Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Review: The Lost Gate

The Lost Gate

By:  Orson Scott Card

Publisher:  Tor

Publish Date:  January 2011

Format:  ARC review copy

Genre:  YA Fantasy

Series:  1st book in Mithermage Series

Recommendation:  Yes, If you are looking for a Magical YA fantasy from a boy's view.  Wonderful Magic loss and growth story here.

Book Synopsis:
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.

First Sentence:
Danny North grew up surrounded by fairies, ghosts, talking animals, living stones, walking trees, and gods who called up wind and brought down rain, made fire from air and drew iron out of the depth of the earth as easily as ordinary people might draw up water from a well.

My Review and Summary:
Danny North is a young mage of 11 years of age, yet he is considered a drekka because he has shown no signs of using or having magic.  Danny is a mage in a commune of the North mage clan where all are related and have been imprisoned here on our Earth for the last thirteen and a half centuries as the gates to Westil where locked and closed by Loki.  And it's a given by all the warring families if any have a Gatemage they are to put them to death (with the thanks to Loki's trickster ways and closing the gates), yet secretly all the families hope for one to open the Great Gate back to their home land.  Danny, unknowingly for years has been creating gates, and gets found out by the Greek girl.  Danny is now on the run for his life, and needs to learn what he can from a world that knows nothing of making gates.

I fear this was one of those books where the hype raised my expectations a little to high.  As I enjoyed reading the book, it wasn't as out there as I had thought it would be.  Orson has created a society where the people are from another world and full of magic, yet the magic is failing them and they are not as strong as they where when they where considered gods years ago.  They are in need of the Great Gate to strengthen them once again, and to return to their home land.  Yet they are exiled here on Earth.

This book is the journey of Danny North to learning about drekka's, or normal people with no magic.  Yet, Danny finds his way to other orphans of magic and to a wonderful home of people who take care of him and teach him what they can.  What we have here is a young boy turning into a young man, learning what he can of what he can do magically, what are the good and bad things to do with his powers.

Then we have another character we follow through the story.  This character has lived within a tree for years, maybe centuries.  Finally he births from the tree as a young boy, with no true memories of the past.  He shows up in a town where he is taken in by a kitchen lead cook who realizes he has great powers.  This is the character I actually enjoyed following the most.  The mystery behind Wad, and the magical abilities he has, and the double life he lives in this wondrous home of the Kind and Queen.

I think I would like to read the next book in this series when it comes out as to the curiosity it left in me.  I'm curious as to why this families where exiled here in our world, what Wad will do now with what has happened to him, and what Danny will learn next and how to handle all the screaming inside him now.  Will the families come after Danny or will he be safe in the future?  I am curious.

This book is a Young Adult read, and I think young boys will enjoy this read.  I would say the book seems to be geared for young adults from about thirteen and older.

I read this book for review as I won the book.

This book qualifies for the YA Reading Challenge, and Speculative Fiction Challenge.


  1. Oh I tried for an ARC and then tried for the book! Looks like I'll just have to break down and buy it. Maybe I'll wait until the next since there seems to be so many questions left. Yep. Need this one. Thanks for the review!

  2. Good review! I enjoyed this one, but understand how high expectations can make a book fall flat at times. Luckily, I hadn't heard any buzz when I read it, so was able to enjoy it on it's own merits. Looking forward to seeing what happens next with Danny and Wad!

  3. Even the front cover of this looks magical, thanks for sharing.

  4. Great review! This one is going on my TBR list. (: The cover is sooo pretty. <3


  5. As I had mentioned before, I was rather unimpressed with this book. I really liked the story based around Wad and would have preferred if his story had received more attention. But I couldnt' stand Danny and just wanted to smack him on the head the whole time. We kept being told how charming he was but I didn't see it at all. I doubt I'll be reading the sequel.

  6. Dunno if this one would be for me, but nice review :) I have never read any of his books. I tried to start a series one, but never got that far

  7. Melissa (Books&Things) - :) You are welcome. And glad you enjoyed the review. I do hope you enjoy the book when you get it.

    Alexia - Thank you! I heard a lot of this book and of the author. I felt bad when I read this as I felt the hype was way up there and oh well. But I am curious to see where Wad & Danny go. I really liked Wads story best.

    Petty Witter - Thank you. :) I do like this cover as well. :)

    Arya - Thank you so much. :) Glad you liked the review. I do hope you enjoy it when you get it. :)

    Simcha - Yeah, I remember you mentioning it earlier. Danny wasn't all that special to me either. I really liked reading of Wad more. I might pick up the next book just to see what happens in the series and if it picks up some. But, I'll see where I'm at when the time comes. :)

    Blodeuedd - Thanks! I've heard the same from my brother about not getting into Orson Scott Card's book. He had a hard time with it. Not anything bad for the author, just he wasn't caught with his style. I was curious about him with all I've heard of him and this book so had to give it a try. :)

  8. I am still on the fence with this one. I liked the review but not sure if I will enjoy it as my expectations are set rather high and each review doesn't say it is as good as all the publicity. I may have the same reaction as you.

    I have plenty more on the stack anyway.

  9. I'm a huge Card fan, but I've been sorely disappointed with most of his output in the past decade or so. So I approached this title with some trepidation; hoping maybe OSC'd be able to recapture some of his old magic, but honestly not expecting much. It could very well be that because of my lowered expectations I was able to enjoy this book as much as I did. Not on par with his stuff from the 1980s, but still probably the best book he's written in the last dozen years.

  10. Tyson - Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the review, but sorry I didn't really sway you either way. I think the hype did me in. As I did enjoy the magic set up here, but Danny the main character didn't really catch my eye as much as Wad, another side character. But, I'm curious to see if the series grows with the second book now that the world is laid out for us.

    Salt-Man Z - THank you for stopping by! I'm really glad you enjoyed the book. I think if I hadn't had heard so much hype over the book I would have enjoyed it more. But, I am very curious to see how Danny, Wad, and the story grows in the next book. The magic world created here is rather interesting and able to get me lost in it. I'm going to have to go back to his books from the 80's and see if I enjoy those ones. :) Thank you!


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