Hartʼs Hope Summary

  • Last updated on June 8, 2023

Orson Scott Card


Hart's Hope

Publish Date:

January 1, 1983


Fantasy Fiction

Page Length:

320 pages

Hart's Hope is a novel that explores themes of power, duty, and responsibility in a fantastical medieval world. The story is divided into three sections, each following a different protagonist as they navigate their own personal and political struggles.

In the first section, we meet Prince Abbot of Hart's Hope, a young man who inherits the throne after his father's untimely death. Abbot is thrust into a world of conspiracies and power struggles as he tries to navigate the politics of his kingdom. With the help of his advisor, Father Anscom, Abbot tries to uncover the truth behind his father's death and bring peace to his country.

As Abbot struggles with his duties as ruler, we are introduced to another character, Maissa. Maissa is a slave who is forced to serve the palace, but she dreams of escaping and finding a better life for herself. Maissa's story is one of survival as she tries to escape the shackles that bind her to a life of servitude.

In the second section of the novel, the focus shifts to the character of Mouse, a commoner who rises to power after being chosen by a mysterious figure known as the Lady. Mouse initially works as a scribe for the palace, but he soon becomes embroiled in a plot to overthrow the ruling class.

Mouse's story is one of ambition and revenge as he seeks to claim power for himself and enact revenge on those who have wronged him in the past. However, Mouse soon discovers that the pursuit of power comes at a cost and that the true price of his ambition may be too high.

The final section of the book brings all of the characters together as they converge in a climactic battle for control of Hart's Hope. Abbot, Maissa, and Mouse must all confront their own demons as they fight for control of their kingdom and their own destinies.

Throughout the novel, Card explores themes of power, duty, and responsibility. Each of the three main characters is forced to grapple with these issues as they navigate their own struggles. Abbot must learn how to wield power responsibly, Maissa must find the strength to break free from the chains of her servitude, and Mouse must confront the consequences of his own ambition.

In addition to these themes, the novel also touches on issues of class and social structure. The characters in the novel are defined by their social standing, and their interactions with each other are often shaped by these distinctions.

Overall, Hart's Hope is an engaging and thought-provoking novel that explores complex issues of power, duty, and responsibility in a vividly imagined world. The characters are well-drawn and sympathetic, and the plot is full of twists and turns that keep the reader engaged from beginning to end.

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