I liked this book so much I walked to the car with my nose pressed between the pages, risked motion sickness reading it on the ride to Grandma Edith's place, and resented any interruptions that forced me to put it down. Of course, I'm an Orson Scott Card fan so it isn't surprising. He's a terrific writer.
Rigg is being raised by a man known only as Father. He has the unusual ability to see animals and peoples paths in the past as well as those alive. The two are fur trappers and Father tutors Rigg like a scholar. Rigg thinks it is a bunch of useless information until Father dies and sends Rigg on an adventure to find his sister that he didn't even know existed. Rigg is given a bag of jewels and journeys with his best friend, Umbro, whom he discovers has an unusual gift just like him except Umbro can travel through time. The two learn to control and use their gifts as they seek to free his sister and mother who are under house arrest when power shifted from Royalty to a Ruling Council.
Another story is interspersed with Rigg's about the first human-built spaceship that attempts to do a time-jump to cut down on its interstellar voyages. During the time-jump, it is divided into 19 colonies and it sets up a wall so those colonies can flourish separate from each other. Rigg's story takes place in one of those colonies.
The time-travel part is complicated and the characters discuss it in-depth. I can see students not being able to stick with this part of the story or be confused. I don't tend to mull over details and I thought it became clearer as the story progressed. I also didn't think the voice of Rigg sounded like a 14-year-old. He was too sophisticated and smart developmentally for that age. Perhaps if the author made him 17 or 18 years old it would have been more believeable. Still, it was easy to ignore that aspect and enjoy the book. The characters are well developed, funny and Card has some great plot twists.
The ending sets up for a sequel.
:-) :-) :-) :-) 4.5 Smileys