Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Heartfire (Tales of Alvin Maker, #5)” as Want to Read:
Heartfire (Tales of Alvin Maker, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Heartfire (Tales of Alvin Maker #5)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  10,737 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews

Peggy is a Torch, able to see the fire burning in each person's heart. She can follow the paths of each person's future, and know each person's most intimate secrets. From the moment of Alvin Maker's birth, when the Unmaker first strove to kill him, she has protected him.

Now they are married, and Peggy is a part of Alvin's heart as well as his life.

But Alvin's destiny has

Audio CD, 1 page
Published August 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Heartfire, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Heartfire

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 29, 2010 Werner rated it really liked it  ·  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
Two stories in one, that end up coming together. On the one hand Alvin has formed a little gang with Mike, Verily and Arthur Stuart. Wandering around trying to work out how Alvin is going to build his Crystal City - or even what the Crystal City really is. In the process, Alvin gets accused of being a witch and Verily suddenly decides to take on the whole principle of witch trials and fight them through the courts.

The other story is of Peggy, now Alvin's wife, who is trying to get an audience wi
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 really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrew Obrigewitsch
Jul 08, 2016 Andrew Obrigewitsch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I found that these Alvin stories are really good at taking up moral dilemmas of early America and show then for what they where. The story telling is quite good as well.
Apr 02, 2015 Water rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2/5 Would not read again.

The suddenly slow pace of Alvin Journeyman continues in this novel. Alvin continues to be a complete and utter martyr whenever the opportunity presents itself and spends a lot of time being resigned about the fact that he HAS TO build the Crystal City because it's a thing to do and not because it's something he really WANTS to do. He is unrecognizable from the Alvin of the first two books and not in a remotely good way.

Peggy continues her single woman crusade against sla
Jul 27, 2009 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, maps
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.
Mukta Mohapatra
We continue the adventures of Alvin and Peggy as they try to abolish slavery, create other Makers and learn more about the Crystal City.

Peggy is trying to meet the King of the Crown Colonies so she can talk to him about abolition. The slaves are docile and it took her a while to figure out why.

When the slaves arrive, they put part of their soul/heartfire into a knotted rope and those are held elsewhere. Calvin gets his heartfire stuck there and he ends up letting all of the souls loose.

This is a
Miz Lizzie
The continuing saga of Alvin Maker finds Alvin on the outs with his sweetheart Peggy and twiddling his thumbs in one jail after another. Makepeace Smith charges Alvin with stealing his gold in order to make his journeyman piece, the golden plow. Out of the kettle and into the fire, Alvin then finds himself embroiled in a witchcraft trial in New England. Meanwhile, Peggy takes on the institution of slavery in Camelot. New characters and new colonies are introduced as Alvin gets no closer to reali ...more
Mathew Whitney
By the fifth book in Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker series, Heartfire, there's little chance that this entry will change many opinions about the series. For those with a continued interest in reading about Alvin's quest to become a Maker and build the Crystal City, this will certainly continue that story.

I'm leaning towards the opinion that this series was complete, and better, as a trilogy. Still, the series stands as something which shows the unique voice of the author, and is possibl
The first books where a little long winded from the recent books I've been reading, but feel they are coming together nicely in this book. Don't expect a quick story or quick answers, but if you listen at its pace you will hear and hopefully learn a lot about yourself, others, the way of people's hopes and how easy it is to lose track of your goals and purpose.

Again not a quick book, but full of lessons attached to real history. I found it very interesting to do some side wiki reading on those h
Jan 01, 2014 Samuel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 07, 2015 Jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition


Government is like watching another man piss in your boot. Someone feels better but it certainly isn’t you.

Cupid shoots his arrows where they’ll cause the most mischief.

Virtue is what you treasure until you feel desire, and then it becomes an intolerable burden to be cast away, and only to be picked up again when the desire fades.

But that was the way of the world – seducers and rapist rarely bore the consequences of their acts, or at least not as heavily as the seduced and the broken-spi
Continuing the story of Alvin Maker and his quest to build the Crystal City, Heartfire has Alvin thrown in jail and on trial again--this time for witchcraft--after he and his companions meet a knackishly talented young woman whose futures threaten to end with her execution for witchcraft and they decide to help her avoid that fate. At the same time, in New England, Peggy Larner continues her quest to abolish slavery and Alvin's brother Calvin seeks a way to free the slaves' heartfires after Pegg ...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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2013 Christophe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 02, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
May 23, 2015 Lobo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Azt hiszem, kb. itt van, hogy ezt a sorozatot is feladom. Mert úgy tűnik nem tart sehova. Legalábbis én nem látom hogy lenne valami cél. Ha egy kötet szól arról, Alvinnak ismét lesz egy új követője, akkor elég sokáig fog tartani, mire annyi embert összegyűjt, hogy megépítse az álmaiban látott Kristályvárost. Nem mondom, Card stílusa továbbra is jó, bár most kicsit sok volt a felesleges moralizálás, az akciók meg gyorsan lezajlottak, s nem is teljesen kielégítően történtek meg. A rabszolgaság kér ...more
Jan 03, 2011 Juli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2013 Evgeni Kirilov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 24, 2015 Rosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La historia avanza con el antagonismo entre Alvin y Calvin y el contexto histórico cada vez más revuelto y con bastante fantasía de por medio.

Para alguien que no conoce mucho sobre la historia de América y, en concreto, de EEUU es una manera muy fácil de ir cogiendo una idea aunque esté claro que los hechos no pudieron darse como tal. Sin embargo, dentro de la historia funciona y le da un buen marco en el que moverse.
Teal Duncan
We picked this up at the library as an audiobook not realizing it was part of a series. We didn't like it because of how slow moving and tedious it was but I guess that's understandable since it's an epic so it has to jump from one location to another. Also we could have done without the long monologues on government.
Mar 04, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Heartfire, the last volume of the Alvin Maker series, Alvin goes to trial for witchery up in New England, a place where they don't take kindly to such things. A couple historical names you will recognize appear in the story, sparking things up a bit.
James Biser
Aug 20, 2015 James Biser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be one of the better parts of the Alvin Maker series. It was fascinating to watch Alvin's brother, Calvin discover his true nature and become more of a good maker like Alvin. It was also nice for Alvin to be back with his pregnant wife.
I also enjoyed the part John Adams played in the story:
Nov 05, 2012 Brandon rated it liked it
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
Oct 28, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 02, 2011 Craig Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Better image file for a book cover 3 16 Sep 02, 2015 02:23AM  
  • Gatherer of Clouds (Initiate Brother, #2)
  • Redwood and Wildfire
  • Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • Shame of Man (Geodyssey, #2)
  • 1812: The Rivers of War (Trail of Glory, #1)
  • Driving Blind
  • Reave the Just and Other Tales
  • Fortress of Eagles (Fortress, #2)
  • Wolfking
  • Robota
  • Wizard of the Winds (Tales of the Timuras, #1)
  • Songs of Earth and Power
  • Masterpieces of Fantasy and Wonder
  • Von Bek (Eternal Champion, #2)
  • Operation Chaos (Operation Otherworld, #1)
  • The Original Curse: Did the Cubs Throw the 1918 World Series to Babe Ruth's Red Sox and Incite the Black Sox Scandal?
  • The Tau Ceti Agenda
  • The Fifth Book of Lost Swords: Coinspinner's Story (Lost Swords, #5)
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)
  • The Crystal City (Tales of Alvin Maker, #6)

Share This Book

“My father always said that government is like watching another man piss in your boot. Someone feels better but it certainly isn't you.” 20 likes
“Do not shout at me, Mr. Quill," said John [Adams]. "Justice may be blind, but she is not deaf.” 11 likes
More quotes…