The hero of Orson Scott Card's still in progress Alvin Maker series, which thus far boasts five books: Seventh Son, Red Prophet, Prentice Alvin, Journeyman Alvin, and Heartfire. It's set in an alternate version of America, where everyone has some minor magical power called a knack, for instance the knack of finding water for a well, or making really tight barrels, or something. Alvin has an uber-knack; he's a Maker. He goes through his life meeting famous historical characters and searching for how to become a maker and to build the Crystal City, which he saw himself creating in a vision. The text is great, written in a wonderful plain folksy style which only occasionally crosses the line in to irritation. The story is very strong; the characters draw you in from the first paragraph.

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