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Old 06-24-2010, 04:19 PM   #1
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Alvin Journeyman - Orson Scott Card

Alvin Journeyman is the fourth book in the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card. I can barely keep up with writing the reviews as I devour the books. In this book Alvin has grown into a man and a journeyman smith. He's proposed marriage to Peggy but she's rejected him....but not for the reason he thinks.

He goes back home and tries to figure out how to build the Crystal City (a utopia)....and tries by teaching others to be makers. The Unmaker who had tried to kill young Alvin with water over and over again has switched tactics. Now he's trying to destroy Alvin with people.

His younger brother Calvin has a good deal of Alvin's abilities....and he grows resentful of Alvin who comes back home and is just better at everything than Calvin is. Without realizing it, he takes away the respect and place in the community that Calvin had made for himself. Alvin tries to work with Calvin to teach him but that just makes Calvin madder and more resentful and Calvin leaves. Peggy fears that in almost all the futures she see's -- she see's Alvin die at Calvin's hand.

Then a young girl gets a "teacher's crush" on Alvin and tells stories to her best friend about secret rendezvous with Alvin. Word gets out and the girls' parents and many others believe and Alvin takes off hoping that in time her crush will go away and honesty return. Not so as Alvin ends up in jail and in danger from the pro-slavery crowd and their just elected president Harrison -- bloody hands and all.

Meanwhile Calvin goes off to meet Napolean to learn the secret of power from him. It's a gripping tale of someone descending to 'the dark side' to borrow imagery from Star Wars.

Slave finders come to take Arthur Stuart, the young 'mixup boy' back into slavery....and Alvin has to stand trial over stealing gold from Makepeace Smith. Of course, the gold wasn't stolen, but is the living gold Alvin turned his iron plow into as his journeyman's piece. We are also introduced to a new character -- a lawyer who comes from England once he hears of Alvin.

This book is hard to put down. This is Card at his best -- gripping tales of human interest. Love, hate, envy, hope, greed. Card brings his characters to vivid life.

Lee
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