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Stonefather | [Orson Scott Card]

Stonefather

When Runnel leaves his mountain valley to head for the great city of the water mages, he has no idea of his own magical talents. But he soon finds that without meaning to, he complicates and then endangers the lives of everyone he comes to know and care about. For when it comes to magic, there are rules and laws, and the untrained mage-to-be must be careful not to tap into deep forces and ancient enmities. Otherwise, other people might end up paying the price for his mistakes.
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Publisher's Summary

When Runnel leaves his mountain valley to head for the great city of the water mages, he has no idea of his own magical talents. But he soon finds that without meaning to, he complicates and then endangers the lives of everyone he comes to know and care about. For when it comes to magic, there are rules and laws, and the untrained mage-to-be must be careful not to tap into deep forces and ancient enmities. Otherwise, other people might end up paying the price for his mistakes.

©2008 Orson Scott Card; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

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4.2 (400 )
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  •  
    Scott Farmington Hills, MI, USA 03-10-09
    Scott Farmington Hills, MI, USA 03-10-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Familiar and unique--a breath of fresh air"

    Card shows here that he has continued to hone his writing skills long after success first claimed him. While there are bits and pieces in the text that remind one strongly of the Alvin Maker series, the context is unique enough that it does not feel rehashed or redundant.

    The story moves quickly and does not mire the reader in details. It is a light read, yet still manages to develop a couple of characters well enough to be engaging.

    I was concerned as I neared the end of this book that the dangling loose ends would be left that way, given the small amount of time remaining to tie them. I was happily surprised to find that, while the resolution was brief, it was also comprehensive and did not feel hurried.

    The narrator is expressive and pleasant to listen to. I only wish all of my money here on Audible was as well spent as on this book.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Plano, TX, USA 11-16-08
    Michael Plano, TX, USA 11-16-08 Member Since 2003
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    "Great Book"

    This book was extremely fun to listen to. Card has a way of developing his characters which allows the reader to be part of the story and want more.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 01-20-11
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 01-20-11 Member Since 2009

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A promise of what is to come"

    Stonefather and Sandmagic are two short stories of Orson Scott Card set in the same world as his new book "The Lost Gate." In Stonefather we meet a boy, called Runnel, who was the family misfit, frequently beaten by his father, just because of his proud face. Card plays with opposites, irony and gullibility to weave a very strong story around Runnel.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Emily Janice Card does justice to it in her narration.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 07-01-13
    Tango Texas 07-01-13 Member Since 2012

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

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    Story
    "Fairy Tale Magic"

    Although Stonefather was originally published before the Mithermages series began to give readers a taste of that new series, I did not pick up Stonefather until after I had read both books 1 & 2 of the Mithermages. No matter, Stonefather is a totally stand alone story set in the Mithermages land of Westil and I recommend it without hesitation to anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale/allegory whether or not you read the series. This is Orson Scott Card at his finest; not so much a standard coming-of-age story (no sexual angst in this), but more a tale of finding your identity and being true to your own soul. I was surprised at how effortlessly Card was able to map out the basics of the magical system of the Mithermages in this one short book so that the listener quickly connects with the plot and the characters. The prose is beautiful and the character development surprisingly detailed considering the short length of the story. This is a really well-done blend of standard fairy tale tropes with an interesting magical system and concludes with a great moral and a very satisfying ending.

    Orson Scott Card's daughter, Emily Janice Card, narrates Stonefather beautifully. I don't know if Ms. Card has the ability to narrate across genres since I've never heard her before, but her voice is a great match for this magical story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Sandoval 08-06-12
    A. Sandoval 08-06-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Classic OSC, very enjoyable"
    What made the experience of listening to Stonefather the most enjoyable?

    Emily Janice Card delivers a great performance that made listening easy. The story was predictable, but still enjoyable. It lives you wanting more of this kind of work from Orson Scott Card!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Woonona, Australia 05-25-13
    David Woonona, Australia 05-25-13 Member Since 2012

    A lover of Classics, humorous literature, bizarre fantasy and crazed crime and Sci-fi.

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    "Orson Scott Card: Entering a new world of magic"

    When talking about Orson Scott Card, many think of his highly successful Science Fiction novels. This book is an excellent starting point to Card's new series of Fantasy books involving the magic practitioners he names the Mithermages. The Mithermages find their power through loving and serving the elements of the world that they feel an affinity with, allowing them to control the forces of nature and help the world become what it wants to be.
    Card has provided a tantalising new world and yet another form of magic.
    Overall this story is an excellent novel for young adults upwards and has an excellent and tantalising flow that keeps interest and hardly makes you want to stop listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Meyer 11-18-10
    Laura Meyer 11-18-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Comfortable and soothing"

    A nice, simple fairy tale. Predictable but enjoyable, like an old comfortable pair of jammies. The narration is a good fit for the style of writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 06-26-12
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 06-26-12 Member Since 2009

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

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    "Pleasant coming-of-age story"

    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

    Runnel isn???t appreciated by his family or his little village. His father abuses him, his siblings taunt him, and even his mother doesn???t seem overly fond. So one day he walks to the edge of his village and just keeps going. He???s never been outside of his village before, so everything is new. Eventually he comes to a city whose walls and bridges are crumbling. He???s told that this is the city of the water mages, the magicians who cast out the stone mages that built the beautiful city. After the mage war, the victorious water mages will only allow one stone mage in the town. He lives in a grand house and is treated with respect, but he is spied upon and mistrusted because if he ever brings his colleagues back into the city, the water mages fear that they???ll lose their ruling positions.

    After meeting a friendly girl at the city???s well, Runnel follows her home and finds employment in the home of the stone mage. There he learns about the history and politics of this strange city, and he learns a lot about himself, too. It seems that Runnel may have an affinity for stone.

    Stonefather is a novella that introduces Orson Scott Card???s MITHER MAGES series, which is aimed at young adults. As I???ve come to expect from Card, this story is beautifully written and contains deep and likable characters, a well-developed world with interesting magic, and an intriguing setting. This is a simpler, lighter and more relaxed read, though, than Card???s ENDER series, which was full of drama, tension and, best of all, lots of ideas. Stonefather doesn???t reach that level ??? it???s mostly a pleasant coming-of-age story ??? but it did occur to me that the mage war may be an allegory for the Christian and Muslim conflict in Jerusalem. I have no idea if this is Orson Scott Card???s intention, though.

    As far as YA fiction goes, this is a good choice for a reader looking for a lovely low-stress read. In many ways it???s similar to the YA fantasy of Ursula K. Le Guin and Shannon Hale. I think Stonefather bodes well for the MITHER MAGES series and I will likely give the first novel, The Lost Gate, a try.

    Stonefather has been published by Subterranean Press. The cover art, by Tom Kidd (one of my favorites) is stunning. I read the book in audio format (published by Blackstone Audio). It???s narrated by Janice Card, Orson Scott Card???s daughter. She does a terrific job with Stonefather. The gorgeous cover art is viewable when you download the audio version with an Audible app.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Mirrabooka, Australia 07-16-14
    Michael Mirrabooka, Australia 07-16-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Not his best book but still a reasonable effort"
    If you could sum up Stonefather in three words, what would they be?

    a bit slow


    What did you like best about this story?

    the story


    What does Emily Janice Card bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    think it would have been better to read your imagination might have given characters a difference


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    get stoned


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Tempe, AZ United States 04-04-14
    Laura Tempe, AZ United States 04-04-14 Member Since 2010

    70+, been reading SF since 1953. Vision is going so have switched to Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enchanting"

    This is the type of story I expect from Orson Scott Card. Magical fantasy, with a positive personal growth of the main character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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