I loved this book. Expanded into a full novel years after its appearance as the short story “A Planet Called Treason” (1979), Card revisited one of his very earliest forays into Science Fiction. He claims to have written it with the original spirit and storyline intact, only modifying the pacing and presentation in ways to reflect what he had learned in the interim. The result is a beautiful read that captures the feel of an ambitious young writer with a huge and complex setting but is also tame and succinct. Indeed, there is hardly a wasted word in this novel, as the story progresses relentlessly from beginning to ending, never becoming distracted by any of the numerous potential sidetracks.
TREASON tells of an arrogant and talented young man, Lanik Mueller, and his journey to learn about himself and his world. The reader discovers the prison-world of Treason as Lanik does, learning new secrets and amazing abilities from each of the various peoples he visits. Eventually Lanik becomes something more than human and finds himself in a position to save his world from tyranny (in his eyes). This is a book for which the journey and the constant discovery are the big draws, rather than the climax or conclusion. There are plenty of surprises in this tale but there are also plenty of occasions where the readers’ hopes are met in the most satisfying way. Like most of Card’s protagonists, Lanik is comfortable company, imperfect, but likeable and deeply sympathetic.
As usual for Card, this book is chock full of ethical questions and scientific musings. In what ways might humans be improved? How would these changes affect society and people’s behavior? One of my favorite things about Card’s novels, in addition to his easy-to-read writing, is that they do such a good job of striking a balance between challenging a reader with philosophical questions while telling an exciting and fun story. This one is no exception.
- Paperback: 309 pages
- Publisher: St Martins Pr; Reissue edition (1 March 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312921098
- ISBN-13: 978-0312921095
- Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 181 g
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