I could review each book of the Alvin Maker series but I read them in succession over the last few weeks and I can no longer separate them in my mind.
So maybe I can’t.
I *heart* historical novels. Most historical novels have their basis in reality and then the fictional story branches off into its own world. Orson Scott Card takes what we know of Colonial America and says, “How boring! This would be better with MAGIC!”
Despite outdated artwork that doesn’t seem to portray the stories’ depth, I have to say that I agree. (Hubby and I had a grand time discussing that artwork.)
The pioneers living in Cherriky and Irrakwa, Noisy River and Wobbish, New Amsterdam and Nueva Barcelona, are a talented bunch. They have knacks for ordinary and extraordinary things alike: healing animals, dowsing water, or making others feel comfortable. Alvin, seventh son of a seventh son, has incredible powers to change everything around him. Power such as his attracts the attention of the Unmaker, a dark force that strives to undo everything good in the world.
Spanning 25 years or so of Alvin’s life, you meet ordinary folks like Peg Guester or Hank Dowser, but you also meet the powerful ones. Little Peggy the Torch and Verily Cooper. Card even threw in some more recognizable characters from history like George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte. All of the humor and side story doesn’t hide the deep truths that Card speaks about over this six book series. Alvin confronts slavery, idiocy, fear of those that are different, and the hope that we can all build a better world together.
As Alvin would say, “No two ways about it, that’s what true Makery is.”
Books in the series are:
(A seventh book may be written one day but the 6th book ends well. OSC published a short story from this universe in 2014. One thing I’ve learned, if OSC has a short story, he probably has a novel too.)