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Alvin Journeyman

Alvin Journeyman
Locus Award - (best fantasy novel) 1996


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U sing the lore and the folk magic of the men and women who settled the North American continent, Card has created an alternate frontier America: a world where folk magic really 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. "Knacks" abound: Dowsers find water, the second sight warns of dangers to come, and a torch can read the heart of anyone. And Alvin Miller, the seventh son of a seventh son, is a very special man indeed.

Alvin is a Maker, and what he can make is a new future for America. But to do that he must defeat his ancient enemy, the Unmaker, whose cruel whispers and deadly plots have threatened Alvin's life at every turn.

Now a grown man and a journeyman smith, Alvin has returned to his family and friends in the town of Vigor Church, to share in their isolation, to work as a blacksmith, and to try to teach anyone who will learn the knack of being a Maker. For Alvin has had a vision of the city he will build, and he knows that he cannot build it alone.

But the Unmaker is not through with Alvin. If that spirit of destruction cannot stop him by magic, or war and devastation, then it will try to crush the young Maker by simpler means - more human means. By lies and innuendo, and by false accusations, Alvin is driven from his home back to Hatrack River, only to find that the Unmaker has been there before him, and that he must now stand trial for his life.


"Card brings to building this world and his large cast of well-wrought characters formidable scholarship in history, religion, and folklore . . . we are talking about the most important work of American fantasy since Stephen Donaldson's original Thomas Covenant trilogy."
      -- Chicago Sun-Times

"With delicacy and insight, incorporating folk tales and folk magic with mountain lore and other authentic details, Orson Scott Card has evoked a different vision of America as it might have been."
      -- Greensburg Tribune-Review

"Card has created a uniquely American fantasy."
      -- Charlotte Observer

"Just when you think you know what a writer has up his sleeve, he surprises you with a pair of aces. Orson Scott Card is that kind of writer. . . . Red Prophet and its predecessor Seventh Son beguile us with the stories of Alvin Miller. . . . Card uses language in these novels like never before. The speech of the characters reflects their time and beliefs, and his descriptions bring the magic alive for the reader."
      -- Indianapolis News

Copyright © 1995 Orson Scott Card

A Tor Book - Published by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.
Cover art by Dennis Nolan - Cover design by Carol Russo


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