The Lost Gate
Orson Scott Card
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Buy *The Lost Gate (Mither Mages)* by Orson Scott Card

The Lost Gate (Mither Mages)
Orson Scott Card
384 pages
January 2011
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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The Lost Gate is the story of Danny North, a descendent of two of the greatest mages who has shown no power or skill of his own. He lives on a compound in Virginia with his extended family, separated from the rest of the world. After all, the world doesnít know that mages exist - or that there used to be a Great Gate from Earth to a place called Westil, where mages would draw their power from.

Since Loki the trickster closed all the gates centuries ago, the mages have lived in exile on Earth, trying to plot a return to Westil in order to gain an advantage over everyone else. However, the only people who can reestablish that connection to Westil through a Great Gate are killed before they have a chance. Gatemages are too dangerous to exist. When Danny realizes that the reasons his powers havenít manifested is because he is a gatemage, his entire life changes in a flash.

Orson Scott Card has created a magical world that exists in parallel to our own in The Lost Gate. Life as we know it goes on, oblivious to the mage wars and the fact that what the mages want most is to grasp more power for themselves in order to subjugate humanity. Thrust into the middle of this struggle is Danny. On one hand, he has little loyalty to his family because they have treated him so poorly over the course of the years. On the other, he knows that he is valuable, and that if he manages to stay alive, he holds the power of worlds in his hands. The mythology of The Lost Gate is excellent; Card creates a rich and vibrant world with a fascinating history that readers will be eager to explore.

Adult readers may find Danny a bit frustrating at the beginning of the book. He is just a child, after all, and thrust into a situation he doesnít understand. He responds to everything through tricks and takes little seriously. He doesnít realize the extent of his powers and refuses to consider how important they are, instead taking on a friend who drags him down and resorts to petty crime because it makes him feel powerful. Over the course of the novel, however, Danny begins to realize what is important and curbs his childish behavior.

If you are looking for a solid fantasy novel and have never read anything by Orson Scott Card, The Lost Gate is definitely a good place to start. Itís not too heavy or technical and provides a fun reading experience. The length will also be agreeable to those who arenít too well versed in the fantasy genre. Enderís Game fans, however, may find The Lost Gate lacking. The story is a little too whimsical at times and doesnít take itself seriously enough, given the gravity of the situations in which Danny finds himself. If you have little to compare it to, though, youíll likely enjoy this book.

The Lost Gate is an interesting start to the Mither Mages series and ets the groundwork for what will be a game-changing sequel. Though the book is slow at times, it is nonetheless an engaging read that both fantasy and non-fantasy fans will appreciate.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Swapna Krishna, 2011

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