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The Crystal City (Tales of Alvin Maker #6)

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,916 Ratings  ·  238 Reviews
This full-cast production of Orson Scott Card’s newest title is finally available on audio
From the end of the 18th century, Americans travelled west to find new homes and new lands. They brought with them the magics of plain people. It is from these roots of the American dream that award-winning writer Orson Scott Card has crafted what the Charlotte Observer called “a uniq
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published November 6th 2004 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2003)
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Sep 08, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Alvin Maker series is a marvelously clever, folk-magical alternate history of North America, in which the author creates a fit forum for the brilliant, preachy, clever, and morally neurotic characters that seem to be his specialty. I think his take on famous historical characters is often marvelous, as is his frequent twisting and borrowing of details from his Mormon tradition.

Despite this general admiration, I must say that this is clearly the weakest of the series and not just because as
Jul 19, 2014 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of alternate-world fantasy
Throughout most of the preceding books of the series, Alvin's ultimate goal has been to understand how he's supposed to bring into being the "Crystal City" he saw in the vision he had as a child. Here, the pieces of that puzzle will fall into place, bringing the series to a satisfying ending point, though not a tidy HEA to wrap everything up with a neat bow --in this world (and in our real one! :-)), Card makes clear, life and its challenges are an ongoing story.

One of my Goodreads friends who r
Feb 25, 2009 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Like this whole series, it has continuity issues, which Card treats cavalierly in the acknowledgments. The central story itself is more compelling, though I found it frustrating that it picked up so long after the previous book without allowing us to see the culmination of storylines Card left hanging that I as a reader had invested in. Having Alvin only with Arthur Stuart through most of the novel and other core characters appearing so late and some minimally is also frustrating. The analogy of ...more
Kat  Hooper
Nov 21, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

The Crystal City is the (maybe) final novel in Orson Scott Card’s TALES OF ALVIN MAKER. This series started off strongly with Seventh Son and Red Prophet, but it bogged down during books three and four (Prentice Alvin and Alvin Journeyman) and I was ready to give up. However, since I had already downloaded the audio version of the sixth book, The Crystal City, from my library, I decided to finish the series. (My library didn’t
Don Simpson
Good, but I'm growing weary of this series having no conclusion. After the first two books, none of the books end in a way that anticipates the next book, but nothing gets finished either. At some point, there has to be a final confrontation between Alvin and the Unmaker, and there has to be a resolution/destiny for Calvin. Please?
Apr 07, 2015 Dan rated it liked it
Ever since I started this series and realized that it wasn't finished. And that it's been 7 years since the last installment and that Orson Scott Card isn't dead, I've been mildly upset. But I listened to each book anyway and enjoyed them. I was pleasantly surprised that this book actually had a resolved ending. The series could end here and I would be content. The only loose string is Peggy's torchy vision of Alvin's future death when Calvin comes back around. I for one can be contented with ne ...more
John Loyd
Apr 08, 2015 John Loyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Crystal City (2003) 340 pages by Orson Scott Card

This is the sixth book in the Alvin Maker series. I enjoyed the first five, Seventh Son, Red Prophet, Prentice Alvin, Alvin Journeyman and Heartfire, but then I had to wait a year before I picked up Crystal City and I never got around to reading it until this week. Having read the Homecoming series in between I can see a lot of similarities. Alvin Maker, Nafai, Ender Wiggin all seem to have the same moral characteristics, and a sibling rivalry
Aug 07, 2007 Thomas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Didn't read it, because the story seemed to be petering out in the last book.

My one star review is for the lame cover art.

I felt insulted by that bullshit, and don't want to be seen with that romance novel looking book in my hands. How do you tell someone with taste that this is a really clever alternative history of America while they are looking at Fabio floating there on the cover?

The publishers are making their fantasy books impossible to recommend!
Stop it!

Jul 29, 2009 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, maps
The three's a gift for finishing the series . . . kind of.

Card had mercy on us. It's easy to detect in the telling of The Crystal City where Card jumped over enough time and material to have written another novel between Heartfire and this book. Thankfully, he didn't.

As I said before, the less you know about Card's religious beliefs, the more you'll enjoy this series (unless, of course, you share those beliefs).
Miz Lizzie
Although I have enjoyed the characters and the basic idea of this series, I found this final (so far; I believe one more volume is planned) offering a disappointment. Though there has been an overarching plot line of Alvin Maker seeking to make his vision of creating the Crystal City a reality, his journey there has been waylaid by minutiae introduced in side-adventures and new characters. All interesting enough in themselves but the movement forward is excruciatingly slow until, all of a sudden ...more
Mukta Mohapatra
This was a lackluster ending to the series. I am not Mormon, so I may have missed some allusions and nuances.

I wanted to see the Unmaker and Alvin in an epic showdown. I wanted to see the Civil War. I wanted to see a lot of things, but this book was mostly people walking around the US worrying about things that never happen in this book.

The went to New Orleans and a few other places to free slaves. Alvin learned that he can turn water into crystal by using a little of his blood and using his pow
Jan 22, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read the series - in each of the six, there are plenty of observations of human nature that give one pause and a reason to reflect. Another great set for those who like the idea of ruminating on what would a slightly to significant different America look like, while humans in this imagined scenario still faced with all the struggles and choices we deal with.
Jan 05, 2009 Memesmith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great conclusion to the series.

I don't recall which book it was, but it was said of Alvin's brother: He was the life of the party, unless being so would show someone else to be a buffoon in which case, he would remain silent rather than embarrass them. (So people stopped inviting buffoons to the parties they invited him to.) Interesting cocktail party image.
Jun 02, 2015 Rosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tengo que reconocer que esta saga bien podría seguir hasta que Orson se aburriera, lo que es bastante posible que haya pasado teniendo en cuenta que hace ya 12 años desde que este libro se publicara.

La saga es genial, es una novedad en la ficción centrarse en los dones de cada persona y, más, con la teoría de que son la manera en la que más afinidad tiene una persona para con el mundo.

El escenario en el que se desarrolla la historia, que fue inspiración a la saga, es un tiempo revuelto lleno de
Easily the weakest of the series. There is no dramatic tension at all, just people going to different places, doing things, and having things happen to them. As a reader, there was never any doubt in my mind that everything would work out fine and that no major characters would suffer in the end.
Jan 09, 2014 Samuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sixth and final volume of the Alvin Maker Series by Orson Scott Card, the Crystal City is an EPIC conclusion that did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the Biblical allusions to the book of Exodus with Alvin playing Moses, Arthur Stuart playing Joshua, and Calvin providing fog--a pillar of cloud--to lead/hide the 5,000 runaway slaves to safety across the Mississippi River. Abraham Lincoln enters the story and helps the displaced fugitives settle in the Noisy River territory--Illinois on a swa ...more
Seth Martin
The ending of OSC fantasy epic left so much to be desired. There were so many promises left unfulfilled, not least of all a Maker v Maker battle. Calvin was set up to be a prefect antagonist to his brother Alvin and OSC never did anything with this conflict. He also set up Author Stewart as a perfect proxy for Alvin since I dont have any disbelief that Alvin would have stomped Calvin if it came to some kind of fight.

Also, what the heck was with all the foreshadowing of Alvin's death. I can't thi
Jul 10, 2007 DMS rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2015 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2009 Dani rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Blah. That's all this book was. The baby from Heartfire is dead (don't worry its not a spoiler, you'll find out on the 1st or 2nd page anyway) and yet we've giving no reason to care. The readers aren't there for the actual birth or even for the struggle after it. Verily and Fink are gone, but we don't know why. by this book Card has made it impossible for me to care. Oh no some character I didn't know dies and its supposed to be upsetting. But it never comes off that way. It's a story that is la ...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.

6th, and at the moment last volume: 'The Crystal City.' Starting out at an unofficial orphanage for mixed-race children, Alvin unwittingly, by trying to help a sick woman, causes a plague of yellow fever, and ends up getting run out of town. Taking the orphans with him, and then me
Tim Giauque
The last couple of Alvin Maker books suffer from the same types of problems – this, The Crystal City, is the sixth book of seven planned for the Alvin Maker series, yet it doesn't feel like we're getting much closer to any kind of resolution. By the end of the book, a few little pieces have fallen into place, but I don't really know how Card is planning to finish the series. He probably doesn't, either, since as of now he has said nothing of any plans to write the final book, Master Alvin.

The wo
Oct 29, 2012 Sherri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the last book in the Alvin Maker series (though I've heard rumors that there is going to be another one) and it is the one where he finally begins to build the Crystal City - the city he has dreamt about since the very first book.

In this book he discovers what the Crystal City really is and how it will be built and by whom.

He and Arthur Stuart also begin a quest to save over 5000 black slaves from their cruel masters. Thus begins the trek to the site where the Crystal City will be built
Doug Cannon
Many years ago my brother Rob suggested that I read the Alvin Maker series. I never did get into it much until recently, and I'm glad I did. They were every bit as good as he said, and I enjoyed them very much.

Card is, as always, a very good story teller. In this particular book, I had wished to hear more from Taleswapper, rather than just a cameo. But, the story was good, and vaguely paralleled the exodus by Moses. We learned more about Alvin and Peggy's relationship, their characters, etc. Alv
Jan 18, 2012 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I can honestly say that it is a fair and worthy addition to The Chronicles of Alvin Maker. Good plot, plenty of action. Of course, not everything is resolved and several new problems are introduced; you definitely know you're in the midst of an open-ended series. Unlike Robert Jordan, though, Card still has a handle on how his universe works and manages to introduce interesting secondary characters without taking the focus away from Alvin, Peggy, Arthur Stuart and Calvin. It helps that Card allo ...more
Kathy Davie
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 enoug
Jun 02, 2013 Christophe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sur l'injonction de sa femme Peggy, c'est à La Nouvelle-Orléans (Nueva Barcelona sous l'occupation espagnole) que se rend Alvin en compagnie de son beau-frère métis Arthur Stuart. Il y découvrira la fièvre jaune, le désespoir et la vindicte, qui l'amèneront à conduire l'exode de milliers de réfugiés : Noirs affranchis, pauvres Français, esclaves libérés des plantations de coton. Il devra pour cela affronter l'épreuve la plus rude et la plus spectaculaire de sa vie, puis se tourner vers son viei
Fred D
Aug 16, 2009 Fred D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
Shelves: fantasy
Conclusion of the Alvin Maker Series (maybe). I'm actually really torn as to whether to give this book 5 stars or not. There were parts I really loved, and others not so much. I found the book a little preachy, though I suppose one could say that about a lot of Card's books. I usually don't mind it though, but this time it bugged me. I also saw the parallels between the events of this book and the events of Joseph Smith's life more clearly than the previous books in the series. For example, the ...more
Scott Sheaffer
This 6th book in the Alvin Maker series begins with Alvin in Neuva Barcelona (New Orleans) where he continues his work against slavery and the building of the Crystal City.

The parallels between the Crystal City and the bible are obvious. The scene where Alvin and his brother-in-law, Arthur Stuart build a crystal bridge, allowing others to seemingly walk on water brought shivers o my skin. While I enjoyed the obvious biblical parallels, Card frequently refers to the bible stories and I found thes
Jul 26, 2011 Stuart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sixth of the Alvin Maker tales of Orson Scott Card, this one has Alvin leading a mis-matched group of castoffs, including freed and escaped slaves, unwanted French and Spanish settlers and others in a trek from New Orleans (known as New Barcelona) to the Crystal City, which he at long last starts to build, with help from his friend Abraham Lincoln. There is also a sidetrack into Mexico with Steve Austin and Jim Bowie, featuring Alvin’s ne’er-do-well brother Calvin.

It’s been a few years since
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Goodreads Librari...: Better image file for book cover 3 15 Aug 31, 2015 05:23AM  
  • Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • Robota
  • Fortress of Eagles (Fortress, #2)
  • Count Brass (Eternal Champion, #15)
  • Through the Ice
  • The Dragon Quintet
  • Myth-Chief (Myth Adventures, #18)
  • Reave the Just and Other Tales
  • Heaven's Reach (Uplift Storm Trilogy, #3)
  • The Houses of Iszm
  • Drive to the East (Settling Accounts, #2)
  • Dune I
  • 1633
  • Quest of the Three Worlds
  • The Murderers (Badge of Honor, #6)
  • The Oak Above the Kings (The Tales of Arthur, #2)
  • Magnificat (Galactic Milieu Trilogy, #3)
  • The Stars are Also Fire (Harvest of Stars, #2)
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.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
More about Orson Scott Card...

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)
  • Heartfire (Tales of Alvin Maker, #5)

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