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Publisher's Summary

Young Alvin was born the seventh son of a seventh son. By his birthright, he possesses magical powers and is destined to become something great, perhaps even a Maker. Indeed, Alvin is special. But the boy remains vulnerable to dark forces who reach out to destroy him and are willing to do anything to keep him from growing up. Carefully weaving the lore and the folk-magic of the men and women who settled a continent, and the beliefs of the tribes who were there before them, Orson Scott Card has created an alternate frontier America. This is the first installment in the Tales of Alvin Maker.

Don't miss the other titles in Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series.
©1987 Orson Scott Card (P)1998 NewStar Media, (P) 2014 Phoenix Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Thomas
  • Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 05-31-06

Horrible Quality

It sounds like it was recorded with a pc microphone while the reader sat underwater. I can only rate the book for the first 10 minutes because the audio quality was so bad. I was forced to turn the volume up all the way just so that I could hear here. This also resulted in my ears hurting because of the high notes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What did she say?

The first half of the book was narrated so badly that I could barely make out what she was saying. Where was the sound editor?

The story was only mediocre at best. Good versus bad, but you really never figure out whose side anyone is on. The ending was pretty pathetic as well. Can you say "had to stop writing this book because I don't know where it's going?" Maybe the author will figure it out in the sequel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Too Soft

I enjoyed the story a great deal, though Card's writing tone hasn't evolved (for this first entry) into the entertaining "Mark Twain" style he uses for the same universe in the "Legends II" novella. The problem with the audiobook (and the reason I rated it so low) is Nana Visitor's incredibly soft narration. It isn't that she is untalented as a reader, and it isn't that she is not good to listen too... it's just that you can't hear her through half of the story. If you listen to audiobooks in the car or at the gym, don't get this one. If you listen to them in a quiet study with good noise insulation, then up my review to four stars.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • George
  • Bartonville, IL, USA
  • 01-13-03

seventh son

this Book is a must read. All 5 Books are grate. My hats off to the Author. The narrator could have been better. I have read 5 books and thay are. Seventh son, Red Prophet, Prentice Alvin, Alvin Journeyman,and Hartfire. Good reading .

8 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worth getting abridged, to get Nana!

I was initially dismayed to see the work was abridged, but I didn't miss a bit of the original. (I also listened to the "full cast" version. I'll get the rest of the series abridged). Nana Visitor is the best story teller I've found on audible. I knew the story, having read it when it came out 30 years or so ago. I still found it captivating. The only drawback was the sound quality, being a bit 'fuzzy'.

  • Overall


This was an interesting story. I enjoyed the alternate universe of the USA. Card's version of the 1800s has certain key events in American history changed. It's fun to think how just a few changes in those events could have vastly altered the history we know. The folk magic was interesting too. I liked it.

  • Overall
  • Vikram
  • valley stream, NY, USA
  • 01-20-04

7th son gets a 3 rating

I read this book years ago under the name "Hatrack River". I dont remember it being so short and empty of story. I also remember more of an ending.

Most of this book was empty space that could have been shortened into a 2 hour listening. Its the story of the 7th son, Alvin, and.....we'll I cant figure out what else there is. Theres no definition for the things that make him accident prone and what it is that protects him through his early years. The entire book is build-up for some great revelation explaining everything yet its not included in this story.

Im sure once I read the rest of the series that it will be more entertaining but overall there was no content here. Most disappointing was the fact that the story just ends with no cliffhanger and nothing to keep you wondering. Its as if they just stopped the story mid sentence and, I assume, continued in the next books.

Keep in mind when listening to this story that it takes place in a fictional society on earth that never actually existed. People in this story are extremely religious yet they fear hexes and spells. Religion should tell them that hexes dont exist....yet hexes do exist and they have great power over people. A minister will yell at someone claiming that witchery is the devils work yet he runs away to avoid a spell being cast against him. This is a total fantasy book with virtually NO sci-fi as in the "Ender" series from the same author. If you're looking for a good story this book isnt going to do it. If youre looking to listen to at least 1 more book to feel satisfied...then Id say give it a listen.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Souther accent clases

This books feels like English souther accent clases, with a narrator that goes from a tone os voice so low that you'll be pushing the headphones into your ears to her her, an a second later holding them five inches from your ear so the new tone of her voice does not leave you death.
If, like I, you are looking for a good quality story, and the the fact that this book has the same author as Ender's Game and Speaker of the Dead, you are looking in the wrong place, this story is full of hot air, after 6 hours, you can sumirize what happend in 5 minutes, I mean it, the story is so descriptive that you'll find you'll often be too busy trying to build an image of a place instead of keeping up with the story, and then the place that took you so much time to imagine, turns out to be irrelevant; not good.

I heard that the narrator was bad, but I was desperate for a book (long flight), she is not bad, she just needs a volume gauge in front of her next time she does a reading; it is really unconfortable, I ended up with headaches many times... the book is not worth the pain

8 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Janet
  • Menlo Park, CA, USA
  • 02-22-06

Seventh Son

Fascinating glimpse at the interplay between faith and folk magic and the legacy of the past.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Leaves you hanging

This book delivers the wonders of being a boy this is different from the norm. We see his life evolve as his powers start to appear and he and his family must deal with the problems they bring. In the background the powers of darkness (or disorder) start to array themselves against young Alvin and try to bring him down. Thus the story also deals with the persecution of Alvin by the ignorant and the understanding of him by the few who begin to recognize who he can become. All of these characters are introduced and described wonderfully well, as is the world where they live, and the conflicts they have. Unfortunately, just when the conflicts have grown to their crisis point and must be resolved, the novel ends

0 of 1 people found this review helpful