Monday, January 31, 2011
The Lost Gate
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Tor Books
Dan North knows from early childhood that his family is different — and that the differences are secrets that can never be told. This contemporary Urban Fantasy introduces the North family, a clan of mages in exile in our world, and their enemies who will do anything to keep them locked here.
The Lost Gate is a the first book in a new series by Orson Scott Card. In his afterword, he explains that this book was about 30 years in the making. I have to say that I am glad he took his time with it. The Lost Gate is about a boy who lives in our world with his magical family on a compound. It turns out that they were once gods and have been closed off from their homeland for the last 1400 years because a powerful Gatemage closed all of the gates between our world and the land of Westil. As a result, all of the stranded families have had their powers weakened over the years and can no longer do powerful magic. 13 year old Danny learns that he is a Gatemage and must flee his home. There is a pact among the families that any Gatemage that is born will be killed, because there is a fear that the family that has the Gatemage child will be able to become the strongest family. Intertwined with Danny's journey is that story of another boy in Westil named Wad. The 2 stories at first seem disconnected but it becomes clear toward the end how they relate to one another.
I enjoyed The Lost Gate. The author does a great job at drawing you into the mythology of the worlds he has created. The characters were very real and most were very likable. I admit that I didn't like Danny too much in the beginning, as I thought he was a bit of a jerk, but as he matured in the book, he grew on me. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and I wanted it to go on a bit more. I know that this is the first in a series, so I eagerly await the next one.
A slight warning to parents, this is being promoted as a YA, coming of age story. Honestly, I would use your own discretion before allowing your child to read this. I really felt like there was some content that was a bit mature for anyone under the age of 16 or 17. Even though Danny is only 13 in the beginning, he is put into some pretty adult situations. There is also some mature content in the parallel story about Wad. This is not Harry Potter! Given that, I would recommend this to any Fantasy fan. I enjoyed the audio-book. However, the deep voice of the male narrator made it hard to remember that Danny was only 13 in the beginning of the book.