An SF classic from the author ofEnder s GameKidnapped at an early age, the young singer Ansset has been raised in isolation at the mystical retreat called the Songhouse His life has been filled with music, and having only songs for companions, he develops a voice that is unlike any heard before Ansset s voice is both a blessing and a curse, for the young Songbird can reflect all the hopes and fears his auidence feels and, by magnifying their emotions, use his voice to heal or to destroy When it is discovered that his is the voice that the Emperor has waited decades for, Ansset is summoned to the Imperial Palace on Old Earth Many fates rest in Ansset s hands, and his songs will soon be put to the test either to salve the troubled conscience of a conqueror, or drive him, and the universe, into mad chaos Songmaster is a haunting story of power and love the tale of the man who would destroy everything he loves to preserve humanity s peace, and the boy who might just sing the world away This is a very, very strange novel I ve been a fan of OSC since I was very young, and since I was a young teen I ve been very disturbed by the almost violent intolerance of homosexuality he expresses in his essays This attitude seemed so at odds with the values woven into the stories of Ender and Bean stories of children who are different, but good, and catch a lot of crap for it but save their tormentors anyway.This book answered some of my questions No spoilers here, but suffice is to say This is a very, very strange novel I ve been a fan of OSC since I was very young, and since I was a young teen I ve been very disturbed by the almost violent intolerance of homosexuality he expresses in his essays This attitude seemed so at odds with the values woven into the stories of Ender and Bean stories of children who are different, but good, and catch a lot of crap for it but save their tormentors anyway.This book answered some of my questions No spoilers here, but suffice is to say that one of the only truly sympathetic characters in the novel is an openly gay man OSC s treatment of this character and his associates paints acomplete picture of OSC s views on homosexuality, and I found it very, very interesting This has been a favorite topic of mine for a while there are explicitly queer characters in much of OSC s fiction, most often struggling against themselves but there is nothing simple or moralizing in his portrayals, as there is in his essays More study is needed Ansset is the greatest Songbird ever created by the Songhouse Songbirds are singers cherished for the beauty of their voices and their ability to sway an audience Ansset has a voice that can sway the world throughthan emotion he can change the cosmos Once perfected, Songbirds are gifted out to those the Songhouse deems worthy They are sent off to colonized worlds in order to share their cherished talents Ansset is crafted into the perfect Songbird for the Emperor Mikal, the vicious a Ansset is the greatest Songbird ever created by the Songhouse Songbirds are singers cherished for the beauty of their voices and their ability to sway an audience Ansset has a voice that can sway the world throughthan emotion he can change the cosmos Once perfected, Songbirds are gifted out to those the Songhouse deems worthy They are sent off to colonized worlds in order to share their cherished talents Ansset is crafted into the perfect Songbird for the Emperor Mikal, the vicious and benevolent ruler of humanity Ansset s voice becomes known to all humans, and his power becomes legend Songmaster is an interesting book because Orson Scott Card is an interesting man, for positive and negative reasons Card is an oxymoron He is blatantly anti LGBTQ, and yet writes some of the most homoerotically charged science fiction in existence Card s infatuation with beautiful boys is fascinating Songmaster is full of homoerotic content Every man and woman lusts after Ansset s beauty The term catamite is used repeatedly And there are actual homosexuals in the book, the homosexuality is not just implied Because of this, Orson Scott Card highly confuses me He clearly wants to explore gay characters, but he preaches against them in the real world There would be no confusion if his books denounced homosexuality, but it is quite the opposite Card humanizes and empathizes with these characters They may not represent real gay people, but they are not depicted offensively So, Card, what is your point What s up with the hate if we fascinate you so much I think you might be one of us 3.5 this is truly my favorite scifi book of all time it s got orphaned children, gay questioning sex, weird psychic powers, enough tragedy to make me cry, and bards How could I not love it well, I did when I was 14 I really should qualify my sci fi reviews since many of these are from my teenage years and it could be that if I read them now I d be like huh what is this crap, like when you watch a cartoon movie like The Last Unicorn as an adult and think now why does that tree have boobs But I b this is truly my favorite scifi book of all time it s got orphaned children, gay questioning sex, weird psychic powers, enough tragedy to make me cry, and bards How could I not love it well, I did when I was 14 I really should qualify my sci fi reviews since many of these are from my teenage years and it could be that if I read them now I d be like huh what is this crap, like when you watch a cartoon movie like The Last Unicorn as an adult and think now why does that tree have boobs But I bet that since this is Orson Scott Card and he has so many crown masterpieces in his oeuvre that it is still good even as a jaded older person This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here But, if you are going to do something to someone that causes them terrible pain should the orgasm shouldn t you TELL them about this I don t want to read this book again It s disturbing But mainly because I m just not sure gay people WORK like that This book is like several books crammed into one It s Ender s Game with singing instead of laser tag It has a terrible underlying message about being gay too OSC does NOT understand how gay people work Or straight people for that matter I m so But, if you are going to do something to someone that causes them terrible pain should the orgasm shouldn t you TELL them about this I don t want to read this book again It s disturbing But mainly because I m just not sure gay people WORK like that This book is like several books crammed into one It s Ender s Game with singing instead of laser tag It has a terrible underlying message about being gay too OSC does NOT understand how gay people work Or straight people for that matter I m sorry, but most people don t look at a kid that way If they do, they need help Though there are those older women who want Justin Bieber and Taylor Lautner But they were in their teens at least High teens I don t think it s RIGHT, but they were not prepubescent kids Gay dudes don t go, ooo, look at that kid cringes when he is 15 and frigging looks 11 OR 12 It didn t seem like any of the other dudes he harped on were teens except when he was a teen, so WTF was up with this It s so insulting on a lot of levels.In terms of prose it s all tell and no show I m not saying books have to be all avant guard but maybe I don t like having everything spelled out to me like I m a little kid There s no subtlety No hints Nothing you as a read can gather on your own I like to try to figure things out I know OSC snubs this kind of writing, but I find it INTERESTING So, yeah, this book is frustrating Anyone remotely gay gets punished for giving in and being gay They either end up with no penis and kill themselves or they end up getting to be celibate forever while folks who follow the rules get married, have kids and live happily even if it makes no sense to marry someone you barely know and have kids with them Ugh