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.
Just finished this one. It was interesting from a folk tale/magic viewpoint. Couldn't decide if I really liked it. The story moves slowly at times but Card does a very nice job with his characters. I especially liked Arthur Stuart, Verily Cooper, and Calvin, Alvin's brother. If one is reading the series, this one is not to be missed.
The story grows in interest and wonder, January 5, 1997
Reviewer: A reader
I cannot recommend this book and series enough. My wife turned me on to the series and I am eagerly awaiting all future installments. Alvin seems destined for greatness, but like all great men, considers himself "just a normal man". I can't wait to see how he and the Indians of this alternate U.S. build his glorious city. This story also is terrific in how it shows the love/hate relationship between Alvin and Peggy, and how she had to voluntarily lose him in order to find him and their relationship together.
Return to the world of Alvin Maker--a magical America that might have been. Using the lore and folk-magic of the men and women who settled the North American continent, Card has created an alternate American frontier--a world where a particular kind of magic really works, and where that magic has colored the entire history of the colonies.
At long last, Card returns to what promises to be his most notable creation. The Tales of Alvin Maker...This superb and welcome book continues the saga at the same high level as before. -Booklist
Alvin is trying to graduate from being a master blacksmith's apprentice to becoming a journeyman and his own master...but who will teach him how to become a Journeyman Maker?
Too much profanity for me.
Can't get enough of this series!
My copy of this book was autographed by the author.