The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card

The Lost Gate is the first book in a new fantasy series by Orson Scott Card.  It is the story of Danny, an 11-year-old boy living on Earth among his family of gods.  Unlike the rest of his family members, he displays no affinity for magical powers, so he is often tormented and cast out by the others living in their village.  That is, until one day when Danny is climbing a tree and discovers that he indeed has a power:  he is a gatemage, meaning he can create gates through space to anywhere he wants to go.  This discovery puts Danny in great danger, as being a gatemage comes with the penalty of death due to the destruction and torment caused by the last gatemage, Loki.  After being discovered, Danny must escape his family and go out into the “drekka world” (the real world for us mortals without magical powers) and learn not only how to survive alone, but how to use this new power.

Card is very skilled at worldbuilding.  Though he does a lot of explaining so that the reader understands this urban fantasy world that he has constructed, it comes off as very easy to understand and interesting.  I expected nothing less of Card, who created a detailed and fascinating new world in his famous novel Ender’s Game, one of my personal favorites.  I will say that the main character in this novel, Danny, often annoyed me and I didn’t feel as connected to him as I did to Ender, but the story was captivating enough that it wasn’t too hard to get through the especially irritating parts (like when Danny becomes friends with young criminal Eric and engages in some unlawful activities).  If you’re a big fan of fantasy and enjoy imagining new magical worlds, I recommend giving this book a try.