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Stone Tables

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,718 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
In this imaginative and vivid interpretation of the story of Moses, Orson Scott Card portrays the conflicts, the relationships, and the trials that drove one man from greatness to despair and back to greatness of a very different sort. The epic tale also traces the journey of a people destined to find their way out of slavery and sin to the light of Jehovah. A moving story ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published March 1st 2000 by Shadow Mountain (first published February 15th 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,675)
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Cmadler
Since this is a novel of religious fiction, I suppose it's worth noting right off the bat that I'm an atheist. So, on the one hand, the story of Moses carries no more significance to me than, say, the story of Jason Worthing or of Ender Wiggin (except that I recognize that many people do believe the story of Moses to be true). On the other hand, with no personal horse in the race, it's easy for me to look beyond some of the theological issues (generally stemming from Card's Mormonism -- in the p ...more
Stephen Gallup
Mar 04, 2015 Stephen Gallup rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third of Card's novels based on the Old Testament that I've read (the others being Sarah and Rebekah ), and I've enjoyed at least three other titles as well (of which the best was Pastwatch ). Ranking them is difficult, but in terms of literature this is probably the second-best overall and the most important of his Bible-based stories.

I began reading with interest because Card indicates in the preface that he'd put serious, sustained thought and research into the project--not pr
...more
Lori Greco
Apr 01, 2014 Lori Greco rated it liked it
The first book I read from Orson Scott Card was Ender's Game. Fantastic. Unfortunately for me, none of his other books have lived up to Ender's Game. I've read most of his books, because he is a good writer and his books are clean. Although I liked Stone Tables, it seemed like a long bedtime story to me. Something I'd heard many times before, being embellished a little differently this time. However, I really liked his correlation/comparison between Moses' experiences and how they were a "shadow ...more
Sophia
Jan 28, 2016 Sophia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Another favorite! I loved Stone Tables! I read this book at a time when I was also studying the Old Testament in seminary and the story of Genesis. Orson Scott Card did a fabulous job of making the story both biblically accurate and at the same time almost more believable than what I have read just skimming over the story in the Bible. It's not that I don't believe what is written in the Old Testament, but Card put things into a new light for me, giving the characters more personality and backgr ...more
Colleen Houck
Another example of Card's ability to deftly glean human emotion and find the spark that motivates. I am truly amazed at the research and creativity that went into this book and find it truly as inspirational as the text it's based on.
QueenAmidala
Apr 02, 2012 QueenAmidala rated it really liked it
Moses! Moses! Moses! Kinda missed the Cecle B. DeMille movie version, but this was a good read and I couldn't put it down.
Alanna
Sep 12, 2012 Alanna rated it really liked it
I think if this had been written by anyone else, I would have given it five stars, so maybe I'm being harsh just because I have such high expectations of Card.

But this really is a very well done book. I think one of Card's specialties (and based on the entire Ender series, I'm pretty sure he knows this, too) is writing INSANELY intelligent characters and letting their power struggles play out. It's like watching a really good chess match, but with both players letting you peer into their thought
...more
Sundy DeGooyer
Dec 04, 2010 Sundy DeGooyer rated it it was amazing
"Stone Tables" is a novel exploring the life of Moses, using what we "know" about Moses from the Bible and other sources and then creatively filling in the details. I love Orson Scott Card and his books, so I expected this to be good. But I was wrong --- it was outstanding! By the end of the book, I felt like I knew Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, and even Pharoah --- or at least Card's "take" on these ancients. He also provided very plausible reasons why little or no archaeological evidence exists f ...more
Josh Meares
Oct 21, 2011 Josh Meares rated it really liked it
Elephant in the room: Orson Scott Card is Mormon. From reading his debate with Al Mohler on beliefnet (which seems to have disappeared from the interwebs), I would also say that it is quite possible that OSC is a Christian.

However, coming to this book, there are going to be a very few strange things that OSC draws from the Book of Moses. Anyone familiar with the story will just blink twice and continue on. There are also some theological themes (mostly around the idea of sovereignty, salvation,
...more
Shara
Sep 23, 2008 Shara rated it really liked it
I like this take on what happened to Moses and his family. As a religious person who believes that God listens to my prayers and expects me to obey when he gives me an answer, this story hits home. As Moses gets his "assignment" from I think, "holy cow I have to be careful what I pray for." I'm grateful for my little part in this world. (LITTLE)

As Moses talks to his brother Aaron after he comes down from the mount and sees the mess he's made, I feel Moses was patient and a good teacher. He help
...more
Ben Peters
Apr 05, 2011 Ben Peters rated it it was ok
Card is an undisputed master storyteller. Unsurprisingly, this book enlivens and embellishes the story of Moses, his siblings Aaron and Miriam, his mother (or two), his wife (or two), the Jewish people (or twelve tribes), and a long-line of self-poisoning Pharoahs (one of which serves, rather wonderfully, as his mother, father, and sister). Still, the value of this quick and absorbing read is definitely not the characters that emerge, but rather the political intrigue and drama their actions lay ...more
Christina
Apr 02, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went to the library looking for the final book in Card's Women of Genesis series, and found this book about Moses. I think I enjoyed it even more! I think the characters have more depth - more good and bad within each person. I especially enjoyed seeing the growth of Aaron.

I have always been fascinated by Egyptian history, and I was very interested in the period of time that the author chose to 'insert' the story of Moses. I even went online and did some research on Hatshepsut. I hadn't ever r
...more
Nathaniel Irvin
There is a lot to admire about Card's portrayal of Moses. While Charlton Heston and Val Kilmer (from Dreamworks' Prince of Egypt) gave perfectly serviceable deliveries, Card is finally able, in prose form, to paint him as a real person. Heston's Moses is one-dimensional, the epic hero; Kilmer's is too young and sloppy; but Card's is pretty close to how I imagine Moses actually was.

The main problem I have with this novel is that the characters are not given distinct voices. This would be obnoxiou
...more
Joe
Nov 02, 2007 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fleshes out the story of Moses. I really like some of the themes it explores and some interpretations. Interestingly, he had a lot of similar perspectives as the maker of Prince of Egypt, though in many ways it is quite different.
I wished that he would have explored Moses' spritual development more. He started off well, but then sort of fast forwarded. I would have also liked to have had the other characters developed further, including Jethro, Zipporah, Miriam, and Aaron. It also rushed thro
...more
Kim T
Feb 25, 2014 Kim T rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction based on Moses and Aaron. I found very few places that were not in line with scripture, and most of the fictional parts were plausible and could even be likely. Gave such a rich experience to the story, and was captivated by Card's take on why Aaron would have allowed the Israelite's to make the golden calf… a question that interests many of us. His take gives a very plausible possibility. The humanity of the characters are so well done, and I found m ...more
AllTheMarbles
Apr 23, 2016 AllTheMarbles rated it really liked it
This was an interesting take on a familiar story. I was a little confused (and bored) by the Hapshepsut as Pharaoh story, which is unfortunate because she was obviously a very strong woman. But the rest of it moved quickly and made me think more about what might have happened beyond what "The Ten Commandments" movie shows. I like Card's writing style in this book; he doesn't dumb down his writing but it seems easier than "Ender's Game" and some of his other novels.
Maja
Feb 08, 2013 Maja rated it really liked it
I picked up this book at a library sale because I was intrigued by the subject. And, unlike most books I actually read this book. I'll have to say it was the best 10 cents I've ever spent.

I think it provided a well thought out portrait of Moses and the people who were part of his life. I liked the fact that it doesn't just tell the story but also lets you get into the heads and hearts of the characters. As you get to know the characters you gain and understanding of what might have motivated the
...more
Mimi
Jun 03, 2010 Mimi rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
This is the second time I have read the book, and I enjoyed it both times. I think that Orson Scott Card does an excellent job of bringing the Bible story to life. I appreciate what he wrote in his forward where he acknowledges that his story is fiction and not scripture and that if new findings came out that disagreed with his book, he would have no problem with that. He did say that as far as he knows there is no proof against his version either, so it's not wrong or right—just his idea of wha ...more
Elizabeth
Oct 21, 2009 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Shelves: retellings, 2009
This is a retelling of the story of Moses from Exodus. I thought Card did a good job on the setting. I think I had only heard of Hatshepsut, the woman pharoh, in passing and certainly not her name. But I think the setting fits. When I was in college we did go over the Hyksos rulers and their overthrow as a possible time period for this story. I thought Tuthmose was very well written in his pride and arrogance.

This is unapologetically Mormon in theology (no really, Card even says so in his introd
...more
Kris Irvin
Jul 07, 2012 Kris Irvin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
OSC may be a little weird, but his writing is still good. This one was a little drier in places than I like, and I got bored a few times. But I liked the book well enough, and enjoyed the bits of humor sprinkled throughout. I HATED Moses at the beginning. I get that he was "slow of speech" but, oh, those ...'s drove me insane. So much hate.

Jethro was by far my favorite part. Yay Jethro!

As a lifelong Mormon, I *think* this book would translate for non-LDS readers and they would understand it, b
...more
Ryne Steinacker
Apr 10, 2014 Ryne Steinacker rated it liked it
I read this sometime back in junior high. It was a pretty good story. It helped to expand my conception of the story of Moses compared to what is generally depicted in popular culture. (E.g., "What?!? I'm an Israelite? This is a complete surprise!" in movies such as The Ten Commandments or The Prince of Egypt.)
Aneesa
Sep 02, 2008 Aneesa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bible-Fiction Lovers
I've been thinking about reading this book for a while, but finally checked it out while my dh was out of town. My life is so busy that I was forced to take a whole week to read it! (that is a LONG time for me) I picked it up at night, and during the day had time to think about what I had read. I LOVED this book. I always like historical fiction, but this one was very easy to relate to myself. It led me to ponder the reality of Moses, and the reality of God in the lives of His children. I thorou ...more
Meleece
May 06, 2010 Meleece rated it really liked it
I love how Card can take stories from the scriptures, ones that we've heard about all our lives, and give them a fresh and interesting perspective that makes you think differently about ancient people and prophets. Though some of his ideas, I personally believe, are at times a little extreme or off the mark, I do enjoy reading about his characters who have such life and minds of their own. I was a bit disappointed with the end of the book. It felt a little rushed, like I would have loved to read ...more
Erika Stowell
I really enjoyed this novel. It gave me a new insight into the life of Moses. We've all heard the story of Moses our whole lives but this really brought the man Moses to life for me. Thoroughly enjoyed it!
Karen
Feb 28, 2016 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, bible
Not as good as his "Women of Genesis" books, but interesting I suppose. Didn't know that Orson Scott Card had a hand in a musical.
Tammy
Dec 31, 2015 Tammy rated it liked it
It was well written but the ending felt rushed. I definitely could tell that OSC is of a different religious persuasion than I am, but most of the time it didn't make a difference.

There was something about the book that just didn't seem quite realized.
Aaron Macdonald
Feb 25, 2014 Aaron Macdonald rated it really liked it
The average rating of 3.86 seems right on. But you have to round up or down to full stars.

Card mentions in the prolog that this is an early work, written while he was a young missionary (about 20). Though he updated it, it's apparent it's not his strongest work. The character development and dialog are good, but not great.

That being said, though, this book is still enjoyable as a look into what might have been. The story flows along and leaves you excited to keep coming back to it.
Madelyn
Feb 22, 2014 Madelyn rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, as expected; have always have enjoyed Card's books. Historical Novel is one of my favorite genres.
Rob
Oct 07, 2015 Rob rated it liked it
Started off great then turned into what it was written for. The Mormon Doctrine. Understandable but disappointing.
Elar
Feb 09, 2015 Elar rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
Alternative take on Moses story. On some points it makes more sense than the Bible, but is still too much chained to dogmas.
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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.
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
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