Ender In Exile is a new book by Orson Scott Card set in the time between Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead. I was surprised at the publication of this novel. It seemed like a desperate attempt to milk out extra pennies from an already settled universe.
I was wrong.
Card is still an amazing writer. Actually, he might even be better at his trade 25 years after the publication that brought him fame. His style has matured along with his audience. Had I read this book in high school when I first crossed paths with his work, I don’t think I would have appreciated its gravity and ethos. Card had to exert a lot of effort in maintaining continuity in timelines and facts across his novels. It helps that he has a massive fan-base at his disposal- one which (is “which” the right word? This sounds grammatically incorrect…) he would never betray with legal action for compiling his work into a fantastic encyclopedia. (Great job J. K. Rowling. I hope your new Potter spin-off is atrocious.)
What impresses me is the evolution of his plot. Card is a master at depicting political maneuvering. It makes me wonder why he never entered politics himself (though he does write a weekly column called ‘World Watch’ or some such business). I am able to love his new characters after a few pages of internal monologue. I can readily empathize with their plight and understand their motives and dimensionality. I realize I am sorely out of practice in my writing, and it seems like a monumental task for me to start writing at an intelligible level, but I want more than ever to try at it again.
EDIT: I understand that most intelligent people scoff at present day Card. I think I’ve just been starved of eloquent writing for so long that this is the closest I’ve come to some semblance of it.