Thirteenth Child

Thirteenth Child Eff Was Born A Thirteenth Child Her Twin Brother, Lan, Is The Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son This Means He S Supposed To Possess Amazing Talent And She S Supposed To Bring Only Bad Things To Her Family And Her Town Undeterred, Her Family Moves To The Frontier, Where Her Father Will Be A Professor Of Magic At A School Perilously Close To The Magical Divide That Separates Settlers From The Beasts Of The Wild

Patricia Collins Wrede was born in Chicago, Illinois and is the eldest of five children She started writing in seventh grade She attended Carleton College in Minnesota, where she majored in Biology and managed to avoid taking any English courses at all She began work on her first novel, Shadow Magic, just after graduating from college in 1974 She finished it five years later and started her se

❮EPUB❯ ✽ Thirteenth Child ✸ Author Patricia C. Wrede –
  • Hardcover
  • 344 pages
  • Thirteenth Child
  • Patricia C. Wrede
  • English
  • 05 August 2019
  • 9780545033428

10 thoughts on “Thirteenth Child

  1. says:

    The other week I made a mistake and read some things on the Internet In particular, I was sucked in to following a contretemps read flamewar with the nickname of Racefail 2.0 The premise of the flamewar is that a writer, Patricia Wrede, wrote a book called The Thirteenth Child which was an exemplar of racist writing The book takes place in a 19th century America Columbia where magic is real, where megafauna roam the plains, and where the First Peoples never crossed the land bridge from Asia The claim of racism, specifically, is that Wrede s writing is an eliminationist fantasy which has erased the First Peoples from the face of the planet.Something bothered me about this argument, but I wasn t really following it very closely, and I hadn t read the book, so I tossed off some sarcastic one liners on Twitter about it something along the lines of When you ve written as many books as Lois McMaster Bujold, you get to complain about this Bujold had gotten involved in the discussion, and was tarred and feathered by some of the participants along with Wrede My friends Nat and Laura rightly called me on this as wrong headed, as appeal to authority doesn t settle the issue I resolved to not comment on the issue again until I d read the book.I ve read the book now And now I know what was bothering me about the discussion it was led, as near as I can tell, by people who were offended by the premise of The Thirteenth Child, rather than by the book But premises aren t books.I have a sense, but no actual proof, that this willingness to confuse a premise with a book is common among genre fans Certainly I have trouble imagining a serious literary critic pillorying or, for that matter, lauding a book without at least trying to read it that would be a career ending move But looking at what I take to be the genesis of the flamewar I see a disturbing pattern those in this thread, who I noticed who scream loudest and most stridently that Wrede is erasing native Americans also say things like I haven t read the book, nor will I One is free to experience a work or not at one s pleasure, of course I myself won t watch any of Lars von Trier s films, without even bothering to find out what the premise is But that very decision makes or should make my opinions on his films of limited value.With regards to The Thirteenth Child I have read the book, and throughout it I see Wrede dealing fairly sensitively, and subtly, with a variety of racial and gender issues No, the Native Americans and First Peoples are not present, but Wrede drops a number of hints as to where their culture is Her protagonist, a young girl named Eff, is fairly deeply buried inside a culture that is itself patriarchal and racist, and so does not call out injustice in her own voice stridently, but Wrede still manages to get the point across that this is a racist and sexist society That, to me, tells me that this issue was on her mind, and she was trying to deal with it as much as her plot and character decisions would allow.Judging a book by its summary is a dangerous business It s perfectly accurate, from a plot perspective, to describe Martin Amis Time s Arrow as a reverie, written by a Christian, in which Auschwitz is presented as a facility for resurrecting Jews Likewise, Johnathan Littell s The Kindly Ones could be described as an apologia for every Nazi indicted at Nuremberg Both of these descriptions fail to accurately capture what you experience when you actually read the books, instead of the blurbs on the back of the covers.I am not implying here that all of Wrede s critics are book burning zealots there s a lot to criticize in The Thirteenth Child Many of the characters are flat and somewhat interchangable, the protagonist isn t as well developed as she should be, and there s too much telling and not enough showing There are also some reviews by people who actually read the book who view the racial issues as problematic than I do My central and perhaps only point here is that describing a book as racist without having read it is, in my mind, a problematic act in and of itself.

  2. says:

    Ok, so I was about to start off my review by saying that it s kindof like Little House meets Harry Potter In fact, I even looked up the number for Little House on the Prairie so I wouldn t have to type out the whole name and I could look super cool because the link would still work anyway.Then, after I looked up the number I started to read some of the other reviews a dangerous habit some of which read everybody keeps saying it s like Harry Potter meets Little House on the Prairie which is crazy because insert one or the other here is WAY better Whatever I loved the book It centers around Eff, for Francine, a child who had the unluck to be born 13th She s blamed for anything bad that happens until her family moves out to an alternate American West and starts their life over again I got the feeling that this is only the foundation for the series and it s a pretty solid foundation The family tension was great, the approach to magic was novel, and the dilemma s our protagonist found herself in were believable i.e not Mary Sueish And there was never a time when I was like why didn t they just cast that spell earlier That sometimes happens when I read fantasy So, some people are upset because Wrede left out the Native Americans This is yet another reason why reading other people s reviews before you write yours is dangerous you feel compelled to counter argue attacks that might not be worth your time In this alternate America we have the first 3 Presidents Washington, Adams, and Jefferson then two others I can t remember but it ain t Madison, Taft or FDR We have Lewis and Clark sailing up the ummm some river and then dying We ve got Ben Franklin who was a great magical inventor of sorts We ve got non concrete examples too the families heading out to start over, some type of Manifest Destiny, the Rationalists who seem to signify different religious and political views of the times I took them to symbolize the Quakers and to some extent the Pennsylvania experiment, but that s just me It seems like the Settlement Office sent out our version of Lewis and Clark as their expedition returns successful only having lost two men What we don t have are the Native Americans or in this case Columbians It seems some people are taking this as a slight against them but I don t think being passed over in a fictitious history for the sake of artistic integrity is worthy of offense Hear me out before you start calling me a racist, anti Native American bigot I love Native Americans I wish I was one Or at least partly one I love diversity Wrede said something to the extent of, I don t like the Native Americans as savages stereo type, but neither do I like the current romanticizing of them either so I m eliminating the problem by taking them out You can find the exact quote here thanks to this reviewer and the link in her review The feeling I got from the Wrede quote though was not as others have contended that the Native Americans were the problem, but rather the stereotypes of the Native Americans were the problem, and maybe she couldn t write the book without falling back on one of those two stereotypes So rather than misrepresenting entire Nations, she left them out So I say Kudos to her Secondly, did I mention this is an alternate USA Lewis and Clark didn t die people Well, ok They did Lewis was probably a suicide and Clark got sick but The Corps of Discovery didn t Point being, if she wants to avoid certain issues in a fictional world, she s free to do that If you want to write a fantasy book about Native Columbian magic that helps them keep the Avrupans out go ahead I promise not to be offended Which brings me to my third point maybe if she would have included them in there the book would have become about that issue than about Eff and frontier magic Just a thought Points being I feel like it is much ado about nothing Or much ado about relatively little at any rate Some people were so offended they took away their stars after it came to light Obviously, that won t be me I LOVED this book, and I ll recommend it to any fantasy or non fantasy fan.And get used to it We re sure to see it around for a while If it s not already it will be the next Harry Potter Twilight Hunger Games

  3. says:

    Like the sequel, ACROSS THE GREAT BARRIER, this book is set in a North America in which there are no Native Americans While I accepted this as a fantasy universe, unrelated to ours and I ve read other books in which other races, including white, are omitted, and accepted them , and read it the book on its own merits, many people I respect deeply object to what they see as the deliberate erasure of the Native Americans I tell you this so that you can make your own choice about whether you will read this book or not.It is set in a frontier America somewhat like our own, with major difference Some have magic, particularly Effa s brother, who is the seventh son of a seventh son She, however, is a 13th child, supposed to be bad luck Even her own relatives shun her It is only when her family moves to the frontier that she begins to come into her own, developing her own approach to magic with the help of teachers who are not bound to the rigid European approach It is when she visits towns across the Barrier in the great river and must defend one against magic eating grubs that she faces her first test, when lives depend on whether she has truly become a wizard.

  4. says:

    I think this sums it up.

  5. says:

    Despite the love of her family, Eff was born the 13th child and as such her relatives consider her cursed She is as much despised as her twin brother, Lan the 7th son of a 7th son is loved When her uncle attempts to have her arrested on a trumped up charge, her parents decide enough is enough and accept a job teaching at a college on the frontier For the first time in her life, Eff is able to live without a shadow hanging over her and with the guidance of a teacher of African magic she finally starts to come into her own But with magical creatures across the divide pushing at the barriers set up to keep them out their lives are anything but secure I loved this book so much At times the narrative had the feel Harper Lee s To Kill a Mockingbird but set in an alternate wild west with magic, dragons, mammoths and sabre tooth lions It was so much fun and despite my usual rule of not reading two books by the same author back to back I just couldn t help myself and dived right into book two.

  6. says:

    This is charming pun intended and, if not for the magic, would be a simple tale of a young girl struggling with nasty, narrow minded relatives and then moving on to a frontier life with freedom But it s told in such a delightful way that, while it moves slowly the book spans her life from about 5 to 18 it isn t the least bit boring.9 7 18 I m tired of fighting with GR to get the right version of books I ve read the ebook version, and now, today, I ve finished the audio version I can t seem to split the two versions, or keep my various re reads straight This is still a 4star book I recommend it to someone who loves a well crafted fantasy story with great world building, wonderful imaginary critters magic sucking bugs OH, yeah , and few editing problems I m off to continue with the audio version of 2.

  7. says:

    Read This Review More Like It At Ageless Pages ReviewsAs a long time reader of Patricia Wrede s work, I have to say I was disappointed There s no humor like the Enchanted Forest Chronicles or the Cecelia and Kate series, but there s also really no spirit of adventure like the Lyra books Overall, Thirteenth Child is flat and depressing.I had high hopes for the book A low alternate fantasy set not in medieval or Victorian England Sign me up Unfortunately, the world building was confusing and messy All of the countries and continents have been renamed, but somehow George Washington, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson are all a born, b given the same names, and c found a new country, but except this time, they re wizards But the most disappointing thing of all is Wrede s take on Native Americans That is to say, there aren t any She s quoted as saying The plan is for it to be a settling the frontier book, only without Indians because I really hate both the older Indians as savages viewpoint that was common in that sort of book, and the modern Indians as gentle ecologists viewpoint that seems to be so popular lately, and this seems the best way of eliminating the problem, plus it ll let me play with all sorts of cool megafauna Nope, not OK Not even a little I also had a problem with how the African American characters were portrayed They fit too easily into the Magical Negro trope.I did like the magic system and how fleshed out it was Eff, once she grew up, was an interesting character with goals and skills beyond magic I realized as soon as the view spoiler bugs were introduced, they ate magic hide spoiler

  8. says:

    Something was missing I kept reading, thinking surely Indians would appear Maybe the narrator was too young to pay attention to un European cultures, too wrapped up in her own family dynamics Maybe they hadn t gotten far enough West Maybe Indians would appear in the next volume Well No Indians at all simply didn t occur to me, until I took a look at the blogs on the Tor site Wrede decided to skip them, being uncomfortable with the only two options she perceived for portraying white indian relations either the Indians could be savages, or they could be ecologically advanced sages And after all, they massacred the megafauna, right So without them, she could also have mammoths And then the Indians wouldn t have crossed the landbridge and therefore they re all still Siberian.Uh huh So, leaving aside any debates my fellow nerds might want to throw around about the theories of mass extinction, or about migration patterns to the New World none of which are so simple and maybe even leaving aside questions about moral responsibility after all, an author should have the right to simply tell a good story, right , it seems to me that this omission has raised some really troubling issues It s weird, right Weird that such a capable writer would only see two unappealing stereotypes as her options for depicting Indian cultures Weird that she d think that readers wouldn t see that absence and feel uncomfortable, to say the least Her vision of empty America is too close to that old propaganda about Manifest Destiny the Indians counted as wildlife, not people Is it OK just to erase a gigantic episode of genocide from history because it s inconvenient to your story After so many attempts to erase native americans from the official narrative, is it OK to do it again, for different reasons, in a popular kid s book I suppose that s where the question of moral responsibility comes in.I ve seen other readers compare this to Years of Rice and Salt , arguing that Robinson s story killed off Europeans wholesale and no one objected, and that this is just of the same a clever plot device I don t know At least Robinson accounted for the fact that there had been Europeans in his story, and that something terrible had befallen them It just seems sinister, somehow, that in Wrede s world the Indians never even existed, like they d not just been exterminated, but erased Like those creepy Soviet photos, with executed former officials edited out History re written by the victors, so that no one will even remember what is lost I don t think that s what fiction should be used for I have really, really mixed feelings about the book It s got so many interesting facets the characters are great, the magical system is fresh and intriguing but the overall emotion I m left with is sort of a queasy disgust.

  9. says:

    The Thirteenth Child tells the story of Eff Rothmer, a thirteenth child Her twin brother, Lan, is a double seventh child, a position of great magical power and potential Unfortunately for Eff, the thirteenth child is said to be cursed, hazardous to those around them, and even evil Eff is terrified that she will one day go bad and hurt those around her, so she tries desperately to control her magic, and possibly even rid herself of it Eff must learn how to become her own person with her own magic, no matter what others may think.Set in an Old West that mixes the familiar buggies and frock coats with the fantastic steam dragons and spectral bears Thirteenth Child manages to be completely true and now The choices Wrede makes keep the book from being the over the top, cheesy affair it could have been in someone else s hands She never overdoes anything or tosses in too many fantastic problems or elements Her fantasy elements are realistic, and she always makes sure that her characters and Eff s development takes precedence Eff s voice and narration, too, are very enjoyable, with fun little turns of phrase that pop I rarely say this when I read a good stand alone, because I respect an author that doesn t milk it by turning it into a series and often thinning it out as a result , but I really hope there s to come.

  10. says:

    Eff is a thirteenth child Destined, according to common magic, to go bad Her aunts, uncles, and cousins are all of the opinion she should never have been born A problem they think still might be rectified .But Eff s parents aren t common And when they make the extraordinary decision to leave the city and move the younger members of their family to the edge of the frontier, Eff has the chance to start over To keep the secret To learn aphrikan magic instead of avropan To study with the teacher she admires, make friends with William the son of her father s co worker , and maybe even save her twin brother, Lan a double seventh son destined for greatness Because on the frontier, nothing is common.I loved this book Original Intriguing And character driven Patricia C Wrede writes wonderful fantasy Eff s world is fascinating so close to our own, but one in which the members of the Lewis Clark Expedition and the ten expeditions after that never returned home no doubt due to the steam dragons, wooly mammoths, and other wild beasts on the frontier This is a coming of age story And the first book in a series I cannot wait to see how Eff tackles the next stage of her life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *