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The Lost Gate (Mither Mages #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  13,838 ratings  ·  1,698 reviews

Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.

He g

Hardcover, 379 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Tor Books (first published December 20th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

Ever since the first time I read ENDER’S GAME, Orson Scott Card had a way of grabbing my attention and pulling me out of my normal genre preferences. In recent years, while I would still pick up his titles as they caught my eye, nothing had been able to recapture that initial attraction. Reading THE LOST GATE was like rediscovering a high school crush and falling in love all over again. I laughed, I read quotes out loud, and stayed up to all hours of t
Oh Orson Scott Card, your issues with sex are visible from SPACE.
Jan 09, 2011 Lis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
I quite liked the *other* Orson Scott Card books I've read, and this one sounded wonderful in the front cover. Unfortunately, I didn't like it much at all. The main character, Danny, was annoying (as were almost all the other characters), the magic system was vastly over-explained (good gad, there were *endless* conversations about it), and I was bored. Bored, bored, bored. By the last half, I was skimming every section with Danny's viewpoint.

Why I finished the whole book, and why I gave it two
One of the most interesting magic-mythical systems I've ever read. It explains all our myths in a really cool way. Super world(s) set up & some truly great characters. The main character was far from the best - not bad, but nothing special. Some of the supporting cast were just awesome, actually overshadowed the rest. Card's women in this book were better than the men. They had more range & were far more interesting. I LOVED the queen. What a tough, twisty woman!

Unfortunately, he over-e
Nov 24, 2014 seak rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio, 2011
3.5 Stars

Good in parts, a bit boring in others, but overall a pretty dang cool magic system and I really think the books to come will be even better. This was mostly a set-up for the rest of the series, especially after listening to the afterword.
Nina Bradley
I'm definitely in the minority here, but I don't enjoy reading Orson Scott Card. He can think up a good story, sure. The problem is with the way he conveys the story. He is the classic example of telling rather than SHOWING. He doesn't let the reader figure anything out. There is too much dialogue and not enough descriptive writing. Reading this book was like being handcuffed to the main character's brain and having to listen to every inane thing he ever thought or said. There were also some par ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Well...maybe I should make my guide line into a rule. You see I broke my "guide line" not to pick up "first books" anymore until later volumes of "series" or "trilogies" or "quad-ilogies", or "deca-ilogies" ("decaologies"?) or whatever "they" were going to be got published. This book came out in January this year and I got it from the library last week. Big mistake, especially if Mr. Card does a Martin or worse a Jordan.

I have read a lot of mediocre books of late, volumes I didn't hate but coul
Jon Parkinson
Interesting world, but I didn't find the story-telling to be very compelling. Card gets way too bogged down in explaining, over-explaining, and explaining yet again the details of how things work. Also, as in most of his latest fiction, all of his characters sound the same.

There's also a scene that was entirely uncalled for, involving a sex-crazed 20-something girl jumping the 12 year old protagonist. It seemed like one of those scenes Hollywood throws in to get more viewers--you know, the scene
I am of mixed minds about this book. It was a very fast and overall enjoyable read in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. I've read other Orson Scott Card books (loved Ender's Game and some of the sequels) and this had many of the same characteristics - precocious boy (perhaps too precocious) coming into his own to save the world with his unique skills. While the plots move along quickly (there are two alternating plots in different worlds that naturally collide at the end),the big climax feels rushed and ...more
Starts great, but doesn't hold up. What went wrong? Two things I think:

First, I didn't buy the tree-man's behavior. (view spoiler)

Second, and this I just couldn't get past, our main character
Jul 31, 2014 Eric rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Serious fans of Orson Scott Card
When I finished this, I realized I felt almost identically about this book as I did about the last OSC book I had read, Seventh Son, which was also a first in a series. Here are the bits of that review that apply:
Orson Scott Card is a very good storyteller, so even at his worst, his books are still worth reading. That being said, this entire novel felt like a ... prologue. It set up a lot of characters, a lot of history, and a good deal of how this alternative universe works, but not much happen
Katieb (MundieMoms)
2.5 stars

The Lost Gate is the first book I've read by Orson Scott Card. I've heard phenomenal things about his story telling and now I can understand why. Orson kept me engaged with his story with his detailed mythology and world building. I felt like I was apart of the world while reading about Danny's journey. I'll admit, I didn't feel a connection to his main character through out the whole story and at times some scenes were not at all what I was expecting, and little graphic, taking too muc
Whitley Birks
I wanted to like this book. I really did. It started out so good that I couldn't put it down at bedtime. It had interesting mysteries and characters, and the main protagonist was actually intelligent and figuring things out on his own.

And then, about halfway through the book, it's like the author just gave up. There was no story anymore, just pages upon pages upon pages of characters sitting around and talking. It wasn't even interesting talking. They were trying to figure out how Danny's magic
This book is nerdy in a bad way. The first sign of nerdiness is the premise: the mythological gods were real people but with amazing magical powers, and they live on in a diminished state, awaiting the birth of a gate mage, one with the power to transport them back to their faraway mystical home. I actually thought that sounded pretty cool, but I am a nerd. Louise (also a nerd) thought it sounded pretty lame, and I can see where she's coming from: recycled mythological ideas grafted onto a YA bi ...more
“The Lost Gate” by Orson Scott Card is the first novel in what is likely to be a series of Mithermage novels. As Card explains in the Afterword, he considers this to be his best magic system, but a system itself does not make a good novel. Where this novel lacks, and where his series with Ender and Alvin succeeded, is in the formation of the story as well as good characters. The main character of this book, Danny, doesn’t measure up to those two predecessors, and the story itself seems to have m ...more
So I've been listening to the Mither Mages books in conjunction with the Hex Hall series - I am listening to these ones at work and the Hex Hall books in my car, in case it seems like I've got an earplug from each story in each ear, playing at the same time! I'm not that crazy - and they're good bookends to each other, mirroring and contrasting in a lot of fun ways. The stories are similar: kid realizes s/he is magical and more powerful than originally thought and then quests and troubles happen ...more
Dec 19, 2011 Virginia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sarah Poon, Adam Heine
As always, what really sparkles in Card's books is his sarcastic and witty dialog. The rhythm of his words as his characters insult (with great affection) each other is always a highlight to me. That said, I enjoyed the book although I felt that a lot of it was a set-up for the later books. It's understandable since there is a lot of worldbuilding going on and a magic system that takes time to explain.

That's the other thing. I felt as if I could see the workings behind Card's thinking as he was
In the fictional universe of Orson Scott Card’s latest novel The Lost Gate, what we think of as gods were actually people from another planet (called Westil), who arrived here through magical “Gates.” Passing back and forth through these Gates gave people with minor or latent magical powers huge boosts to their skills, resulting in god-like abilities — and as a result, they were often thought of as actual gods and entered Earth’s mythology. Some time in the 7th century, the trickster Loki closed ...more
I admit that I initially found the book entertaining and engrossing. But, unfortunately, Card has the tendency to push the sexual content envelope in some of his novels--and did so here when I was about halfway into the book. I have reached a point in my life where no matter how good of a read the book might be, it is not worth completing if it contains "crap". In this case, it was all the more ridiculous because the incident did not appear germane to the plot whatsoever.

Aside from the "crap", I
I listened to this over the course of a month. Being fairly new to the world of audiobooks I found the process rather interesting, listening to rather than reading a book. As for the book itself, I enjoyed the story, the creation of a new worldview. The parallel story lines were a clever touch but the wrap-up, the "revelation" at the end seemed forced, contrived, too pat and quickly executed, as if the author was saying, "enough already, let's save something for the next book". I didn't apprecia ...more
The Lost Gate is a fascinating concept that ended up in a book that could have used a bit more editing. If I were able to give stars based on the idea, I'd give this book 4 stars. But the writing itself? A mere 2 stars. So I settled on 3. I did enjoy this book. Here's why:

Danny North is a believable character, if not an inherently likable one. Perhaps inevitably, I compared him to another Orson Scott Card youngster - Ender Wiggins. Danny is from a family of gods who live in isolation in Virginia
4 star novel with an unbelievably awesome magic system and world building. This is a first in a new series by Orson Scott Card and the first time that I have read him in years. I adore the Alvin Maker series and consider it one of the best Urban Fantasy series ever written. This novel is about a teenage boy named Danny. He is a little difficult to like and empathize with, as he is an incredibly smart ass and self centered youth, that may be a little too smart for his own good. The world building ...more
The ratings for this book seem high, so I know that I am in the minority on this one. I've read 2 other books by Orson Scott Card and enjoyed both of them. They've had good imaginative plots and make a fun story, which is why I picked this book to listen with my 12-year old son.

The Good: The story is based on ancient gods who still exist on earth with diminished powers and live mostly hidden from the rest of humanity. They are waiting for a gate mage to be born and create a Great Gate which will
Sandra Stiles
Orson Scott Card has done it again. He has created a book that is the first in a new series.
Danny North is descended from the great Norse god Odin. His family and friends all call him a drekka, someone without powers. But unknown to Danny he does have a power. He has the most powerful gift ever and it can get him killed. He has the gift of a gatemage. This is a problem because at one time all of the old gods (Greek, Norse, Roman, etc) lived in Westil and had the power to manipulate the humans in
Jocelyn Lee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl Boyd
I love Orson Scott Card so I really wanted to love this book. I was intrigued by the story and loved everything about it except for Card's liberal use of profanity, something he never used to do, and some rather graphic details of bodily functions that were gross and completely unnecessary. They added nothing of value to the story. He could have gotten his point across with much less gory detail! If not for those things I would have given it a five-star review. I make it a point to avoid profani ...more
Dec 24, 2013 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: fans of Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card writes interesting tales and characters! I loved going out to work in the garden with this audio book that constantly kept me entertained as I wondered what Danny North would do next, and I often found myself laughing!

Even though I tend to avoid books I view as unrealistic, I can't resist Orson Scott Card's books because they just suck me into the story!

In this novel, many are born with special powers which they must discover and develop. To me this is symbolic of the special ab
Wow, I just saw that I won this book yesterday, and it was on my door step this afternoon when I got home from work.. Now that is service! :)which is awesome, cause I am super excited for this one.. gonna start it right away! :)


I have never read any of Orson Scott Card's stuff. when I found out I won this I did a little research, and have read good things about him as an Author.

I was no disappointed when diving into this book. It was
I was disappointed to find this book was crude and pornographic. I didn't finish it.

I guess some of the crudity served a point in the protagonist's discovery of human nature. I hope the protagonist also finds goodness and beauty in the world but the other was so descriptive it wasn't worth finding out. The pornographic portion gives a detailed description of a prostitute molesting the 12 year old protagonist until the others in the room pull her off of him and laugh about it. It contains unnece
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42six General: Other uses of gates 1 3 Dec 28, 2011 05:27PM  
  • Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show
  • You Killed Wesley Payne
  • Лабиринт отражений. Фальшивые зеркала. Прозрачные витражи (Лабиринт отражений #1-3)
  • The Soul Mirror (Collegia Magica, #2)
  • The Unremembered (The Vault of Heaven, #1)
  • The Alchemist and the Executioness
  • Hellhole (Hellhole, #1)
  • Gracias/Thanks
  • The Rithmatist (The Rithmatist #1)
  • Wonders of the Invisible World
  • Oath of Fealty (Paladin's Legacy, #1)
  • Thirteen Orphans (Breaking the Wall, #1)
  • Progeny (The Children of the White Lions, #1)
  • Eclipsed By Shadow (The Legend of the Great Horse, #1)
  • The Grimoire of the Lamb (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #0.4)
  • Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris, #2)
  • The Desert of Souls (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand #1)
  • Warbound (Grimnoir Chronicles, #3)
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

Mither Mages (2 books)
  • The Gate Thief (Mither Mages, #2)
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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“Never mock a tender heart.” 4 likes
“We've decided that your birthday present will be a car", said Marion.
Danny was touched. "But the thing I can't figure out is, why would I need a new car?"
"You can't very well gate a girl to the movies, Danny," Leslie replied.
"I think you're overlooking the biggest point here," said Danny. "I don't need a CAR so I can date. I need a GIRL.”
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