The Crystal City

The Crystal City

Book - 2003
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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 theroad to the Crystal City that was shown to him in a vision so long ago.
Publisher: New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2003.
ISBN: 9780312864835
Characteristics: 384 p. ;,24 cm.


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Jun 14, 2012

Book 6 in the Alvin Maker Series. This one was not as satisfying to me as the earlier books, and the aimlessness of Alvin's wanderings make the plot a bit aimless as well. Perhaps this is unavoidable, but otherwise it's a worthwhile read. The humor, for instance, is strongest in this book. Just some great frontier dialogue, and with the historical characters thrown in, it can be laugh-out-loud funny at times. There is some good, thought-provoking stuff here, touching on themes of destiny and purpose as well as the importance of small choices in determining big changes later in one's life. Classic Orson Scott Card, but perhaps at this point in the series Alvin's powers have grown to the point where there is not as much interest in his struggles to overcome his enemies. In some ways I wonder if this series has almost "jumped the shark." I'm a little bit apprehensive about the next book because of this, but if history is any guide, OSC will come through with something good.

Jul 30, 2011

The Crystal City ---- by Orson Scott Card c - 2003 ---- An Average story, it is hard for me to get into Mr. Card's work. Very Dry Writing. ---- You may like it, they are a struggle for me. ---- RichardPaul

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