Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead

Book - 1991
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In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

Speaker for the Dead , the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Ender Quintet, is the winner of the 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Novel.


Ender series
Ender's Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind

Ender's Shadow series
Ender's Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight

Children of the Fleet

The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens

The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
The Swarm / The Hive

Ender novellas
A War of Gifts / First Meetings

Publisher: New York : Tom Doherty Associates, c1991.
Edition: Rev. ed. --
ISBN: 9780312937386
Branch Call Number: FIC Card 1991
Characteristics: xxii, 280 p.


From the critics

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Aug 25, 2016

Speaker for the Dead is a follow up to Orson Scott Card's “Enders Game”. It is the story of how Andrew “Ender” Wiggin learned to cooperate with alien life, rather than destroy it. In the first book, Ender learns to play a computer game that eventually wipes out an entire alien race, and now in the sequel, Ender must deal with the guilt and pain of causing that race to disappear. Taking place 3,000 or so years after “Enders Game”, Andrew Wiggin has taken a new role as speaker for the dead, and his role as Ender the Xenocide has been forgotten with time. On planet Lusitania a second Alien race has been discovered, but their ways are deemed odd and mysterious deaths start to occur. It is up to Ender the Xenocide to find the truth, and to not make the same mistake again. In my opinion, this is the perfect sequel to “Enders Game”, and a great addition to the Enderverse. There is never a dull moment in this novel, and though it is more philosophical than all out alien warfare this time around, it proves to be just as enjoyable if not more than its predecessor. 5/5
- @ANIMAL279 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Speaker for the Dead is the second book in the Ender’s Game quartet. After many years of travelling at relativistic speeds, Ender may have found the perfect planet to for the new hive queen, a colony planet called Lusitania. However, the colonists have long since discovered that they aren’t the only sentient beings on the planet. Ender must defuse the tension between the two races before another Great War breaks out, resulting in xenocide. This book is much more of a think-piece than an action novel, looking into various big philosophical questions and exploring many mature and complex themes. The book is written beautifully and the characters are both memorable and interesting. The story has some great and unexpected twists and a satisfying ending, leaving you ready for the next entry in the series. 5/5 Stars
- @Fulton of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Aug 11, 2016

I loved this so much. Ender, adult, hasn't changed one bit and the mystery and discovery of the whole story kept me reading. I know people say this isn't like Ender's Game and etc but if you don't expect action scenes over a mystery and family redemption then you'll love this

Sep 17, 2015

When I attempted Speaker for the Dead for the first time back in 6th grade, shortly after finishing Ender's Game, I'll admit that most of it went over my head. I understood the basics of the Lusitanian colony life, the interactions among the Piggies and the external threats all were facing, but I simply didn't have the life experience to appreciate the bigger themes. I knew what a Speaker for the Dead did; I did not understand what a Speaker for the Dead was for. It would take two more attempts before I "got it." And now—some decades and countless philosophical discussions later—I can claim that Speaker has affected me in profound ways that would have been impossible when I was younger.

To change things up I listened to the audiobook on this last re-read, and at the end Card gives this interview where he provides a little background on how the story came about. He relates an anecdote about when he was a Mormon missionary in Brazil attending a funeral for a man who was an abusive husband, and how his victimized wife openly and unabashedly mourns upon his coffin. You'll have to hear it. It wasn't that this story was particularly sad, but I'm nearly moved to tears by the end. There was a part about "To understand someone, even one who has done wrong to you, is to love them." It's arguably THE central theme of both Ender's Game and Speaker. Have you ever been exposed to an idea that your heart understood right away but would take your mind days, months or even years to grasp?

The irony is that in the past few years Orson Scott Card has earned public derision for being intolerant of homosexuality and for espousing a slew of bigoted ideas—ideas I certainly do not share. Meanwhile, I've been a committed atheist/agnostic for over almost two decades. And yet here we are, meeting in the middle on the shakiest of common ground, able to share this one enlightened idea.

Jul 18, 2015

One of the best books I have read in years. I enjoyed it even more than "Ender's Game"

Jun 04, 2015

Very, very, very different from Ender's Game. More of an adult book. Could be considered a philosophical book.

Aug 07, 2014

I agree with several of the comments by previous reviewers. This book is very complicated, it started slow and it slowly picks up. The use of Portuguese and the lengthy and unfamiliar names at times further complicated the book. The transformation a Piggie goes through in their several lives is so foreign that it is hard to grasp. The very special relationship between Ender and Human, one of the key Piggies, was very well done. Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. A.

Kdmullerspy Jun 24, 2014

Great book, it made me think a lot. Novinha and her children are unnecessarily mean, though, and the piggies creep me out.

Jun 02, 2014

This book was even better than the first book. Some of the philosophy and scientific ideas are exceedingly interesting.

May 16, 2014

‘Speaker for the Dead’ - Ender Book 2: great sequel to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. I’d like to recommend to my contemporaries, other teenage readers, two of Card’s teenage rated released books: ‘Pathfinder’ (2010) and its sequel ‘Ruins’ (2012); great reading. Visitors (2014) – Sequel to Ruins is on order at the Ottawa Public Library. Doctor-at-Bass! Taylor A.

thowel01 Apr 28, 2014

I enjoyed the relationship between Ender and Human so much - they were by far the best pairing in the book. And I absolutely balled when Human was telling him "to come and sit in my shade and see the sunlight through my leaves, and rest your back against my trunk." So much of this book was moving and touching. I was not a fan of Novinha, and still am not, but her children provided really interesting dialogue for the Speaker - Olhado, Grego and Quara were my favorite of the six.

The last 150 pages of SftD was what made the book great, versus in EG, the entire book was a masterpiece. I enjoyed each though.

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Add a Quote
Jun 04, 2015

' "Time," said the Speaker, "time is such a fleeting, insubstantial thing. As Shakespeare said, 'I wasted time, and now doth time waste me'"
"What does 'doth' mean?"
"It means 'does.'"
"Why do you quote a guy who doesn't even know how to speak Stark?" ' ~ Speaker For the Dead

Jun 02, 2014

"Is it by truly understanding that we come to love, or by loving that we really understand?"

May 19, 2013

"O Senhor é descrente?" You're an unbeliever?

"Só descredo no incrível." I only disbelieve the unbelievable.

May 16, 2012

"...understood humankind in its endless quest for greatness in a wilderness of separation and suspicion."

May 16, 2012

"As long as you keep getting born, it's all right to die sometimes."

May 16, 2012

"...when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart."

May 16, 2012

"...she felt strangely healed, as if simply speaking her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn't a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate."

Mar 24, 2012

“You killed more people than anybody in history.”

“Be the best at whatever you do, that’s what my mother always told me.”

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Jun 04, 2015

Reyna_Avila_Grace thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

May 16, 2015

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Jun 02, 2014

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May 19, 2013

newenay thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

rwm70c Apr 20, 2013

rwm70c thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Summary
Jun 02, 2014

Ender must write another book as Speaker, but now, it is for the living.

Aug 21, 2011

Enderverse Bk2


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