Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: January 4, 2011
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different, and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an outself.
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.
The Lost Gate follows the story of Danny, just one young boy in a family of exiled mages, forced to live in the real world where kids create stories of fairies, werewolves, and the type of stuff his family knows is real. Danny lives his life in a realm of secrets, some of which he can never share with others, but he’s beginning to learn that there are just as many (if not more) secrets being hidden from him. His family calls him a Drekka, or someone without powers. But unknown to Danny, there is more power than he could ever imagine lurking inside of him. He’s a gatemage – and so powerful that it could very well be more of a curse than a magical gift.
Before this, the only work of Orson Scott Card that I’d read was Ender’s Game, which is kind of a hit or miss series, or so I hear. Luckily, it was a hit for me, so I was incredibly excited to read The Lost Gate. The first book in a new series called the Mithermages, The Lost Gate is a riveting urban fantasy adventure blending Norse mythology with an intricate plot that’s equal parts spellbinding and cryptic. Orson Scott Card has an amazing writing style that sends the reader on a journey with the characters, allowing you to experience and feel exactly what they feel giving life to the world within The Lost Gate.
I’ll admit, The Lost Gate is complex at times, and there are moments when the mythology and background of the story gets a bit tedious and too intricate, but the world that’s been created is phenomenal. Danny was a bit hard for me to connect with at first. He was very…bland, and rather unlikeable, but the character development he portrayed throughout the story redeemed him in the end. Wad, however, was the character that defined the story for me. Almost completely shrouded in mystery, I was hooked to every action (and inaction) of his character, desperate to find out who he really was. The dialogue between the characters is fitting and age-appropriate, but I did find it a bit crass or graphic at times. That said, for the age of the MC, it fits.
All in all, The Lost Gate is a great start to a new series from Orson Scott Card. And yes, the cliffhanger ending is a killer. I hate those endings! I give The Lost Gate a strong 4 out of 5, and I’d recommend it to fans of YA, especially teen boys and those who enjoy fantasy, urban fantasy, and anything along the lines of Ender’s Game or Pathfinder.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.
Because of the generosity of Tor Books, I've been given a second, finished hardcover copy of The Lost Gate for a giveaway. This giveaway is international and will end promptly at midnight EST on January 30, 2011. Winners will be notified by email. To enter to win The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card, follow the link below.