The Lost Gate (Mithermages #1)
He grew up in the rambling old house, filled with dozens of cousins, and aunts and uncles, all ruled by his father. Their home was isolated in the mountains of western Virginia, far from town, far from schools, far from other people.
There are many secrets in the House, and many rules that Danny must follow. There is a secret library with only a few dozen books, and none of them in English — but Danny and his cousins are expected to become fluent in the language of the books. While Danny’s cousins are free to create magic whenever they like, they must never do it where outsiders might see.
Unfortunately, there are some secrets kept from Danny as well. And that will lead to disaster for the North family.
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From the moment that I met Danny North and his eccentric family of Gods, I was hooked in. Danny is the type of character that can be a little awkward, is definitely smart-mouthed, but who the reader can watch grow as the story goes on. As a young boy who doesn't yet know what his powers are, or if he has any at all for that matter, growing up in a family of mages is tough. Danny shows himself to be resourceful and witty, and I fell in love with him from the beginning. Following his journey towards finding and understanding his true self was pure magic for me.
As for supporting characters, the cast follows the rule of all of fantasy and science fiction stories. The reader will get to meet and enjoy many characters that both help and hinder Danny along his way. Each character is fully fleshed out and so vivid. I'm sure you'll find yourself falling in love with even the smallest supporting character. In this case though, as only Card can do, there is a parallel story that takes place alongside Danny's. I won't ruin the surprise, it is entirely too much fun to find out on your own. Instead I will say to you that these two stories meshed so perfectly, entwined so beautifully, that it never seemed to me I was reading the stories of two separate people at all. It was fascinating.
Plot-wise, this book moves at a very consistent and well-written pace. There is a pressing, yet hidden, danger that follows Danny everywhere that he goes. As the story progresses, Card allows us to watch Danny grow into his own. That was definitely my favorite part of the story. Danny has the unfortunate burden of having to navigate both the trials of being an adolescent, and the tribulations that come along with being part of a family of mages. Danny's journey is one that, although I could not connect fully with due to the magic aspect, anyone can connect with based on his sheer confusion over how to become a responsible adult.
The Lost Gate really does have it all. The value of friendship, serving others, giving in to vices, betrayal, all of this and more is present in this book. To say that it has depth is even an understatement! I'll be honest. Now that I'm finished I have no other desire than to get another Orson Scott Card book into my hands. His work is one that can never be duplicated and I for one am quite glad that is true. I eagerly await hearing more about Danny and the other mages!