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In Stone’s first reading, he determined, like many, that the hero’s story should end with the victory parade. This is a theme that played strongly for me with Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead because of my appreciation for Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces .But when he read the book the second time and attempted to stop where he felt it should have ended, he realized he couldn’t. I’m the person who forces herself to sit through the "Return to the Shire" at the end of Return of the King and loves Peter Jackson for including it even though, yes, it was pretty boring.
I certainly wouldn't classify this as essential reading.
Because he realized that this story wasn’t just about a kid beating the odds stacked against him to create an elite team of soldiers, tricked into defeating a deadly enemy by willingly, but unwittingly sacrificing human lives – it’s a story about Ender Wiggins. But I will argue tooth and nail that it was necessary to show the path of the hero.
There is no true victory celebration for a hero because the battle for him or her is always a Pyrrhic one.
Wanna know more about where IF or the Battle School came from? Wanna know what OSC was thinking when he created some of the characters? My personal favorite Q&A was the one where OSC discuss whether or not Ender’s Game glorifies war. If this all sounds interesting to you, then this is a good (great! One of a relatively small list of genre defining works.
It was followed fairly quickly by Speaker For The Dead and Xenocide which appeared to be a conclusion to Ender's story.