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Songmaster
Orson Scott Card
Tor Orb, 348 pages

Songmaster
Orson Scott Card
Born in Richland, Washington, Orson Scott Card grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He lived in Brazil for two years as an unpaid Mormon Church missionary, and received degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine, and five children.

In an unprecedented fashion, Card won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel two years in a row for Ender's Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, in 1986 and 1987.

Orson Scott Card Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Ender's Shadow
SF Site Review: Ender's Shadow
SF Site Review: Enchantment
SF Site Review: Heartfire
SF Site Review: Homebody
Orson Scott Card Tribute Site
Orson Scott Card Tribute Site
Orson Scott Card Tribute Site

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Alma A. Hromic

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I first met Ansset and the Songhouse via the excerpts published in Analog magazine as novella-length stand-alone stories, and immediately fell in love with both the characters and the milieu. I do believe that this was my first encounter with Orson Scott Card as a writer, too, and it is on the strength of this book, this story, that I went on to buy many more of his works.

Reissued by Tor as an Orb paperback edition in 2002, Songmaster has lost none of its power. The two excepts published by Analog remain the strongest parts of the book, for me; that, and the conclusion. The rest of the book deals more with Kyaren and Josif, secondary characters who are complex and multi-dimensional human beings but who, for me, are a digression from Ansset's own life (however much they eventually become a part of it). This is a book full of depth and insight, and a cracking good story besides. It is a rare event when these two things coincide in a book, and a work can both enlighten and entertain at the same time.

The greatest truths can only be told through fiction; undiluted, they are too strong for the human mind and spirit to digest. Card understands this, instinctively, and Songmaster is proof of that understanding, of a sure instinct which acts as mirror to the human condition.

Quite possibly this is Orson Scott Card's best published work, ever. There are those who might disagree and cite the Ender's Game cycle, for instance, as worthy of that honour -- but the latter (although I have a great affection for the original book) have been steadily getting themselves more and more mired in an attempt to transmit some sort of a barely concealed author's agenda. Songmaster, although it is steadily rooted in the same background that imbues all of Card's works, never suffers from being obvious. It's a subtle, sparkling, brilliant book and it has stood the test of time well. I'm very glad to see it reissued in new guise so that it can go on to captivate many more readers.

Copyright © 2003 Alma A. Hromic

Alma A. Hromic, addicted (in random order) to coffee, chocolate and books, has a constant and chronic problem of "too many books, not enough bookshelves". When not collecting more books and avidly reading them (with a cup of coffee at hand), she keeps busy writing her own. Following her successful two-volume fantasy series, Changer of Days, her latest novel, Jin-shei, is due out from Harper San Francisco in the spring of 2004.


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