manages to escape deadly harm, the end.

    Hopefully, the other chapters in this story contain more excitement.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jinty
    England
    12/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't bother !!"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No idea..


    What was most disappointing about Orson Scott Card’s story?

    Realising it was book one of seven !! However that's why it was so boring.. Yawn !


    What aspect of the narrators’s performance might you have changed?

    The Scottish Minister's accent.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Don't use a credit on this one, fortunately I got it for sale price ..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    BirminghamUnited Kingdom
    9/18/10
    Overall
    "The tale draws you in almost against your will"

    Played this on a long, long car journey back from France and it kept the kids and the grown-ups all quiet - I wasn't even allowed to consult the sat nav without being sshhh-ed down. Well written, good characters and above all a story that both warms and chills the heart. I would very much recommend this book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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