From Publishers Weekly
The legal thriller wave laps at the shores of fantasy fiction in this fourth novel (after Prentice Alvin) in Card's popular series about natural-born mage Alvin Smith, who's the seventh son of a seventh son, and the magical early America in which he lives. Also returning are Alvin's equally talented brother Calvin, who's a scoundrel, the mixed-up little boy Arthur Stuart and Alvin's ladylove, Peggy Larner. Hatred of his brother and boundless ambition prompt Calvin to run off to England, where he meets an English barrister who so embarrasses him by seeing through his lies that he moves onto France, hoping to learn the arts of manipulation under the tutelage of Napoleon Bonaparte himself. Meanwhile, Alvin must leave his beloved town of Vigor Church because of a lovesick young girl's lies. Returning to Hatrack River, where he was born, he becomes embroiled in a trial for his life. Unfortunately, much of the novel's action stops during the trial, as Alvin languishes in his cell and Card jabs at lawyers and the justice system. The courtroom scenes prove something of a procedural joke, with truth finally served only because Alvin uses his magic to make everything come out right. This parable bogs down in its own folksiness, but fans of Card, who's won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, may love it dearly. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
YA?At last, Book IV of this terrific series. Set in an alternate history, Card's frontier America is a land where wives' tales are fact and magic- in the form of hexes, beseechings, and "knacks"- really works. Alvin has the most powerful knack of all; he is a Maker, with power over the physical world. In this installment, he ignores a prophetic warning and falls victim to the manipulations of The Unmaker, an ancient enemy that seeks anarchy. While embroiled in a legal dispute that places him in jail, Alvin draws to him the people who will assist in his quest to build the Crystal City of his vision. Alvin Journeyman is the springboard for this quest that will be played out in future volumes. Knowledge of previous titles is beneficial, so be sure to have copies available of Seventh Son, Red Prophet, and Prentice Alvin.?Robin Deffendall, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas, VA
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.