Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: TOR, 2008
Genre: Science Fiction
Yet another addition to the Enderverse, Ender in Exile takes place primarily between the chapters 14 and 15 of Ender's Game. If you recall (and if you don't, why are you reading this?), at the end of Ender's Game Ender travels to a colony world to escape Earth. But there's a lot of things happening that don't really get covered. Some of them are covered in Ender's Shadow and the following books, and many of them are partially covered in various novellas and short stories, but until now there had not been a continuous and consistent account of how Ender came to leave Earth and settle in space.
Parts of the story in Ender in Exile have appeared in the previous books, as it meshes with Ender's Game and parallels the books in the Shadow Saga. Parts were also published in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show (ocsIGMS, an on-line SF magazine founded by Orson Scott Card) as Ender's Homecoming, A Young Man with Prospects, Ender in Flight, and The Gold Bug.
In Ender in Exile we get to see the politics behind Ender being banned from coming back to Earth, his journey to the colony of Shakespeare, his governance thereof, the discovery of the hive queen, his writing of The Hive Queen and The Hegemon, his travels to the colony of Ganges, and his meeting with the last of Bean and Petra's lost children. We also catch up with Virlomi, find out what happens between Ender and his parents, and follow Colonel Graff through retirement.
Part of the purpose of Ender in Exile was to nail down what exactly happened, and while doing this it became apparent that chapter 15 of Ender's Game was not consistent with many happenings in the other books. So it became a parallel project for Orson Scott Card to rewrite chapter 15 at the same time he wrote Ender in Exile. This revised chapter is only tweaked in a few minor ways, but it clears up certain problems in the timeline and fixes minor details. This chapter is currently only available online (with the purchase of any issue of oscIGMS), although at some point newer editions of Ender's Game will be published with the modified ending chapter.
When I first started reading this book I became quickly convinced that I had made an error, and that I had actually read it before and somehow forgotten. But no, it just contains a lot of information that we've seen before. Any Ender fan has come across various strands of this story in the many novellas published in sundry collections. There is actually comparatively little original content in this story. This puts it in an odd position; the true Ender fans will have read most of it already, and those who are not yet obsessed with the Enderverse shouldn't read it until they have read at least the Shadow Saga. I suppose the best time to read it would after Shadow of the Giant but before Speaker for the Dead, but that's not to say that I would necessarily recommend reading the entire Shadow Saga before the Speaker series. At this point the series is so intertangled that it's hard to make any recommendations on reading order.