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Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card
Published by Tor Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
Seventh Son is the first volume in Orson Scott Card's ambitious fantasy series set in an alternate pioneer America. This is no cheap Tolkien imitator like all the Generic Fantasy Product that currently crowds the shelves.
Card creates a world in which the folk magic of the frontier really works, where hexes have real power and a "torch" girl can see into an ever-branching tree of futures. A world where the seventh son of a seventh son can have tremendous power, if only he can survive long enough to use it.
Alvin Miller is just such a child, born on a rainy night as his eldest brother was dying of wounds gotten in saving their mother's life. The seventh son of a seventh son, of thirteen living children, born with a caul, he is marked for greatness. But some elemental force seems determined to destroy him.
Peggy Guester, the torch girl who saw his family coming but failed to raise the alert in time to save his oldest brother, takes it upon herself to protect him in pennance. Using his caul, which she carefully saves, she wards off each elemental attack in turn, until he is old enough to protect himself.
But times are changing rapidly, and things will not be so simple for long. A prophet is rising among the Indians, a man known as Tenska-tawa. The story continues in Red Prophet.
Click here to buy Seventh Son in paperback.
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Review posted July 20, 1999
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