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Prentice Alvin (Tales of Alvin Maker #3)

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  13,072 ratings  ·  226 reviews
The Tales of Alvin Maker series continues in volume three, Prentice Alvin. Young Alvin returns to the town of his birth, and begins his apprenticeship with Makepeace Smith, committing seven years of his life in exchange for the skills and knowledge of a blacksmith. But Alvin must also learn to control and use his own talent, that of a Maker, else his destiny will be unfulf
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published December 15th 1989 by Tor Fantasy (first published 1989)
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Question: How is reading a sequel to a book you loved similar to a restroom visit after “Spicy Night” at the Taco Emporium?

Answer:...Both require you to manage your expectations and BE PREPARED.

Well, stupid toss-pot that I am, I broke the cardinal rule of sequels and went hopscotching headlong into this book with my mental gas mask safely stowed up on the top shelf behind the untouched can of “use your brain” spray.

And it happened...

...I got a stinging, gut-twisting case of "the sequels"...for
Orson Scott Card is one of those writers who seems to have great ideas for how to begin sagas but can quickly lose focus sometime around the third book. I found this to be the case with the Ender saga, which had two superb initial installments before a third novel that signalled a slow but eventual decline in quality.

As I read the Alvin Maker saga, I am worried the same thing may be happenening here. I'm not sure if I'd read this one before. There were moments in the story that I kept having an
In the introduction Card suggests that the short story that led to the creation of this series is contained within this novel. Something about a golden plough, which will all make sense to you when you read the novel. And that kinda shows. This book feels more developed than the previous two, more thorough, more thought through and better paced. Having read that introduction, and this novel, the previous two books start to feel a bit like a really long prequel. But, a prequel that Card really wa ...more
Sep 13, 2009 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans, and alternate-world fans
As the above description indicates, this installment of the series finds Alvin at a transitional stage of his life, learning how (and how not) to use his unique powers as a Maker, in the service of the vision of the Crystal City which Tenskwa-Tawa, the Prophet, showed him as a child. But it also marks a transitional time in the life of Peggy, the "torch" (seer) whose destiny has been entwined with his since she was a toddler five years old. Her visions of possible futures are manifold, depending ...more
Kat  Hooper
Posted at FanLit.

Prentice Alvin is the third book in Orson Scott Card’s TALES OF ALVIN MAKER. After the excitement in the last book, Red Prophet, when Alvin and his family experienced the Battle of Tippecanoe, Alvin is finally off to Hatrack River, where he was born, to begin his apprenticeship to Makepeace Smith, the blacksmith. He’s also hoping that Peggy, the Torch who watches over him, can help him figure out what it means to be a Maker because he’s h
May 13, 2008 Heather rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Folks
Recommended to Heather by: Jeremy
I enjoyed the story, but once again Card relies too much on coincidence. Characters just happen to do what they need to for the story to work, though it doesn't make sense -- for example, Alvin and Miss Larner falling in love. He just didn't convince me of that one. And he saves himself the trouble of explaining how Alvin came to trust in Miss Larner above anyone else by simply leaving that part out. None of that stops me from finishing out the series, though. I'm dying to see how it all turns o ...more
This book is another good step along the story arc, but what keeps me from rating it higher is the author's version of philosophy that permeates the series and pulls me away from the story.

His philosophy seems to mingle religion and his personal views and sentiments. This philosophy doesn't seem to be presented as a fantasy philosophy, but as a real philosophy. This may be what is done in most books, but it feels far from reality, yet presented as truth. I can't reconcile it.

What's more, there
Alice Lee
I liked this one a bit more than the first two, and would've given it a 3.5 instead of 3 if I could. It doesn't deserve a 4, however. Having been a long time OSC reader, I surprisingly sit on the fence when it comes to my opinion of him. He's written two of the best books I've read, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. There are a few VERY good ones, like Lovelock. And then, there's some atrocious pieces, like the last two of the Ender series, or Songmaster. In addition, his writing can be any ...more
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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:

Alvin has begun his "prenticeship" and though he comes to Hattrack river mostly to speak to the girl, Peggy, who, as a torch, had the ability to show him his futures and is likely the only person who can help him figure out how to be a real Maker, she flees before he even arrives.

This is a split st
Mar 13, 2011 Peter added it
The series continues with solid levels of quality: Alvin has begun his "prenticeship" and though he comes to Hattrack river mostly to speak to the girl, Peggy, who, as a torch, had the ability to show him his futures and is likely the only person who can help him figure out how to be a real Maker, she flees before he even arrives.

This is a split story for most of the duration, flickering from Alvin on one side, to Peggy on the other, and converging near the end. Alvin's apprenticeship is very in
I think I really appreciate Card's work as a break from Stephen King's Dark Tower. It's epic and rich and a very American fantasy with violence and evil people and forces in it but still lighter than King. This being a middle book it's quite a bit of... not set up but plot thickening I guess and I'm still connecting with the characters and excited to see where it goes. I also appreciate that Card shows scorn for religious hypocrites without dismissing entire religions like Mists of Avalon seemed ...more
Alvin is finally starting to understand what it means to be a Maker. A lot more drama going on than on the other books, but a lot more adventure too. I am curious about the possibilities of Alvin's future here, and of Alvin's love. I simply adore Arthur Stuart. He's so sweet and loveable :)
I would probably give this book a 3.5 stars, but it wouldn't let me, so it only gets three. OK, here's my take. If you can get through the first 2 books, book 3 is where it starts to get really good. I wouldn't say that it's "can't put the book down" good (at least not until the very end), but still interesting. The characters are well developed, which is probably why books 1 & 2 seem so boring because those are the books in which the development takes place, and the story well told. Warning ...more
Rebecca Workman
I think Mr Card has an amazing talent for exploring characters and offering insight into human struggles. This particular book gets a little racy compared to the first two but certainly extremely tasteful and poignant in the choices of when to use such scenes to keep them useful but not irksome. I loved the book. His storytelling powers are awe-inspiring. His fantastical creation is delicious. His alternate history relieves the pressure actual history books out on me to figure out if I trust an ...more
Stuart Langridge

High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Prentice Alvin (1989) is an alternate history/fantasy novel by Orson Scott Card. It is the third book in Card's The Tales of Alvin Maker series and is about Alvin Miller, the Seventh son of a seventh son. Prentice Alvin won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1990, was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1989, and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1990. After being released from his time with Ta-Kumsaw, an Indian leader who ta

This book like the first two in the series grabbed me from the start. I really enjoyed how Card focused on Peggy and developed her character more this time around since I think I would have gotten bored with 7 years of Alvin's apprenticeship (with minimal usage of his knack) drawn out for the entire book. What stopped me from giving this book another star was Card's preachy, thinly-veiled theology towards the end. Come on, we already see the spiritual symbolism throughout, do we really need it s ...more
Jun 11, 2007 Hechilles rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Cheesy fantasy lovers
Shelves: cheesyfantasy
This book - nay, this whole series - from the cover to the writing, made me think the title should have been "The Blacksmith's Arms" and pictured Fabio on the front of it. The fantasy aspect of it was interesting and actually kept you engaged, but the description of Alvin's physique and his romance with whats-'er-face made me think this was co-written with Nicholas Sparks. I didn't read the last book in the series, and I don't know if I will.
I almost didn't get past the first chapter of this book but it did get better. If it wasn't part of a series, I wouldn't have bothered, but I'm still intrigued by Card's use of symbolism and LDS references in trying to create an American mythology.
Will Jones
First off, I read this entire book in one day, not to boast, I'm just saying that this series has had me completely enthralled. Now this book was good but you're aren't going to find any shocking plot twist or much in the way of challenges to be overcome and for some that may make this book quite boring. The writer kind of puts everything on the table for you here and you can more or less see where its all going as it goes there. This book is about Alvin and Peggy's growth. Growth as people and ...more
Even if you disagree with some of his opinions, Orson Scott Card is an excellent writer. In the third entry to the Alvin Maker series, Alvin has arrived in Hattrack a year late to begin his apprenticeship to the local blacksmith. On the eve of his arrival, a runaway slave who sacrifices herself for her infant son also winds up in Hattrack. Card uses the framework of Alvin's seven-year apprenticeship to visit various tales of good versus evil. There is the overarching series theme of the Maker ve ...more
I just couldn't face another one. The religious parallels got just to sickeningly blatant.
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I really liked the first two Alvin Maker books, even though from the beginning there were some niggling things that were bothering me. It's a fantasy set in an alternate history America--which is a lot of what had made it so fun. Things seem to have split off from our Timeline at least by the time of the English Civil War. There's a Lord Protector in 1800--but also a (much truncated) United States, without slavery and with Native Americans who are full citizens. (There is still slavery in a riva ...more
In the 3rd book of the Alvin Maker series we find Alvin as an apprentice for a smithy - forging iron into various needed articles. Alvin works very hard for his master Makepeace Smith and soon bypasses him in skill. However Alvin must serve out his apprenticeship as Makepeace Smith won't let him out of the contract early.

Meanwhile Alvin is taking school lessons in the evenings from the school teacher, Miss Larner. She is teaching him about atoms and how the world works. Alongside Alvin in his cl
Doug Cannon
Moving straight to this book is a no-brainer at this point. I will certainly read the whole series now. I was pleased to have Peggy come back into this story, I've been curious about what she has been up to.

The stories in this book were very interesting. The adult nature of the villain and his work would prevent me from reading this book to the kids. In fact, I'd probably have them wait until they were at least 16 or so to read it themselves.

The parallels to Joseph Smith in this book seemed more
I'm now addicted to this series and will surely listen to all seven. I highly recommend this series on audible to anyone with a long commute. I don't know if I'd enjoy it as much reading, and I normally wouldn't get into a seven book series, however it seems to add some continuity to my commute. The readers are excellent.

This is Alvin from about 12-19 serving his apprenticeship as a blacksmith in Hatrack River. He's learning more about his "maker" powers. Very interesting perspective on creation
I have really mixed feelings about this book. It was really engrossing...'Gross' being the key word at times! I still really like the story and the huge fight between good and evil that is always present. It has the makings of a great love story...but that, I'm sure, will be developed more in the following book(s). The hard part of this one was some of the content. At the beginning of the book, it says that this book is not for children. I definitely agree!! It was harsh at times, gross at times ...more
I really liked this book--I felt like Card was finally headed somewhere with the series, and the pacing of the story wasn't as stilted as the first two. Red Prophet was good, but it almost seemed like two separate books--one about the Prophet and his brother and the other about Alvin. This book felt cohesive and like it was finally turning the series in some ultimate direction. Plus, I am a sucker for even the possibility of a little romance.

This one kept me turning pages, but the main reason I
« Je suis le Faiseur, dont la torche parlait, se dit Alvin. Elle a vu que j'avais en moi de quoi devenir un Faiseur. Faut que je trouve cette fille et faut qu'elle me dise ce qu'elle a vu. Parce que je le sais : si je possède ces pouvoirs que je me suis découverts, ce n'est pas uniquement pour tailler de la pierre sans les mains, guérir les malades ni courir dans les bois comme les hommes rouges. J'ai une tâche à remplir dans la vie et je n'ai pas l'ombre d'une idée sur la façon de m'y préparer
Book 3 of 6 in Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series--half way through. This book takes on some more adult themes as Alvin enters his adolescence and later completes his path to manhood as a nineteen year old finished with his 7-year apprenticeship. Slavery, the Fugitive Slave Treaty (Law), and the utterly evil practice of "improving the black race" through forceful procreation by southern slave-owning megalomaniacs are all broached in the continued alternate history of early nineteenth century ...more
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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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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)
  • Alvin Journeyman (Tales of Alvin Maker, #4)
  • Heartfire (Tales of Alvin Maker, #5)
  • 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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“He’d undone all he could. You can be sorry, and you can be forgiven, but you can’t call back the futures that your bad decisions lost” 7 likes
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