Card is an extremely good writer, and his books are always a pleasure to read, but at times I did feel that the stories here occasionally suffered for being too allegorical, and too much about Card's ideas of morality.
In the 4th book, 'Alvin Journeyman' Alvin tries to strike out on his own, with his visions of creating a 'Crystal City' (kinda like Augustine's City of God?) before him... however, he is accused, falsely, of theft, and his concepts of justice impel him to sit in jail and face charges, even though his powers mean that he doesn't have to. Too much of the book is really spent in courtroom drama, and Alvin begins to really just seem annoyingly 'moral.' As a foil, the character of his younger brother Calvin is drawn - Calvin also has quite a lot of magic powers, but none of Alvin's desire to use them only for good - he kinda rides a line between being amoral and actively malicious.
For some reason, I didn't like this book as much as the others...dunno why.
This is a favorite in the fantasy genre. Alvin is a magical man with a vision of building a crystal city. He has an evil enemy which helps to make his modest hero image work well.