Alvin Journeyman

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Alvin Journeyman
Front cover.
Author Orson Scott Card
Illustrator Dennis Nolan
Cover artist Dennis Nolan
Country United States
Language English
Series The Tales of Alvin Maker
Genre Fantasy, alternate history
Publisher Tor Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
Pages 381 pp
Award Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1996)
ISBN 0-312-85053-0
OCLC 32665317
813/.54 20
LC Class PS3553.A655 A78 1995
Preceded by Prentice Alvin
Followed by Heartfire

Alvin Journeyman (1995) is an alternate history/fantasy novel by Orson Scott Card. It is the fourth book in Card's The Tales of Alvin Maker series and is about Alvin Miller, the Seventh son of a seventh son. Alvin Journeyman won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1996.[1]


Alvin is a Maker, and what he can make is a new future for America. But to do that he must defeat his ancient enemy, the Unmaker, whose cruel whispers and deadly plots have threatened Alvin's life at every turn.

Now a grown man and a journeyman smith, Alvin has returned to his family and friends in the town of Vigor Church, to share in their isolation, to work as a blacksmith, and to try to teach anyone who will learn the knack of being a Maker. For Alvin has had a vision of the city he will build, and he knows that he cannot build it alone.

But the Unmaker is not through with Alvin. If that spirit of destruction cannot stop him by magic, or war and devastation, then it will try to crush the young Maker by simpler means - more human means. By lies and innuendo, and by false accusations, Alvin is driven from his home back to Hatrack River, only to find that the Unmaker has been there before him, and that he must now stand trial for his life. Against him in this trial stands Daniel Webster.

Meanwhile, his brother Calvin has started to grow into his own knacks, which he views to be equal to Alvin's. When Alvin returned to Vigor Church he found that Calvin had been doing all the jobs that Alvin had done prior to his apprenticeship. When Alvin started to teach how to be a maker, Calvin resented the way he felt he was being treated and decided to learn how to be a Maker on his own, but by any means he deems necessary. He finds passage to the United Kingdom, and then to the courtship of Emperor Napoleon himself in Paris, to treat him for his gout. By healing the pain each day, he spends a few hours a day learning from Napoleon on how to Rule. Calvin makes a friend in Paris, with whom he then leaves Napoleon (healed from ever feeling pain again) and heads to America.


The song Alvin made up during his stay in Hatrack River jail contains a reference to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. "Alone with my imagining, I dreamt the darkest dream, Of tiny men, a spider's sting, And in a land of smoke and steam, An evil golden ring." . When asked about it, Alvin explains: "I wonder if sometimes I don't accidentally end up with somebody else's dream."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1996 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 

External links[edit]