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Red Prophet (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 2)…

Red Prophet (Tales of Alvin Maker, Book 2) (original 1988; edition 1992)

by Orson Scott Card

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2,574222,328 (3.8)23
I really liked it. I can't say I liked it as much as the first one, mainly because I found the parts with Hooch and the parts with the French to be uninteresting. I understand why they were there, but I really didn't care what was happening.

I loved the rest of it though. I really like how the alternate history still somewhat mirrors the real history of Tecumseh and Tenscwatawa. I loved the ending. It's extremely sad because Vigor Church will never be the same again. I love it, though, because Card does an amazing job of making me feel the whole extent of what happened.

In all, it was good. Although there were some boring parts, the good parts definitely kept my interest, so I wanted to keep reading. ( )
  Arkholt | Jan 8, 2011 |
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The second in the Alvin Maker series.
Similar to what Card did in the 'Ender' series, this book starts off covering a lot of the same time period and events as the previous book, but taken from a different character's perspective. It also ventures further into 'alternate history' territory (and boy is it alternate!)
It's about the well-known Native American leader Tecumseh, and his brother Tenskwatawa, who was known as a prophet. (all true).
I have to say that I think the book would have worked better as a pure fantasy story rather than alternate history. As it stands, it doesn't just venture into; it is ALL ABOUT the stereotypes of Native American culture. It's a very allegorical story, but if you want to have a culture be part of an allegory, it works better if it's a made-up culture, not peoples' real lives and history.
For example, an critical point in the story is the famous battle at Tippecanoe. In reality, this was a bloody but equally joined battle between Tecumseh's forces and those of to-be-President Harrison (who, in the book is more-evil-than-evil). In reality, Harrison did win, but there were an about-even number of casualties (less than 100) on each side.
In the book, "Tippy-Canoe" is a massacre: In revenge for the supposed killing of two white boys, white gunmen slaughter NINE THOUSAND Natives who, sworn to peace and non-violence, peacefully line up, unarmed, to be slaughtered.
Now, if Card wants to make a point about martyrdom, that's all well and good, but I have issues with completely rewriting reality like that. And I know I'm not the only one who gets tired of seeing Native Americans portrayed as mystically close to nature, blah, blah, blah. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Originally posted at FanLit:

Red Prophet is the second book in Orson Scott Card??s THE TALES OF ALVIN MAKER, an alternate history set in a frontier America in which folk magic is real. In the first book, Seventh Son, we were introduced to the main protagonist of the series, Alvin Miller who, because heƒ??s the seventh son of a seventh son, is a gifted healer. We meet Alvin as a baby and follow him into boyhood. At the end of the story he has a vision of a shining man who gives him moral guidance.

In Red Prophet we learn that the shining man is Lolla-Wossiky, an alternate version of Tenskwatawa, spiritual leader of the Native American Shawnee tribe. His brother Tecumseh is their chief. While Card focused on the religious implications of a magical American frontier in the first book, the focus here is on the interaction between the ƒ??Whitesƒ? and the ƒ??Redsƒ? and culminates with The Battle of Tippecanoe.

At the beginning of the story, William Henry Harrison, governor of Carthage City, is dealing with the Native Americans his own way ƒ?? with poison. He purchases huge quantities of whiskey and sells it to the ƒ??Whiskey Reds.ƒ? Because they have a low tolerance for alcohol (itƒ??s genetic), they become alcoholics and many die. Andrew Jackson is disgusted with Harrisonƒ??s sneaky tactics; he wants to do the more honorable thing and just shoot them all.

Tecumseh, who realizes that alcohol is killing his people and knows of Jacksonƒ??s plans, decides to lead his people against the Whites. He allies with the French in Canada, led by the effete Marquis de Lafayette and Napoleon Bonaparte (yes, Napoleonƒ??s in America). Lafayette, however, has his own agenda. He secretly loves the idea of democracy and he admires the American spirit. He wants to use Bonaparte to bring democracy to France. (This storyline is amusing, especially when read by the narrators I listened to in Blackstone Audioƒ??s version.)

Alvin Maker, who is on his way to his apprenticeship, meets Tecumseh and becomes involved with the war. Not only is he instrumental in affecting the outcome of The Battle of Tippecanoe but, with the help of Lolla-Wossiky, the Red Prophet, he sees visions of possible futures and learns more about his powers.

Orson Scott Card is a great storyteller and heƒ??s got a big imagination. This alternate history is exciting, entertaining, thoughtful, and occasionally humorous. I thought Cardƒ??s depiction of the Native Americansƒ?? magical connection with the land was beautiful and makes for a lovely American mythology. Many ƒ??Whitesƒ? who read Red Prophet will feel ashamed at how the Native Americans were treated by our ancestors. Some readers have accused Card of being racist (anti-European), but I didnƒ??t feel this way and I noted that Card gives us many Caucasians to admire and shows us that not all ƒ??Red-Whiteƒ? interactions where destructive.

Orson Scott Card is particularly good at voice, dialogue, and character nuance. His heroes are capable of doing evil and his villains can have good motives. Characters donƒ??t always do what we expect them to and there are times when we might even change our minds about how we feel about them. I look forward to seeing these characters grow throughout the series.

Iƒ??m listening to Blackstone Audioƒ??s productions of THE TALES OF ALVIN MAKER which is performed, in alternating chapters, by Stefan Rudnicki, Scott Brick, and Stephen Hoye. All three of them are excellent readers. Iƒ??ve already purchased book three, Prentice Alvin, and book four, Alvin Journeyman, on audio.

Red Prophet, first published in 1988, was nominated for a Nebula and Hugo award. It won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
This the second book in the Tales of Alvin Maker, although I think enough background is given, some even repeated from a different point of view, it could stand alone. It's a fantasy set in an alternate history America--which is a lot of what made it so fun. Things seem to have split off from our Timeline at least by the time of the English Civil War. There's a Lord Protector and Crown Colonies in 1800--but also a United States. Benjamin Franklin was reputed a wizard, George Washington was beheaded for treason and Thomas Jefferson a guerrilla fighter. Oh, and there's magic. One with a definite American folk magic feel. It's a world oh so different than the usual faux Medieval European fantasies that you so commonly find. (And made me wonder at times how Card's Mormon beliefs might have played a role in shaping the story.) And this read I noted how natural Card's dialogue is--it doesn't use elisions or strange spellings, but syntax and word choice to give a flavor of how people spoke.

And here we have Alvin the Maker--Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. The first book opened with his birth and followed him until he was ten years old. This book isn't as tightly focused on him. If it's focused on anyone, I'd say its Ta-Kumsaw--known in our history as Tecumseh--and his brother Tenskwa-Tawa (Tenskatawa). Card's portrait of both is admiring and sympathetic. William Henry Harrison, in our history a United States President, is presented as a villain. This definitely left me wanting to find out what happens next in this world. Booklist called this second book "harsher, bleaker and more mystical" than the first, and I'd agree. Made me want both to move to the next book, and want to learn more about the history Card used in the book. ( )
1 vote LisaMaria_C | Jun 26, 2013 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/10315399 ( )
  Releanna | Apr 10, 2013 |
I own a copy, read count: 1

I was pretty disappointed with this book. The first book in the series was a decent enough book, with focus on some average frontier settlers and some interesting happenings among them. The second book tried to leap onto a much broader stage and failed. Focusing on major historical figures far more than on real people, turning them into loathsome creatures with nothing to recommend them. I find it difficult to relate to anybody in this book because no common sense is shown by any of them. Everyone is some kind of crazy extremist, and there are only a couple people in passing who seem even human. It took me almost a month to trudge through it, and less than a week for the previous volume, which I enjoyed. If volume three is not an improvement, I may abandon the series. ( )
  cargocontainer | Feb 21, 2012 |
Very good reading and I find the book makes me think about what a true Christian is? Recommend reading all the Alvin Maker books to know what is going on. ( )
  DaleVanWyhe | Mar 13, 2011 |
An interesting book, but ruined because only a small part is from Alvin's point-of-view. ( )
  LaserWraith | Mar 10, 2011 |
I really liked it. I can't say I liked it as much as the first one, mainly because I found the parts with Hooch and the parts with the French to be uninteresting. I understand why they were there, but I really didn't care what was happening.

I loved the rest of it though. I really like how the alternate history still somewhat mirrors the real history of Tecumseh and Tenscwatawa. I loved the ending. It's extremely sad because Vigor Church will never be the same again. I love it, though, because Card does an amazing job of making me feel the whole extent of what happened.

In all, it was good. Although there were some boring parts, the good parts definitely kept my interest, so I wanted to keep reading. ( )
  Arkholt | Jan 8, 2011 |
I love this series. Orson Scott Card knows how to tell a story. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Nov 9, 2010 |
I didn't enjoy this one and won't go on with the series. I thought seventh son had some promise and it picked in the second half of the book. I couldn't get into this one - its seemed disjointed and didn't flow very well. I usually like OSC books but this one didn't hit the mark. ( )
  Neale | Jul 10, 2010 |
was really looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed by Red Prophet. I didn't mind that so much of the story focused away from Alvin or that this a serious, sad story, but I did mind how heavy-handed much of it was.

http://archthinking.blogspot.com/2010/02/review-hatrack-river-tales-of-alvin.htm... ( )
  lorin77 | Feb 8, 2010 |
Come live in an America that might have been. Where everyday people used hexes and charms in their homes and lives. Where a slave turned into a bird and flew to freedom with infant in her arms. Where Red men created a powerful magic with the sacrifice of their lives and in doing so created a barrier no white man could ever cross. Where a Weaver sits in her cabin weaving our lives-as her ancestress did in the old country-as her cousins in the old country do even now-and as her daughter in the Red mans land does as well. Where Ben Franklin was a Wizard and a Maker and George Washington was beheaded. Where the Iroquis-in the books the Irawaka are one of the original states that sign the constitution-known in the books as The Compact. A Compact that makes Red men-Native Americans- citizens as well as black men-no slaves. The books tell the tale of Alvin, who is the seventh son of a seventh son and a very powerful Maker-almost like a wizard. He fights against the Unmaker. The books also feature a very prominent Torch-or psychic. In these novels Card weaves a wonderful Continent full of powerful characters. ( )
1 vote laileana | Jan 20, 2010 |
This book was a great read - and as usual, Card is inventive and unorthodox. What appears to be an anti-religious tirade settles into a more considered point of view. Meanwhile there are some interesting diversions into things that actually make a society strong and meaningful, and into issues surrounding native Americans, whilst all the time taking the overall story of a seventh son of a seventh son forward.

Not Card's best work, but certainly not his worst either - and well worth reading. ( )
1 vote sirfurboy | Apr 23, 2009 |
My personal feelings about the author aside. The first book was a fun read. Unfortunately, each successive book in the series got more and more disappointing. ( )
  willowcove | Feb 19, 2009 |
Continuing on in the tales of Alvin Maker, seventh son of a seventh son, Card brings us a tale that could stand alone of its own right, but continues on with the mythos of Alvin Maker's world.

We meet a disgraced indigenous American whose addicted to whiskey, named Lolla-Wossiky, who aspires to be free of addiction and be somewhat respected by his older brother, Ta-Kumsaw.

Alvin and his older brother, Measure, are on a journey to a blacksmith, under whom Alvin will apprentice, but along the way, they get entangled in the local affairs of the indigenous people and their discrepancies with the colonists and other invading forces.

Set in a world where the American revolution never happened, and an air of magic affects the people in the land, Card paints a stunning alternate history that will surely appeal to most readers of fantasy, alternate history, as well as colonial fiction. If you're particularly verse in history, Card has scattered several delightful bread crumbs throughout the work that you're almost certainly going to enjoy.

Recommended for any fan of Card's, or any fan of alternate history. ( )
  aethercowboy | Dec 5, 2008 |
This book looks at the Native Americans.
I myself have a fascination with Vegetarians vs meat eaters.
Tenska-Tawa tells Alvin that when he needs meat, he calls to an animal. When the animal offers itself, he can kill it and eat it. He hates that the white man just randomly kills and kills more than he needs.
  bethlea | Jul 28, 2008 |
In the second volume of the series, Alvin sets off for the town of Hatrack River to become an apprentice smith, but he and his brother Measure are kidnapped along the way by Indians. The Indians are in the pay of William Henry Harrison, who plans to use the incident as a means to consolidate power in the Wobbish territory. Alvin and Measure are rescued by the Indian warrior Ta-Kumsaw and his prophet brother Tenskwa-Tawa, who shows Alvin a vision of the Crystal City that he is destined to build and a vision of how the remaining Indians of North America can retain their independence.

The alternate history that Card has created is very interesting, but I did not find the book itself very involving. It has a very slow pace for much of the book. Most annoying though, was the portrayal of the races. Indians are the typical "noble savages" who have a mystical connection to the land and leave no mark on it, while white people literally kill the land by just living on it. It leaves me wondering how native cultures like the Aztec and Incas with their huge cities had maintained this connection to the land. Also odd is that at the end of Seventh Son, Reverend Thrower and Armor-Of-God had made a pact to destroy Alvin. In this book, Thrower has vanished without explanation and Armor-Of-God seems to have no paticular animosity towards Alvin. Overall, I just did not find the book rising above the average. ( )
  sdobie | Jul 1, 2008 |
As an ever-growing fan of Card, this book was perhaps one of my least favorites. There were too many viewpoints (or perhaps rather diverse scenes), and while I appreciate the attempt to show us many different aspects of the world he has created, I was a bit overwhelmed.

I will certainly continue with the Alvin Miller series, but I much preferred Seventh Son. I realize this is a very different perspective than most other readers. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Dec 14, 2007 |
Early nineteenth century alternate history in an America where magic works. Nice mix of Tippecanoe and folk tradition. Orson Scott Card writes his normal readable tale. ( )
  jjones42 | Dec 6, 2007 |
Card, Orson Scott. Red Prophet. Tor, New York, 1988.
  BrianDewey | Jul 30, 2007 |
I found this a bit slow in the beginning compared with the first book but once the story got going I enjoyed it. ( )
  celticstar | Nov 18, 2006 |
The story of a young man empowered with magic and love helps to rewrite true history in the hearts of the readers today. Makes you want to believe in O.S. Cards knack for writing what you want to be true. ( )
  Grumpus | Oct 19, 2006 |
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