9.23.2009

#6. The Ender Wiggin Stories

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"It was the miracle of the wafer, changed into flesh in his hands. How suddenly we find the breath of God within us after all, when we thought we were only made of dust."

Author: Orson Scott Card

Synopsis: In Ender's Game, Andrew Wiggin is a Third--a government-permitted child beyond the acceptable two per couple. His sister called him Ender as she learned to pronounce, and the name stuck. He becomes a Chosen One, raised in a Battle School designed to teach interspace military technique to children in anticipation of the third Bugger war. Ender is pushed to and beyond his limits in the school, and after triumphing in all the war games is taken to another station where he practices tactics as a general in a game--a game with deadly consequences.

In Speaker for the Dead, after several thousand years of traveling at relativistic speeds, Ender is an adult of approximately 35. He lives temporarily on an icy planet with his sister Valentine when he gets a call for a Speaker for the Dead--a position inspired by a book he wrote all those years before. Accepting will take him away from his sister, but he cannot resist the tormented heart of the young girl who placed the call. Besides, the Hive Queen thinks the girl's planet, Lusitania, will be a good place to live. Ender travels to Lusitania and finds much more than a simple need for a Speaker: a dread disease that is merely controlled, a sentient species with the habit of murdering their top citizens by evisceration, and a family in great turmoil all await the understanding of Andrew Wiggin, who would be universally hated if he were known by the name of Ender.

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I have only read the first two of this series, and Speaker for the Dead brings the set to the top. That book works on my heart every single time I read it--even when, as I once did, I read it straight through twice in a month.

Ender's Game I have read twice, and it is fantastic and powerful. Speaker is even better. Fascinating character psychology, true love of many kinds, intricate plot, imaginative scientific fantasy, and strong meanings on the allegorical and anagogical levels are all present in both. They should be read in order--Ender's Game first--to get the full impact.

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