Write Me Up

Official writing with some random thoughts

Book review on Seventh Son August 12, 2014

I’ve been reading quite a lot, since my internet is variable, and I got about ten free books in the last two weeks, so that means book reviews! The first is on Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card.
As always, I must praise Card for his excellent choice in stories. He always seems to pick something that is familiar enough to let you feel at home yet unique enough that you are not bored. This book is about an alternate America, one that developed slightly differently than the one in real life, where folk magic is a real power, and where he states developed and grew very differently. The book focuses on one family, the Millers, who have 14 children. One of those children is a seventh son of a seventh son, which is an important placement in folk legends. This child, Alvin Jr., is very special. He has qualities that are different from other children, yet he is still a normal boy. The story revolves around his early years and the mostly unseen battle that rages around him.
While the story is about Alvin, Card does an amazing job of incorporating the culture and history of his alternate America. He seamlessly weaves the folk magic, emigration tales, and politics into the lives of his characters, and while his America is far from perfect, I found myself longing for it to be true. He gave new roles and histories to well know figures like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, and one of the pivotal characters in the story is a famous poet. The story definitely requires that the reader know some American history and literature in order to be fully effective, but even without that background, it is wonderfully written and told.
I would highly recommend Seventh Son to any Card fan and to any person who loves historical fiction or fantasy, as the style is kind of a mixture of both those genres.

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