January 6, 2011

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Release Date: November 23, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 672
Review Source: Finished copy from publisher for honest review

Synopsis: (from Amazon.ca)
A powerful secret. A dangerous path.

Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg's strange talent for seeing the paths of people's pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him--secrets about Rigg's own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

Rigg’s birthright sets him on a path that leaves him caught between two factions, one that wants him crowned and one that wants him dead. He will be forced to question everything he thinks he knows, choose who to trust, and push the limits of his talent…or forfeit control of his destiny.

My Thoughts:
Right from the beginning of ‘Pathfinder’ Orson Scott Card wove a narrative that made me curious about the book’s world and what happened in it. Even more interesting are the short beginnings of each chapter which take place in a different time and feature different characters. You know there is a connection between the main story and this other storyline, but it is only slowly that clues are given.

The characters in ‘Pathfinder’ are quite memorable, making it easy to keep them all straight. Rigg is the main protagonist of the book, and I found him quite endearing. He’s a bit pompous at times, and sometimes selfish, but generally he just wants to do what is logical and what is good. My only beef with him is that I had to keep reminding myself that he was only 13/14 rather than 16 or 17, because he was so mature. However, I think that given his background this can be forgiven, since he was raised to be extremely intelligent and logical.

I haven’t read anything else by Orson Scott Card, but I assume the writing is his usual style. There is a lot of philosophical pondering and conversations about logic, but within these there is also humour. Toward the end these lessened a little bit, and the plot turned more to what time travel could make possible and how Rigg and Umbo’s powers worked together. Sometimes the science behind all the time travel, in both parts of the narrative, got a bit confusing, but not enough so that I couldn’t appreciate the book. I figured that as long as I understood the general idea and what was happening as a result of it, I could still enjoy the book, which I definitely did.

This is a really long book, which is a bit frustrating, as it is the first book in a series, meaning you have to read almost 700 pages and then still be left hanging. However, I would say that this book is worth it. I totally enjoyed it, and I got through all those pages without being bored. In fact, the ending really blew my mind. I had suspicions about something related to what happened, but I never could have guessed the actual truth. This book has its quiet moments of reflection and contemplation, but it also offers action and adventure, time travel, and space ships. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of science fiction stories.


Find Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.ca


  1. I loved Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, so I really want to read this one. Almost 700 pages for the first book of a trilogy, though-- WOW! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. Whew 700 pages? That's an impressive start to a series! Glad to hear it's worth it though, I've been seeing this book around a lot lately and have been curious about it:) Wonderful review Ashley!

  3. I recently bought this book. It's going to be my next YA fantasy read, right after I finish Brightly Woven. Your review got me so excited. I've read a few of his books before but not in a long time. I'm really looking forward to seeing how his philosophical style that you talked about comes out in YA fantasy.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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