This is a a western epic, with some fantasy thrown in. It takes place in the mid 1800’s, starting with a family traveling west in a covered wagon, pregnant woman inside. They almost meet tragedy when they try to cross a river, and a floating tree almost sweeps away the wagon. The oldest son saves the wagon, but drowns. And immediately, after, Alvin Maker, the seventh son of a seventh son, is born on the river bank.
Legend says that this makes Alvin a special person. And that he is. He has the power to make materials bend to his will. He can carve granite with exquisite precision. He can make a wood log split in two. And he can even heal his body, and other’s, from grievous wounds that would otherwise prove fatal.
Along with this special abilities though, come complications. The devil is after him, he ends up on the bad side of the local preacher, and because of his family’s near tragedy, anything that’s around him made up of water is out to get him. Which is pretty strange, since the human body is made up of 2/3 water. Oh well, on with the story.
Orson Scott Card has got quite an ability to mix a little magic into a good story without using so much magic that it outweighs the story. This book is a great beginning to the trilogy. And I read just yesterday that a movie is being made from this book. On to the next one, Red Prophet.