The sixth, in the fantasy series, Tales of Alvin Maker, Alvin finally discovers the truth about building the Crystal City and of the maker that exists in all of us.
In many ways, this is a sweet end to this series but the way in which Card leaves us is frustrating with all the new questions he’s left: what nasty mischief will Jim Bowie get up to, will Calvin ever get over himself, do the reds get to hang onto everything west of the how long does the Crystal City last…please, at least long enough for Alvin’s grandkids!
Card is amazing in his clever twist on early American history and the flavor of Paul Bunyanesque tall tales. I particularly like the tolerance he promotes amongst whites, blacks, and Indians. I became so involved with the characters: Alvin’s kindness and desire to learn and give while the suffering poor Peggy went through as a torch and yet she did her best to do good, Arthur was such a cheeky young man with a piercing perspective and how they call came together keeping each other in line while supporting Alvin’s goal of creating a city where all were truly equal and all were makers.
The dialog was a hoot. Another example of Card’s extraordinary abilities as a writer in developing a believable style of speech for each of his characters from Tenskwa-Tawa, the English lawyer, Verily Cooper, Mike Fink, and Abe Lincoln to the regional dialects of New England to Nueva Barcelona (our New Orleans y’all).
You can’t help but have to read this book if only to enjoy the variety of “knacks” which people use in their daily lives, wish there were more Alvins around with his ability to perform long-distance surgery, affect the weather, and create or destroy anything, and discover what part of our past Card is going to wriggle into this twisted story.
A lovely tale of morals presented in a very entertaining manner. I’m looking forward to Master Alvin.