This novel is a well-written, funny and though-provoking adventure. Our hero, a boy named Rigg, is given a strange commend and inheritance by his father as he lies dying. “Go to Nox. She will give you what belongs to you. Take it and find your sister”. And thus begins his quest to find out, who he is, who his sister is and what his abilities and skills might be good for. Card creates a fascinating world full of political intrigue as the setting for his Pathfinder series. This book starts the tale and sets us up for a coming series of dilemmas and conflicts within the series. The series premise reminds me a little of Anne McCaffrey’s Freedom books or Monica Hughes’ Isis books with the inter-stellar technologically advanced societies coming into contact with less technologically advanced ones. Not a must-have for the school library but definitely a good purchase for grades 7-12.
Within the Saskatchewan curriculum, it would fit grade 6 Language Arts units on Fantastic Fiction, Science Fiction, Heroes, Grade 7 Imagined Worlds, Grade 8 Adventure and Survival. It would be a good novel for challenging your more advanced readers.