A War of Gifts

After finishing up The Color of Magic a couple of hours ago, I definitely needed to read something to cleanse my palette a little bit.  So I picked up A War of Gifts, which is a short novella set during the time when Ender was at battle school.

Book Stats

196 pages (It’s a fairly short Novella, about 20,000 words according to an estimate I found online.)

Science Fiction

Novella set in the Ender series, you could read it anytime after Ender’s game, but it was written after Shadow of the Giant


I’m not going to go into a standard review for this one, it’s got the kids from Battle School, and it takes place in Battle School.

The basic premise of the story is that a deeply religious boy named Zeck is sent to Battle School.  He refuses to take part in any of the war games because war is against his religion.  However, when some of the other kids celebrate a Dutch holiday similar to Christmas, Zeck objects on the grounds that it’s an outward show of religion, which is forbidden on Battle School.  This leads into a larger question of where the line between religion and culture is (hint: it’s really blurry).  The story also deals with some fairly deep religious questions, and just like the rest of the books in the series, Card does an excellent job of showing just how well Ender understands people.


This was a really quick read that addresses some deep issues of spirituality in the face of war.  I thought it was handled excellently, and Card really based everything upon the characters.  He shows some of the folly of blind faith, but also shows how having faith can strengthen a person through difficult times.  Both as a story in the Ender universe and on it’s own as a warning about taking fanaticism too far this was a wonderful novella.

Overall Grade

A very quick and enjoyable read.


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  1. July 2012 Month in Review « Reviews and Ramblings

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