Shadow of the Hegemon

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Shadow of the Hegemon
Shadow hegemon cover first.jpg
1st edition, Hardcover
Author Orson Scott Card
Country United States
Language English
Series Ender's Game series
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Tor Books
Publication date
10 December 2000
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 440 pp
ISBN 0-312-87651-3
OCLC 44046723
Dewey Decimal 813/.54 21
LC Class PS3553.A655 S525 2001
Preceded by Ender's Shadow
Followed by Shadow Puppets

Shadow of the Hegemon (2001) is the second novel in the Ender's Shadow series (often called the Bean Quartet) by Orson Scott Card. It is also the sixth novel in the Ender's Game series. It is told mostly from the point of view of Bean, a largely peripheral character in the original novel Ender's Game but the central protagonist of the parallel narrative Ender's Shadow. Shadow of the Hegemon was nominated for a Locus Award in 2002.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

In Shadow of the Hegemon, all of the Battle School graduates, except Ender, return to Earth in approximately 2170 A.D. Ender's brother Peter, using his online pseudonym Locke, arranges for Ender to be returned to earth so he can control Ender, however Valentine under the pseudonym Demosthenes uses Peter's violent deranged past against him to keep Ender exiled on another planet so that the world's leaders won't be tempted to fight over his military genius. Shortly after their return, the members of the unit Ender commanded (called his Jeesh, an Arabic word meaning 'army'; because they fought under Ender, those 10 children are considered the greatest generals on the planet), with the exception of Bean, are kidnapped to be used as strategists in an upcoming struggle for world dominance that ensues after the Formics are defeated.

The mastermind behind the kidnappings is Achilles, (ah-SHEEL) a brilliant, ambitious, and psychotic Belgian orphan. He subjects them to solitary confinement so they will help him in his plans for world domination. Bean had imprisoned Achilles in the previous novel, so in retaliation Achilles attempts (unsuccessfully) to kill Bean, along with Bean's family. The Delphikis go into hiding, while Bean joins forces with Sister Carlotta. After he discovers an encoded message in an e-mail sent by Petra confirming that the Russians are Achilles' backers, he works to free her and the others, while helping Ender's brother Peter come to power under his own name so he can eventually be appointed Hegemon and work against Achilles.

When Peter publishes a column under the Locke pseudonym revealing Achilles for the psychopathic murderer he is, the Battle Schoolers are released—except for Petra, whom Achilles brings captive with him to India, where he has secured a position of power. From there, he requests plans for an invasion of Burma and then Thailand. Indian Battle School graduates serving their country, including Sayagi and Virlomi, develop plans for brute-force attacks involving long supply lines. Petra, for her part, arranges a different plan, involving stripping India's garrisons along her borders with Pakistan—something she expects will never happen, until Achilles takes her to a meeting with Pakistan's prime minister, in which he encourages the two great Indian nations to declare peace on each other and war with their other neighbors. Nonetheless, her plan is not used, but for a different reason: Achilles is secretly working for China, and has convinced India to move the bulk of its forces to the border of Thailand, giving China the opportunity to annihilate the Indian army. At that point, Achilles plans to leave India for China, and continue his efforts towards world domination.

Petra finds an ally in Virlomi, who manages to get word to Bean that Petra is being held an unwilling prisoner, and eventually escapes the military compound to bring rescue. Bean, for his part, has allied himself with Peter Wiggin. Courtesy of Bean's and Sister Carlotta's assets, "Locke" is nominated publicly for the position of Hegemon, allowing Peter to unmask himself in a way that does not compromise (and, in fact, increases) his prestige. Meanwhile, Bean, courtesy of Peter's assets, moves to Thailand to get in Achilles's way. He enters the Thai military under the patronage of Suriyawong (or Suri), a fellow Battle School graduate and (nominal) head of Thailand's planning division. Bean trains his own force of 200 Thai soldiers for special operations against India. When the Thai Commander-in-Chief betrays Suriyawong and Bean by attempting to kill them, it becomes clear that Achilles' reach has grown; thankfully, Bean's hunches save him and Suri, and he hides them in the barracks of his troops, e-mailing his few real-life contacts to arrange rescue. Thailand is declared in a State of Emergency and prepares for war. However, Sister Carlotta's plane is identified by Achilles en route to Bean's location and is destroyed by a Chinese SAM fired from inside Thailand, killing her. Triggered by Carlotta's death, Bean receives a prerecorded message from her in which she describes the relationship between Anton's Key and Bean's brilliance, but also informs him that his life expectancy will be drastically reduced as an inevitable result of his unique genes.

Bean and Suriyawong use the troops Bean has trained to help halt Indian supply lines. While striking a bridge, they meet Virlomi. Virlomi defects, bringing news of Petra; the three band together and, with the aid of Bean's soldiers and Locke's distinguished connections, move on Hyderabad, arriving just as the Chinese do. Bean foils Achilles again and rescues Petra, though the Chinese manage to extract Achilles successfully. Furthermore, "Locke" publishes an essay detailing the Chinese betrayal just as it is happening, and on the basis of this prescience (and other miracles over the years) Peter Wiggin is elected Hegemon over the world. Finally, Petra approaches Bean and makes clear the attraction she feels for him, setting the stage for the remainder of the series.

Characters[edit]

History[edit]

Card accredits two books in particular as being profoundly influential in the writing of this novel: Thailand: A Short History by David K. Wyatt and Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India by Lawrence James. In addition to these two books he was also inspired by Phillip Absher, who was one of the readers of the first draft. Phillip suggested that the Petra arc of the novel was anti-climactic. Upon hearing this criticism, Card rethought this entire book and decided to split it into two books. At the time of publication, Card thought the Bean series (Shadow series) of the Enderverse would only be four books long.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2002 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ Orson Scott Card, Shadow of the Hegemon (Tor Books, 2000). Pgs 447-450. ISBN 0-8125-6595-9.

External links[edit]