Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hatrack River Review

Hatrack River
by Orson Scott Card

Synopsis:

There are three books contained in this one book...the first three tales of Alvin Miller.  They include Seventh Son, Red Prophet and Prentice Alvin...this is a great series of books for adults tho' mature young adults would appreciate its depth also.  There are vague references to sex through out the book and the violence is quite graphic...I would suggest tissues for some parts of the book, the read is most thought-provoking and the story draws you in completely~!!  Hatrack River is loaded with colonial American history (both real and fictional), magic, fantasy and science fiction...this read WILL give you a full range of emotions while perusing its covers. 

Plot:

The story sets out with Alvin's birth, during 19th century Colonial America...born while his oldest brother was drowning in a raging river and his family fights to save each other from the swift currents,  Alvin Miller is the seventh son of a seventh son...his oldest brother perishes moments after Alvin's birth and their mother is left wondering if it was normal for a mother to loathe her own son.  You soon realize that Alvin isn't like normal children...he has a "knack" which enables him to "make" things.  Water is his enemy and it is continually trying to kill him through out the book.   However, water isn't Alvin's only enemy...he has to battle good and evil with The Unmaker, who manipulates those around Alvin to do his bidding...Alvin's father at times feels urges to kill his son and doesn't understand why and decides to set Alvin out on a journey to learn the trade of Blacksmith.

Using the lore and folk magic of the northwest at the time the book describes the various "knacks" of the folks in Hatrack River.  Alvin is able to "make" things but a maker hasn't been born in a very long time and no one is quite sure what a Maker can do. In book two we learn more about the powers of Alvin...the green magic of the Native Americans...here he meets Lolly-Wassiky who comes from his own troubled past until he meets Alvin...and the black noise leaves him to be replaced by the green music.  

Ta-Kumsah, Lolly-Wassiky's older brother...is a proud Shawnee warrior who begins to band all the native tribes into one collective unit and has conflict with William Henry Harrison, who is called White Murderer...both are racing against time to end the conflict...one with peace and the other with murder.  Lolly and Ta-Kumsah meet up with Alvin and see in him a gift that no other white man has had before him and they help him with his journey.  This part of the tale brings to life an America to fulfill the dreams we all grew up with, a strong and growing land of heroism and magic.

In the third portion of the book we come to see how slavery has been abolished in the north and how the people of the time are in a frenzy...Alvin is now a teenager and still hasn't any idea how his "knack" works...through out the tale there is Peggy...she can "see" things and as a young child was present at Alvin's birth  and even then, she knew he was different and so she takes his "cowl" and puts it in a box and whenever she needs to "view" Alvin she removes a pinch of it and works her magic...often times she is found saving Alvin's life, tho' no one knows she is doing this.  Alvin is on his own and the Unmaker is close-at-hand!


My Views:

I would recommend this book to ANYONE who loves fantasy, folk magic and history...my husband just finished reading it and it made him cry...LOL  However, I cannot tell you how the book ends...for I have not finished it yet...to me, this book is SO powerful that I cannot finish the read for I feel when I do...then the tale will be over and I cannot, for the life of me, do that to this GREAT read...honestly, if you have a chance to read this book...you MUST!  You truly won't regret it...

For more information on Hatrack River and Orson Scott Card please stop by their homepage... Hatrack River - The Official Web Site of Orson Scott Card 

**I was not paid in any way what-so-ever in the writing of this review...all ideas expressed here-in are my own and are they no way influenced by anyone or anything else!**