Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Worthing Saga

The Worthing Saga. Orson Scott Card. 1990. Tor. 465 pages.

In many places in the Peopled Worlds, the pain came suddenly in the midst of the day's labor. It was as if an ancient and comfortable presence left them, one that they had never noticed until it was gone, and no one knew what to make of it at first, though all knew at once that something had changed deep at the heart of the world. 

The Worthing Saga is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite books. It's one of the few books that I actually crave. I don't always indulge in a reread, after all it isn't fair to all the other books out there. I can't just read and reread Worthing Saga every time I think of it, every time I remember just how much I love it. I have to show some restraint after all. But it has been a few years since my last reread, and I had to save something truly special for Carl's sci-fi experience, didn't I?

So what do I love about The Worthing Saga? I love the stories, the storytelling, the framework. I love the characters. I LOVE the characterization. Even if I don't exactly "love" (have warm, cozy feelings about) each individual character. I think Card did an amazing job with The Worthing Saga in creating good, memorable characters. These are characters that--at least for me--stay with me always. Characters like Hoom, for example. Each chapter is like an old friend. Well, almost all chapters. There are two or perhaps three stories that I could do without completely. The lifeloop acting chapter, for example, I could do without completely!!!! But I think what I love most about The Worthing Saga is the layering, how it has depth and substance. How it has a definite message, but instead of being annoying, it somehow works all the same. This science fiction book is thought-provoking, challenging. It encourages you to think about deep things, to explore questions like why is there pain? why is there suffering? would the world be a better place without pain, without suffering? Is pain a necessary evil? Do we only feel joy and happiness because we know about pain and sorrow? what makes life beautiful? do we become better people through our struggles with life?

The Worthing Saga is a science fiction novel. It is a novel with a framework. Readers first meet a young boy, Lared, and his sister, Sala, on the day of pain, the day when this planet, this society, first experiences an awareness of pain, suffering, grief. From that day on, pain and death become all-too-real possibilities...for the young and old. From that day on, actions have consequences. Soon after 'the day of pain' two strangers come into their lives, come to their parents inn, Jason and Justice. These two choose Lared to be their scribe, to share with the world, their story. A story that spans many, many, many centuries.

The Worthing Saga is a GREAT book that I just LOVE AND ADORE.

Read The Worthing Saga
  • If you love science fiction
  • If you love science fiction set on multiple planets, science fiction with space travel, science fiction with colonization, science fiction with ethical dilemmas
  • If you love books with great characterization and powerful storytelling
  • If you love books that deal with larger issues in life

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Seth 8:39 PM  

I listened to this one last year and now I'll just have to go read it in print. I preferred the parts of the story on the planet Worthing to those in the Capitol, because I loved the characters on Worthing Farm.

We seem to be reading along similar lines lately. I'll pick this one up for my NOOK as soon as I've cleared my docket. Thanks for the reminder!

Jessica 3:47 AM  

My husband absolutely loves books like this so I have a new gift idea.

Kelly Matherly-Urban 9:34 AM  

Sounds similar to Ender's Game.


Melissa (Avid Reader) 10:46 AM  

I love the Ender books, but I've never read this one. I'll have to check it out.

bendybruce 5:11 PM  

Everyone talks about Enders Game as if it is Cards best work, but I loved The Worthing Saga much more. In fact it is my all time favorite book.

If anything marred the experience, it was tyhe discovery that Card appears to have homophophic views. while I'm not gay, I am very liberal, and I have a hard time reconciling the person who wrote this book with the narrow mind homophobia requires

bendybruce 5:12 PM  

Everyone talks about Enders Game as if it is Cards best work, but I loved The Worthing Saga much more. In fact it is my all time favorite book.

If anything marred the experience, it was tyhe discovery that Card appears to have homophophic views. while I'm not gay, I am very liberal, and I have a hard time reconciling the person who wrote this book with the narrow mind homophobia requires

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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  • apocalyptic fiction
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  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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