Ender in Exile follows Ender from the end of the Formic Wars back to Earth, and then through the stars to find a new home for the Bugger Queen, whose egg he’s smuggling around with him. It takes place in between the events of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, and during the events of Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant.
We do get to see some familiar faces in this book, and it’s nice to have these familiar names to ground the story and make the book less a sequel and more an explanation of events to which we were not previously privy (the pretension of the sentence I just wrote sets my own teeth on edge. BAH).
We follow Ender back to Earth, where he agrees to become the governor of a new outer space colony. We meet Alessandra Toscano, whose mother signs them both up as colonists and is determined to see Alessandra married to what will be the most powerful man on the new colony of Shakespeare: Ender. We follow Ender’s journey to Shakespeare and his struggle to establish peace and order there.
We follow Ender to Ganges, another colony, where he meets Randall Firth, a boy who believes that he is the son of Bean’s arch-enemy, Achilles des Flandres. Ender is able to prove to Randall that he is actually Bean and Petra’s son, and Randall changes his name to Arkanian Delphiki, acknowledging his true parentage.
Is my review boring you? It’s kind of boring me. These stories are a perfectly serviceable way to pass the time, but, all in all, there was nothing too terribly exciting about them. It’s kind of like someone telling you that they grew up with an acquaintance of yours, and then telling you all these stories about their childhood. It’s vaguely interesting, and good to know, but it wouldn’t have killed you not to know about the time your acquaintance tracked dog crap into the house.
If you’ve got the time and you’re jonesin’ bad for some Ender, this book is a quick way to get your fix. But you’d probably do better just to reread Ender’s Game.