From the award-winning Ender's Game on, each of Card's last three novels has featured a secular saint, less a character than a catalyst to galvanize those around him into reexamining the thorny moral tangles in which they live. This first volume of the Tales of Alvin Maker introduces young Alvin Miller Jr., the seventh son of a seventh son, who lives on the frontier of an alternate early 19th century America, where folk magic such as faith healing and second sight really works. While Alvin embarks on his mythic struggle against the Unmaker of all things, he is watched over by a flesh and blood guardian angel; he is pursued by the rigid, zealous Reverend Thrower; and he is guided by the wandering Taleswapper, William Blake. This beguiling book recalls Robert Penn Warren in its robust but reflective blend of folktale, history, parable and personal testimony, pioneer narrative. The series promises to be (in Warren's phrase) a "story of deep delight."