Shadow Puppets

Cover art by Bob Warner

By Orson Scott Card

Release Date: August 2002 (First Edition)
April 2003 (First International Mass Market Edition)
June 2003 (First U.S. Mass Market Edition)
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Description: Shadow Puppets was originally titled “Shadow of Death.” It is preceded by Shadow of the Hegemon and followed by Shadow of the Giant.

“Earth and its society have been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender Wiggin’s victory over the Formics. The unity forced upon the warring nations by an alien enemy has shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking to control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School.

But one person has a better idea. Peter Wiggin, Ender’s older, more ruthless brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose. And he has an irresistible call on the loyalty of Earth’s young warriors. With Bean at his side, the two will reshape our future.

Here is the continuing story of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender’s Dragon, as they take their place in the new government of Earth.”

Book Length: 384 pages (Tor mass market edition)

Reviews: ”Fans of Card’s bestselling Ender series will be delighted with this tale of teen empowerment (following 2001′s Shadow of the Hegemon), as the Battle School brats cope with life after the war with the Formics. Peter Wiggins, now leader of the worldwide Earth government, the Hegemon, makes a tactical error when he authorizes the rescue of his archenemy, Achilles, from the Chinese, only to discover Achilles, dangerously insane, is a Trojan Horse. Peter, along with his parents, must flee the planet temporarily, only to discover plots within plots at the site of the now dismantled Battle School. Meanwhile, Bean, accompanied by his wife, Petra, comes to terms with his body: he won’t stop growing, and he’s doomed to a short life. He and Petra seek out the man who manipulated his genes in order to have him create children without the same problem, only to have the embryos stolen. Bean and Petra race against time to try to rescue their unborn children while keeping Peter apprised of world events. Into this mix, Card tosses in a war, Chinese expansionism, unrest in India and a dangerously unfettered Achilles. The political becomes the personal in a final showdown between Bean and Achilles. These teens play for keeps: the world is their stage, with Battle School grads in key positions of power in China, the Muslim world and India, all ready to work together to create world peace. Card discusses important topics here, the nature of the parent-child relationship; the roles of love and service, that are implicitly part of coming of age.” -Publishers Weekly

“In the aftermath of the war against the alien insectoid Formics, the people of Earth experienced a period of unity under the benevolent rulership of the Hegemon Peter Wiggin, brother of war hero Ender Wiggin. As the fragile political peace erodes and internal wars threaten to erupt, the child-warriors of the Battle School now young adults skilled in the arts of leadership and politics struggle to bring about a new kind of peace despite the efforts of traitors in their midst. The sequel to Ender’s Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon continues Card’s visionary future history with a story of men and women thrust too early into positions of power. The author’s thoughtful storytelling and compassionately moral characters make this a good addition to most sf collections.” -Library Journal

“The third novel in Card’s re-presentation of the saga of Ender Wiggins from the vantage of Ender’s strategist Bean opens with the hegemon of Earth, Ender’s brother Peter, having the psychopath Achilles rescued from his Chinese captors, and Bean and Petra going into hiding. The plot threads are complex: the Chinese still rule Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, and India, where a grassroots movement works against them. Peter and his parents must flee the hegemony compound when they discover that Achilles, despite efforts to monitor him, is making progress in supplanting Peter as hegemon. Bean and Petra arrange parenthood through in vitro fertilization, which they hope will prevent transferring to the children the genetic alterations that made Bean a genius and that will kill him. Achilles steals some of the embryos, however, and Bean determines to rescue them and kill Achilles. A far-flung, pan-Islamic shadow government, of which the Chinese and Achilles are unaware, springs Bean and Petra from hiding, enlisting their assistance in preparing war against the Chinese. Angst haunts the proceedings, what with Peter sinking into depression after Achilles outsmarts him and Bean’s more wrenching agony over whether he is human. Once again, Card keeps the action, danger, and intrigue levels high; maintains consistency of characterization from Ender’s Shadow (1999) and Shadow of the Hegemon (2000); paves the way for further Ender-Bean developments; and leaves his readers eagerly awaiting them.”
-Booklist