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Dispatches from Terabithia

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The Man With the Golden Torc
Simon R. Green
Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
The Iron Ship
K. McKinley
House Immortal (House Immortal, #1)
Devon Monk
In the Night Garden
Catherynne M. Valente
The Lost Gate - Orson Scott Card I have never been so excited to have a book show up on my doorstep as I was with this book. I opened the package, read the first few words, and was so hooked that it was next to impossible to put it down. I had to absolutely force myself to not read it in a single night, to make it last, because I knew I wasn't going to get another book like this for a very, very long time.

Leading the book is a benevolent trickster, one who grew up as a misfit with no power, and finds out accidently that he is actually one of the most powerful (and most feared) kinds of mages - a gatemage. When he was almost discovered, he ran away from home with absolutely no idea of how the world actually works, and somehow, one way or another, ends up alright, despite having to worry about the threat of the Gate Thief.

Card gently and skillfully explores the pain and uncertainty of adolescence, and that of being rejected by those you love, and forming your own way out of the ashes out of that rejection. He spends some time on the need for inclusion, to fit in, and it's a big part of the lead character's psyche to really find out how other people live, despite being raised to disdain regular peoples' lives. I think Card's understanding of the psychology of his characters really made the book more real to me.

Even as the The Lost Gate left me with unanswered questions and curiosity about the future, it did it gently. I'm not going to be ravenous for the next book like I am for the next book in GRRM's series, but quite content to wait -- and if there isn't one, I'll live. I think that's actually a marker of Card's strength as a writer -- he could have left the book on some absolutely painful cliffhangers quite easily.

Reading this book absolutely reminded me of reading Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman, and this book is absolutely one of Card's best. Very much worth a read, and thank you for the opportunity to read it early.