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    Review of SHADOW OF THE GIANT by Orson Scott Card

    TOR, March 2005

    Bean is quickly dying of giantism but the fleet has a proposal. Help Peter Wiggens set up the world government and they'll dedicate a ship to Bean, his children, and his wife. At near-light speeds, he'll be able to stay alive until their scientists can eventually find a cure for his condition--a condition that almost surely will affect his children. But Peter Wiggens' plan for a world government is a long way from accomplishment. The united Moslems defeated Chinese aggression, but now they refuse to give up their conquests, occupying India and oppressing the Hindu majority of that nation. In China, a Battle School graduate overthrows the generals who led their nation to disaster and becomes emperor. The Russians are stirring, wishing to regain their former power. Peter's appeal seems limited to a few minor and insignificant nations. But with Bean's prestige, things may get better.

    In SHADOW OF THE GIANT, Orson Scott Card (see more reviews of novels by Card) continues his 'Ender' series that began with the defeat of the Hive Queen invasion. Peter, Ender's brother, continues to be ambitious, find it hard to listen, and caught up in his own plans, but even he has been able to grow--and firmly resists the temptation of power and conquest that has overcome so many of the others from Ender's group in Battle School. Bean is torn between his desperate search for his missing children, love for his wife, fear that the mutation grafted into his DNA might create a destructive new race, and his wish to leave an Earth better than the violent place it has always been.

    Orson Scott Card does an excellent job combining the political with the personal. I, and other readers, care about the characters as well as about the large-scale battles and political maneuvering. Unlike many authors, Card doesn't glory in war, but he also doesn't dismiss its power to reshape the world. With Battle School candidates selected for ambition, the former saviors of Earth have now become its greatest menace.

    Card is one of the most important and powerful writers currently active. SHADOW OF THE GIANT is a mature and powerful addition to the Ender/Shadow series.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 4/12/05

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