Summary Review: Best Card book in years. He is always best when writing about gifted young teens.
Over the years I have read many of Orson Scott Cards book (if my count based on wikipedia is right, then this is the 29th book.) Based on my original love of Ender’s Game I have read some that were fabulous, and many that were decent, and a few that I just did not like. There has been some clear rises and falls in his writing.
The Empire Series (my review Hidden Empire) is his most recent set and frankly I thought he was losing his touch. The writing is still fine, but I just did not care all that much about the characters. He has been re-treating the Ender world for far too long.
But in Lost Gate he seems to have found a new voice again. It is still a vastly talented boy that has to save the world. But a completely different world. And Card seems to understand how to write in the voice of a boy, so that is really a strength not a weakness of this book.
I have stopped reading Card’s book, I only listen to them now. Stefan Rudnicki produces and often does at least some of the reading for all of his audiobooks. A good fiction book, read by a good narrator is a pleasure. And I am very happy to listen to this pleasure free with my Overdrive account. Now that Overdrive had an android app for my phone, I am working my way through all the books that I want to listen to there.
The set up for The Lost Gate is that a long time ago there was a connection of gates between earth and another world. In both of the worlds there are people that are born with propencities toward magic. But the magic is very focused. You gain proficiency in your magic by loving and serving your type of object. So people control the wind by loving and serving the wind in order to get it to accomplish their will. These Mages are primarily focused on either elements or animals or plants, but some are Gate Mages that can create gates (tunnels) between two areas. And when you pass through a gate between worlds you magnify the power that you already have. So all the old Gods of legend were actually just Mages that regularly passed through the gates between worlds.
But Loki (of Norse myth) closed the gates between the worlds for reasons that no one now knows, more than 1400 years ago. And since then power has been weakening. There is a fear that any new Gate Mages will give someone too much power and they will rule the Earth as a God, so anyone suspected of being a Gate Mage is killed before they learn to control their power.
Danny is part of a Norse tribe that lives in seclusion in Virginia. He is thought to have no gift of magic, but he is very bright and eventually discovers that he is a Gate Mage. He goes on the run to keep from getting killed while he tries to figure out how to control and use his magic.
This is the first book of a series. It gives a very good introduction to the world, but is clearly set up for the next books. I did not see release dates on any other books, but this one was just published in January 2011.