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Heartfire (Tales of Alvin Maker #5)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  9,398 ratings  ·  143 reviews
For use in schools and libraries only. Alvin's wife Peggy makes a perilous journey to Charleston to visit the exiled king of England and plead for an end to the madness between the free nations and slave nations of North America, while Alvin journeys north to Salem, Massachusetts, to confront the legacy of witchcraft.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 29, 2010 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of alternate-world fantasy
This fifth volume of the series finds Alvin and Peggy now married, and expecting the birth of their first child, but separated for much of the book by separate missions far apart geographically. His continuing quest for understanding of how to build the "Crystal City" of his vision will take him and his small group of companions to New England, to observe a model human community founded on solidly moral and religious principles. But this is a New England where the Puritan theocracy never fell, a ...more
Nathan Burgoine
Note: I won't be finishing this series, given the author's homophobic stance - I'm not going to fill his pockets. But these were my thoughts on the book before I knew how horrible a man the author was:

Though not quite as up to snuff as the other books in the Alvin Maker series to date, this one wins praise for paying as much attention to Verily Cooper and Peggy the Torch as it does to Alvin and Calvin themselves.

Peggy is taking on slavery, trying to use her gift to see the possible futures of pe
Mar 11, 2014 Luisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Luisa by: Luiz Letti
I really enjoyed this book. Alvin is really coming into his own as a maker, even though he doesn't yet call himself one :)
Calvin is more and more trouble, but I still have a bit of faith on the kid coming around. Who knows right? :)
I loved the part with the slaves. Incredibly interesting idea, and also, the part about witchcraft was great. I really like Verily Cooper :D
Rampant Jordan-ism. If there's a spot on his map, he has to set part of his story there--populated with new characters and challenges--even if it has next to nothing to do with the main story.

It ought to be rated a two, or maybe even one one, except that Card is such an extraordinary storyteller.

Just read and enjoy.
Book 5 of 6 in the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card. This one divides the recently married Alvin and Peggy; the former heads to New England to challenge and undermine the legality of witch trials while the latter heads south to Camelot [Charleston, South Carolina] in the Crown Colonies as an abolitionist seeking to prevent a bloody, divisive war over the issue of slavery. Although this narrative suffers from being a bit more cerebral and static like its immediate predecessor, there are som ...more
Althea Ann
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 t
In this the 5th book and the penultimate in the Alvin Maker series, Card takes us on the road with Alvin Maker and his friends Arthur Stuart, Mike Fink and Verily Cooper (named after the scripture, 'Verily I say unto you...).

Alvin and his group of friends travel into the country of New England to get some answers about the Crystal City Alvin wants to build. This is dangerous as New England is known for its laws against practicing witches. While Alvin isn't a witch, he knows that the powers he ho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A Philadelphie, Alvin et le jeune métis Arthur Stuart, l'interprète des oiseaux, font la connaissance du peintre français Jean-Jacques Audubon. Ensemble, ils partent en quête en Nouvelle-Angleterre avec aussi les compagnons de route habituels d'Alvin, l'avocat, En-Vérité Cooper et le géant, Mike Fink. Alvin voudrait savoir pourquoi il a reçu ses dons. Il a hérité d'une mission qui le laisse désemparé, construire une Cité de Cristal. Il pense trouver des réponses en Nouvelle-Angleterre, mais la
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This is the fifth book in a fantasy series where traditional European folk magic is real and working in early nineteenth century America. For the first time, a helpful map shows that New England remains a puritan, law-based protectorate of England (still under Commonwealth rule) with John Quincy Adams in charge and his elderly father John as a senior judge; after the sudden death of his predecessor, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson pres ...more
Seth Martin
I was quite worried going into this book that there was going to be another trial. Thankfully Orson Scott Card realized this problem and even stated it in the story.

I can understand how people would not like these books separately but they should really be consumed in 2 volumes, books 1-3 and 4-6. Maybe I am alone in my enjoyment of philosophical debate in novels, but I think the Orson Scott Card writes these debates masterfully.
In reading this book, I discovered what a true master Card is as a writer, historian and storyteller. What I thought was just an interesting plot device, I discovered years later was an actual historic event. Card takes history, the stuff we aren't taught in schools because they aren't the big, powerful events, and melds them brilliantly into his alternate take of 18th-century America. Read this series, please!
Well, it's consistent, I like the odd numbered books in this series best. This was excellent. While book 4 dragged in places, book 5 had a great pace. The new characters introduced were well developed and added nicely to the story overall. I enjoy that few of Card's characters are all bad - they're complex, as real people are. Some of the characters that disgusted me at the beginning of the story fascinated me by the end. I also loved the imagery used, especially with the slaves and their heartf ...more
Evgeni Kirilov
Most of my reviews lately have been in the "more of the same" spirit, and this one will have to follow suit. If you liked the previous Alvin books, you'll like this one too. If you didn't, this one won't offer you new reasons to change your mind. I liked it better than the Journeyman, and that's probably because the plot is finally starting to (slowly) pick up: Arthur Stuart is no longer defined solely by his fanboyism, Verily Cooper gets fleshed out a little bit more, the plot around Alvin and ...more
This series is starting to get a bit disappointing. In Heartfire, Calvin didn't quite make the waves that I hoped he would. Instead, Card produced another average book in the series that from start to finish makes little progress in the overall conflict. And the overall conflict seems mediocre at this point as well - the conflict is simply how Alvin will build the Crystal City someday. I understand that Card meant to write an American epic poem or something and that perhaps he succeeded. However ...more
The Alvin Maker series just gets better. This episode we get witch trials, the struggle to end slavery, new intriguing characters that sort of dovetail with the Ender book I just read, A War of Gifts, and some movement toward a resolution, better or worse, with Alvin's brother Calvin, his seeming opposite so much of the time. I also get many giggles out of the alternate history aspects. When "Tom Jefferson" and John and John Quincy Adams and (view spoiler) appear or get ...more
Craig Williams
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book! I hadn't read a book in this series for at least a year, yet found it incredibly easy to get right back into the groove of it, due to Card's ability to effortlessly weave reminders of important events without it breaking up the story at all. It only took about two chapters before I completely recalled who everyone was and what happened in the last few books. Heartfire seemed way too short, considering the gravity of some of the subjects it was dealing w ...more
5th in the Alvin Maker series. Alvin and his friends travel to New England, renowned for its virtue, and comes up against the New England witch hunters. They twist a natural knack to be seen as Satanic witchery. In the meantime Peggy travels to Camelot, a kingdom ruled by the exiled King of England, where slavery flourishes. Alvin's brother Calvin follows Peggy to see if he can use her against Alvin. All of them confront the looming war, the only path to the destruction of the institution of sla ...more
After a rather lackluster entry for the fourth installment, I had high hopes Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker would get back on track in book five.

Yes and no.

Yes, the story actually moves the overall plot arc forward a bit. But it also suffers from the same criticism I head of "Alvin Journeyman"--too much time spent philosophizing about the current state of things or having debates that don't really do much in terms of plot progression or character revelation.

I get it, already....Calvin
Same as previous book. Got many new details about alternative world the book describes, new court case and characters, but still no closer to goal - Crystal city.
Kathi Samec
Enjoyed this book but it pales in comparison to the first three books but is better than crystal city. The slaves setting aside their heart fires was interesting to me.
Miramira Endevall
Mar 16, 2010 Miramira Endevall rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miramira by: Donia, Q
Shelves: own
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 bullshit. Some bits of it were still interesting though, and I'm hooked to see how the final ...more
If you've read my review of Alvin Journyman, then I can almost just say "Ditto" in this review.

There is one critical scene in the book when I actually appreciated all the pontification (again, see my review of the previous book) and was anxiously awaiting a satisfying conclusion to a great argument. However, Card abruptly and prematurely ends the scene as the hero decides he has more pressing matters elsewhere and just walks out.

I got the distinct impression that Card couldn't come up with a sat
Chelsea Heath
Ehh...disliked some of the characters introduced in this installment. Seems like a lot of filler in this one. Would like to get to the crux of the series.
Not sure what to say about this book. It wasn't the most gripping of the series and indeed sort of went too many directions for me. The status of the slaves in the Crown Colonies, and their voluntary soul-loss was a bit unnerving, and could have been the main theme of the book. But we also saw a major battle of witch trials in New England, and a lot of happenings in Europe and elsewhere. Whew! Maybe just a wee bit too much for a 300 page book. Looking forward to volume 6 and hoping it wraps ever ...more
Brandi Snyder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Just like the rest of this series, great read and engaging story.
Jun 21, 2011 Splen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Splen by: nobody, fan of O.S.C.
Shelves: orson-scott-card
O.S.C. re-imagines an American historical period wherein
various groups of Americans (including Native Americans)
are imaginatively imbued with powers over nature,
a.k.a. 'knacks' and Folk-magic.
I say it is lovely.

Primarily Fantasy.
Also, Science Fiction -> Alternate History.

I first read and purchased (in Paperback)
the first five volumes of this series
a few months before Volume VI, the final book, was published
near its release on November 10th, 2003.
(I purchased the First Edition Hardcover o
Shivering William
I could go into the subtleties--the similarities with past books in the series, what sets it apart, is Card repeating himself, does this even move the story forward. But honestly, I'm not sure this book warrants discussion. I honestly think it only deserves two stars, but because it's a cut above the rest of the fantasy out there, I'll give it a break.

But really, I don't think anything changed between this book and the last (besides a few choice moments with Gula Joe), and isn't that ultimately
Katie Sunsdahl
enjoyable. #5 in the series
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
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Other Books in the Series

Tales of Alvin Maker (6 books)
  • Seventh Son (Tales of Alvin Maker, #1)
  • Red Prophet (Tales of Alvin Maker, #2)
  • Prentice Alvin (Tales of Alvin Maker, #3)
  • Alvin Journeyman (Tales of Alvin Maker, #4)
  • The Crystal City (Tales of Alvin Maker, #6)
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet, #2) Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow, #1) Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3) Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #4)

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