Book Reviews of Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5)

Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5)
Heartfire - Alvin Maker, Bk 5
Author: Orson Scott Card
ISBN-13: 9780312850548
ISBN-10: 0312850549
Publication Date: 8/1998
Pages: 301
Rating:
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 18

3.4 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Tor Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

9 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 582 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the fifth novel in Orson Scott Card's popular Alvin the Maker series, based on an alternate America where some people are born with knacks, which resemble magical abilities. The protagonist of the series, Alvin, is a maker who not only can fix things (such as restoring a wounded bird to health with his doodlebug) but is also something of a natural leader. Alvin and his small band of followers are on a quest to build the Crystal City, a place where those who have knacks can live in safety from the people who sometimes burn them as witches. While Alvin visits the nearly holy province of New England to find out just how cities work, his wife Margaret, traveling under the name Peggy, journeys to the kingdom of Camelot, which was formerly known as Charleston, South Carolina. There she hopes to persuade the exiled King Arthur to help her abolish the practice of slavery. Heartfire is an excellent midseries novel that's sure to delight fans of Alvin. --Craig E. Engler
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 1524 more book reviews
This is book #5 in Card's tales of Alvin Maker.
Peggy Guester is a Torch, able to see the fire burning in each person's heart. Her power is so great that she can follow the paths of each person's future and know their most intimate secrets. From the moment of Alvin's birth, when the Unmaker first strove to kill him, he has been protected by her. Now they are married, and Peggy is a part of Alvin's heart as well as his life.
But the achievement of Alvin's destiny, and the building of the Crystal City he has foreseen, have taken Alvin and Peggy on separate journeys. He has gone north into New England, where knacks are considered witchcraft and their use is punished with death. But despite the risk, Alvin believes that there is someone in New England who knows where his City is to be built.
Peggy, though, has been drawn south, to the British Crown Colonies and the court of King Arthur Stuart in exile. For she has seen a terrible future bloom in the heartfires of every person in America--a future of war and destruction. One slender path exists that leads through the bloodshed, and it is Peggy's quest to set the world on that path to peace. To achieve it, she must gain the ear of the King himself.
But Alvin's younger brother, Calvin, has also come to the Court of Camelot, with his great but perverted power. Peggy's life is at risk, and she has no reason to believe that Calvin will do anything but place her in greater danger.
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 5 more book reviews
I decided to give this a try even though I hadn't read the other books in the series, I wanted to see what I was offering on paperback swap and I think the story was very well written and Nana Visitor tells it very nicely getting good characterizations. She has a very soothing pleasant voice to listen to and it's almost like I was a kid again listening to Mom tell the bedtime stories. It's made me want to go back and read/listen to the rest of the books in this series, I highly recommend it if you like the Alvin Maker series and even if you haven't read it, it stands alone pretty well.
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 32 more book reviews
More on Alvin's adventures, which continue after his marriage.
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 774 more book reviews
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 5th volume, 'Heartfire' Alvin marries Peggy, the schoolteacher. All I have to say is, I'm not sure what Card is trying to get at here, but he seems to have a peculiar idea of marriage. Basically, they get together, conceive a child, and run off to totally separate parts of the country both doing their own political thing. Alvin can 'see' Peggy from afar, but no actual romantic love is portrayed in the story AT ALL. Very odd. Anyway, most of the story here, again, is a courtroom drama. This time, Alvin, his lawyer, Verily Cooper, Arthur Stuart, and John James Audubon (yes, the famous naturalist, here portrayed as a caricature of the French - it's kinda weird), encounter a young woman who suspects that she herself may be a witch. Of course, she accuses Alvin and his friends of witchcraft. But when the witch-hunter comes, she finds herself accused as well. Alvin feels the need to stick around and save her from herself. The judge in the case is John Adams (not, here, a President), and meanwhile, Calvin is hanging out with Balzac (the author). And yes, the gratuitous appearances of historical figures was annoying me (but that's just me).
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 4 more book reviews
This was not as good as I remember the initial books in this series being. *sigh* But still a good read and worth your while.
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 5 more book reviews
Card really sacrificed storytelling for sermonizing in this book, which is too bad. It's almost as though he ran out of interesting ways to tell Alivn's story back in Prentice Alvin and the rest of the series is less good fiction and more a vehicle from which to tout his Mormon agenda. There is more author intrusion in Heartfire than in any other of the Tales of Alvin Maker so far, most of which is pure political crap. Some bits of it were still interesting though, and I'm hooked enough to want to see how the final conflict between Calvin and Alvin turns out. Unfortunately, my copy of The Crystal City is in TN, so it may be awhile before I finish the series. Ah, well.
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 24 more book reviews
Amazon.com
This is the fifth novel in Orson Scott Card's popular Alvin the Maker series, based on an alternate America where some people are born with knacks, which resemble magical abilities. The protagonist of the series, Alvin, is a maker who not only can fix things (such as restoring a wounded bird to health with his doodlebug) but is also something of a natural leader. Alvin and his small band of followers are on a quest to build the Crystal City, a place where those who have knacks can live in safety from the people who sometimes burn them as witches. While Alvin visits the nearly holy province of New England to find out just how cities work, his wife Margaret, traveling under the name Peggy, journeys to the kingdom of Camelot, which was formerly known as Charleston, South Carolina. There she hopes to persuade the exiled King Arthur to help her abolish the practice of slavery. Heartfire is an excellent midseries novel that's sure to delight fans of Alvin. --Craig E. Engler

From Publishers Weekly
Fifth in Hugo and Nebula winner Card's immensely popular Tales of Alvin Maker, this installment of alternative American history centers around two grievous social wrongs. Arthur Stuart, exiled King of England, reigns in Camelot (Charleston), capital of the slaveholding southern Crown Colonies; in New England, meanwhile, "witchers" connive to execute anyone with the "knack," the ability to connect to the powers of the universe. Just before civil war erupts, telekinetic Alvin and his historical friends, such as John James Audubon, and legendary ones, such as riverman Mike Fink, set about to abolish New England's antiwitch laws, while Alvin's wife and mentor, Margaret, uses her ability to read human souls to offer the hope of freedom to the Colonies' slaves and to heal Alvin's malevolent brother before he can kill her husband. Card's antebellum settings, dialogue and historical figures seem authentic and thoroughly researched, and, as always, he offers excellent differentiation of characters. However, Card is as occasionally windy and preachy as ever, and the plethora of lengthy philosophical and/or psychological digressions make for considerably less fictional sizzle than fizzle. Consider this a good bet for fans of the series, but not for a wider readership.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
reviewed Heartfire (Alvin Maker, Bk 5) on + 54 more book reviews
Yet another great Alvin Maker book!