This is the second book in the 'Alvin Maker' series by Orson Scott Card, which began in "Seventh Son." Alvin was prenticed off to a blacksmith, and at the start of this novel, he's on his way when he's ambushed by Reds and stolen away.
Card is writing a very alternate history of North America, with figures and places that match history, but always twisted just slightly. The Hio River, the Mizzipy, and so forth all make me trip up on my mental tongue sometimes (in fact, I would rather have had Ohio and Mississipi, as it was quite distracting). This world, however, has something different to it: magic, in all its forms, be they faith, nature, hexes, superstition, knacks, etc, all of it works. So when Alvin, the seventh son of a seventh son, shows the same ability to speak and wield the powers of the land like any Red (read: Natives), he is taken by Ta-Kumsaw, and woven into a story that threatens to be bigger than all of them - and likely a tale that will soak the ground with blood.
Very well done, but in places, as I said, the tendancy to use almost-right names and locations drove me nuts. I'll keep reading the series (and am looking forward to doing so), but I think I need a break from it.
Best Line: Cause there's no fear of future in the song of life, just the ever-joyful present moment. That's all I want right now, thought Alvin. The present moment, which is good enough.
Books Read/Bought/Budgeted 2004: 1/0/.5