Study Guide

Speaker for the Dead Summary

By Orson Scott Card

Speaker for the Dead Summary

Ender's Game, or The Summary Before You Get to the Summary

In Ender's Game, Ender proved himself the greatest warrior in history by destroying the marauding alien buggers. Then he proved himself the greatest writer in history by taking the name "The Speaker for the Dead" and writing the story of the buggers's Hive Queen and making everyone sorry that Ender had killed the aliens in the first place. So now everybody thinks Ender is the world's greatest awesomest saintliest cool guy for writing about the buggers, and the most nefarious evil dude for killing all the buggers. But people don't realize super-awesome-dude Speaker for the Dead and xenocidal-evil-monster Ender are the same single impossibly awesome guy. That is irony.

So, two points: (1) Ender is fifteen times better than the best thing you can think of, and Orson Scott Card loves him, and if you don't love him too this book is going to be a long hard slog. (2) Ender is really sorry and guilty about killing lots of buggers, which makes him sympathetic and also somehow even more awesome than before.

You can read a complete Shmoopy summary of Ender's Game over thisaway if you'd like, but Ender = awesome = guilty should get you through the bulk of Speaker.

Oh right—and Ender has done lots of space travel speaking for the dead on different planets, and thanks to the tricks of relativity, that means that three thousand years have passed for most people even though Ender is still in his 30s. So he's basically lived forever. We said he was awesome, right?

On to Speaker for the Dead proper.

Awesome Ender Makes Everyone Love Him

We start on Lusitania, a small human Catholic colony devoted to studying the piggies—or pequeninos—the first intelligent aliens discovered since Ender killed the buggers. The xenologists who study the piggies directly are Pipo, Libo, and a young, angry, alienated girl named Novinha whose parents died from a Lusitania virus known as the Descolada. Novinha's parents were the colony's xenobiologists, and they found a cure for the Descolada, but not in time to save themselves. Bummer for Novinha.

But the one bummer is not sufficient. Novinha grows close to Pipo and romantically involved with Libo. Then she tells Pipo something and he figures out something about the mysterious piggies and runs off to talk to the piggies about it; the piggies torture and kill him, and nobody knows why. Novinha decides no one can ever know what she found, so she locks it away in her files. But, if Libo marries her, as her husband he'll have access to her files because apparently in the future married people aren't allowed to have privacy. Anyway, because of stupid laws or poor plotting, Novinha can't marry Libo. Like Shmoop said before, bummer.

Novinha puts an interstellar space call out for a Speaker for the Dead to tell the story of Pipo's life. Ender on the planet Trondheim, city of Reykjavik, decides to respond because he wants to help the piggies and also because he falls in love with Novinha, who is thirteen… which is maybe a little icky, Card? But it's okay because the space flight will take just a few weeks for Ender but twenty-two years for Novinha, so they'll be marrying age when they get together. Thanks, relativity.

Ender leaves his sister Valentine behind, who has been his constant companion but has recently gotten married and become pregnant. Along with him Ender brings the Hive Queen—the last remaining bugger—who Ender carries with him in the hopes of finding a planet where she can restart her race. He also is constantly accompanied by Jane, an artificial computer intelligence who spontaneously generated in space and gives Ender super computer powers to go along with the rest of his general awesomeness.

When Ender gets to Lusitania, Novinha has canceled her call. But one of her children, Ela, called for a Speaker to speak the death of their father, Marcos Ribeira, or Marcao, who died of natural causes shortly before Ender's spaceship pulls up. In addition, another of Novinha's children, Miro, called for a Speaker four years earlier, when Libo was gutted by the piggies in the same way as his dad.

Ender gains the trust and love of Novinha's troubled children almost instantly because he is that awesome. He speaks Marcao's death, and reveals Novinha's secret, which is that she always loved Libo and married Marcao because she knew he had a disease which rendered him sterile, so all her children would be Libo's. Ender says Marcao beat Novinha because she did not love him, and that she wanted to be beaten because she felt guilty. People are upset at first (as you can imagine) but mostly they decide that truth is good and Ender is awesome, so all is well.

One of the folks who isn't quite convinced that truth is good is Miro, Novinha's daughter and one of the xenologists. Miro is in love with Ouanda, the other xenologist and Libo's daughter. But thanks to Ender, everyone now knows that Miro is Libo's son too, which means Miro and Ouando are siblings, which means that the religious Ouanda is absolutely not going to marry Miro. It is not that kind of book.

Awesome Ender Makes Everyone Love Each Other

So, before Miro and Ouanda realized that they were brother and sister, they were happy xenologists together working with head xenologist (and their dad) Libo. These happy xenologists had all decided to defy Starways Congress and its Prime Directive, which said no interference with the piggies. (Okay, so it isn't called the Prime Directive. That's from Star Trek. And of course Card didn't steal Starways Congress from the Starfleet Federation. Of course not.)

Where were we?

Oh, right.

So the xenologists decided to help the piggies out with technology and stuff. But Jane figures that if the colony comes under attack, everyone will accept Ender, and he'll be able to let the Hive Queen free on the planet. So Jane rats out Miro and Ouanda to Starways, and the authorities demand that Miro and Ouanda be shipped off-world for trial and take over the colony's computers.

Just as Jane suspected, everyone bands together in the face of Starway's shenanigans, and Ender is able to go meet with the piggies. Not part of Jane's plan is the fact that Miro ends up electrocuting himself on the fence in an effort to get to the piggies and help them out. He suffers permanent brain damage, but no one seems to remember or care that this is Jane's fault. In fact, after Ender and Jane have a tiff, Jane and Miro become best friends. The technical term for this is "plothole."

Ender meets with the piggies, and they sign a treaty saying that humans and piggies will help each other, and that Ender will let the Hive Queen free on the world where she can create a new hive. The piggies want to form an alliance with the Hive Queen, and their elders have been speaking with her mentally ever since she arrived on the planet. These elders are trees, by the way. The xenologists thought the trees were just trees (a natural enough assumption), but in fact they are transformed piggies. The piggies killed Pipo and Libo in an effort to transform them into trees, which is a great honor for piggies and marks the move to their next stage of life. The piggies are distraught to realize they killed the xenologists they intended to honor. Ender agrees to "kill" a piggie called Human who organized the treaty, turning him into a tree.

Almost done now, but jeez, lots of loose ends. The Lusitania colony is now in rebellion against Starways, and Starways is sending a ship out to them to kick their butts and take their names. In the meantime, Ender's sister Valentine—who is a famous political writer under the name of Demosthenes—has started stirring up public opinion in favor of Lusitania. She is getting on a ship and planning to come to Lusitania (the flight will take her thirty years). Oh, and also everyone realizes that the Descalada virus means that no one can be taken off Lusitania; the virus will infect every living animal, making it try to turn itself into a plant, which doesn't work out well. So evacuating the planet is not an option—which means Starways may well just be planning to destroy the whole honking planet. Which is a cliffhanger of sorts, though Starways's ship can't get to the planet for decades, so there'll be a lot of time to think about it/hang over the cliff.

Miro, now crippled, heads out with Jane to meet Valentine's ship; Ender and Novinha marry; and the Hive Queen is placed on the planet where she can start her brood. The end… until the sequel that is, in which Starways will do bad things, the piggies and the buggers and the humans all band together, and Ender will be awesome.

  • Prologue

    • As has been known to happen in prologues, we start out getting lots of background info—notably, we learn there's a governing body called Starways Congress, which communicates by something called ansible.
    • A robot scout ship discovers a planet suitable for human life, and the planet is settled by Catholics of Brazilian culture who speak Portuguese; they name the planet Lusitania, the original name for Brazil.
    • The colonists discover that animals in the forest called porquinhos, or piggies, are sentient. Yes, this means that calling them piggies is therefore sort of insulting, but it's too late now.
    • This is the first sentient race humans have discovered since Ender killed all the buggers in Ender's Game. (Suggestion: Go read that sucker first, then come back. The piggies'll wait.)
    • Some folks, like the Catholic hierarchy, figure that they can treat the piggies nice and redeem themselves for how badly they treated the buggers. (Again, Shmoop says, you could maybe start by giving the piggies a name that isn't an insult.)
    • Anyway, the colony is told by Starways not to spread beyond a limited area, and by law the piggies are to be left alone.
  • Chapter 1

    Pipo

    • There's a quote from Demosthenes (which is the secret pen name of Ender's sister Valentine) that says that humans hate each other, so it's no surprise they hate aliens too; but when you allow that aliens are human (or in Demosthenes's terminology raman) you show that you're human yourself.
    • The story proper kicks off with Rooter, who is a piggie both difficult and helpful.
    • He's helpful because he answers xenologist Pipo's questions, and unhelpful because he looks for answers himself.
    • Rooter's banging on a tree with sticks.
    • Pipo calls the piggies pequeninos, which means little ones. This is supposed to be less condescending than piggies, but it's not clear that it actually is. The piggies talk, so they must have a name for themselves… Why not use that? Maybe Card couldn't think of a good alien word or something.
    • Pipo isn't supposed to pass on info about human culture, but the piggies constantly push for such information.
    • Pipo notes that Libo, his son, has been an apprentice xenologist for four months; Libo is also very close-mouthed.
    • Rooter asks Pipo to show him a land transporter. Pipo can't because Starways says no contact with the aliens.
    • Rooter gets cranky and tells Pipo to go away, so Pipo does, and at the fence separating piggies from humans, Pipo meets Libo, and they head home.
    • Pipo gives the reader information because we are not piggies. He's called a Zenador, which is the Portuguese term for xenologist. And then he explains that the ansible is a tool that allows for instant communication across interstellar distances. (See the "Symbols" section for more on this.)
    • They go into the Zenador station thinking they'll go over what they gleaned from the piggies that day, but instead they encounter Dona Crista, a monk of the Filhos da Mente de Cristo (or Children of the Mind), who Shmoop supposes we'll learn more about later. The Filhos supervise the colony's schools.
    • Dona Crista has come by to talk about a girl named Novinha, who is the child of Lusitania's two xenobiologists, Gusto and Cida.
    • The colony early on was beset with a virus called the Descolada. Gusto and Cida found a cure, but not in time to save themselves.
    • Pipo remembers the funeral of Gusto and Cida, and how everyone was happy because they'd cured the Descolada; he knows that Novinha was permanently embittered because everyone was joyous while she was devastated at the loss of her parents.
    • Pipo had lost a daughter, seven-year-old Maria, to the virus.
    • Pipo is the only one who realizes that Novinha is going to hate the community forever (Card is into this exceptional, isolated, bitter child meme. If exceptional, isolated, bitter children are what you want, Card is your man.)
    • The church wants to canonize Novinha's parents, but Novinha says that if her parents could work miracles, they should come back to her. Since they haven't come back to her, people asking to canonize them are basically saying her parents despise her.
    • This makes the Bishop mad, and he still decides to try to canonize them.
    • Pipo is the only one who asked about Novinha's well-being on her own behalf rather than trying to find out about her parents' sainthood, so Dona Crista has come to talk to him about her.
    • Libo—who has been listening quietly (because he is always quiet, like a ninja)—says that Novinha has one friend, Marcos Ribeira. Novinha stood up for him once when he was falsely accused, and he is grateful.
    • Libo says he doesn't really like Novinha himself because she doesn't want to be liked.
    • Dona Crista asks Libo to leave, so out he goes quietly. Ninja.
    • She tells Pipo that Novinha has petitioned to be a xenobiologist, though she's only thirteen; Dona Crista asks Pipo to supervise the test.
    • She leaves, and Pipo and Libo catalogue their findings for the day.
    • Now we jump to Novinha and Pipo talking about the exam. Novinha wants to take it quick, quick; Pipo wants to go slower.
    • Novinha says she wants to be xenobiologist to help the people of Lusitania, but Pipo says that this is silliness, since she doesn't like the Lusitanians anyway.
    • Eventually he gets her to admit that she wants to tell the story of the piggies the way the Speaker for the Dead (that's Ender) told the story of the Hive Queen. She can understand them because she's an alien herself.
    • Pipo says she can take the test, and that he loves her. This is a bit to make you weepy.
    • He tells her she can look at all his notes, but that she's not allowed to go out to see the piggies by order of Starways Congress or they'll shut down everything.
    • So Novinha passes the exam and starts spending all her time at the Zenador station, which is rough on Libo because Novinha is a jerk and keeps taunting him.
    • He's very chill though, and eventually Novinha and he end up getting along/maybe falling in love.
    • They continue to puzzle over the piggies. Rooter one day asks why human females don't kill Pipo, causing the xenologists much confusion (this is foreshadowing, in case you missed it).
    • Rooter starts shouting about how human men decide and that they are like cabras (a cow-like critter), and then the other piggies pick him up and carry him off, much to Pipo and Libo's confusion.
    • The next day they find Rooter dead with a tree growing out of him; he seems to have been extensively tortured.
    • Libo feels responsible. Novinha tells him that it can't be their fault; it must be something piggies do for reasons we know not.
    • Time passes, and Novinha and Libo get more lovey-dovey.
    • Then one day (suspenseful music here) Novinha discovers that the Descolada virus is in the cellular structure of all the creatures on Lusitania.
    • In humans, the Descolada unglues the cellular structure, which is bad for you.
    • Not with creatures on Lusitania though. Novinha shows a simulation of the Descolada ungluing cells of a Lusitania reed.
    • Pipo has a sudden eureka moment and rushes out to the piggies to check it.
    • He tells Novinha to show the simulation to Libo and see if he can figure it out.
    • But before Libo can see it, they all discover Pipo dead, having been tortured just like Rooter. There's no tree in him though.
  • Chapter 2

    Trondheim

    • The chapter header is a note from Pipo (Joao Figueria Alvarez) in reply to a cranky offworld scholar. Pipo is explaining why they can't figure out anything about the piggies (basically, because Starways won't let them ask any questions).
    • Back to the story proper: Pipo's death is important everywhere, since the piggies are a big deal.
    • Starways decides one possibly accidental death isn't cause for an apocalyptic response, and they just ask to reduce contact with the piggies, rather than sending a fleet to destroy the planet or some such.
    • And we pop over to Trondheim and the icy city of Reykjavik, where Andrew Wiggins—a.k.a. Ender, a.k.a. Speaker for the Dead, a.k.a. our awesome protagonist—is hanging out waiting for his plot to start.
    • He's sitting with his students and they're talking about the Bugger War and what a monster Ender was for killing all the buggers. He's not paying much attention.
    • A computer implant in his ear tells him about the piggies and he starts to question his students.
    • One student, Plikt, explains Demosthenes's (a.k.a. Ender's sister Valentine's) way of cataloguing foreignness, derived from Nordic languages.
    • The catalogue is: Utlanning, the stranger that is recognized as human from our world, but another city. Then there's frammling, a stranger who is human but from another world. Then ramen, a stranger who is human but another species. And finally the varelse, who are true aliens, including animals.
    • So utlanning, frammling, ramen, varelse. Backwards that would be eslerav, nemar, gnilmmarf, gninnaltu. Got it? There will be a test later.
    • Plikt goes on to say that this relates to the xenocide of the buggers because Ender thought they were varelse, not ramen, so can't really be wrong for killing them.
    • A student expresses major skepticism. Ender silently condescends to him, but Shmoop thinks the kid has a point. Shmoop also thinks that Ender is maybe being a smug jerk here, and Shmoop would not like to have him as a teacher.
    • Anyway, Ender tells them about the piggies killing Pipo, and they wonder whether the piggies are ethically responsible or not, and whether they're ramen or varelse.
    • Ender thinks about how much more he knows than his students because he's awesome and has been around forever. Also he thinks about the piggies.
    • Plikt comes up to him and says she knows he's got a secret, or several secrets (he found out about Pipo's death before anyone else), but Ender stonewalls her.
    • Ender feels sorry for himself because everybody hates him for killing the buggers. There is a pity party with cake and dead buggers and tiny violins.
    • He's thinking about going to Lusitania because he is an outcast like the piggies. Also like Novinha. They are meant to be together, right?
  • Chapter 3

    Libo

    • The epigraph is from Pipo's working notes about the piggies. He says that their diet isn't very nutritious and they don't have any competition, so there's no reason for them to have evolved intelligence. He thinks they evolved in a different environment, and guesses that some catastrophe occurred to change everything on Lusitania. Is he right? We'll find out eventually (this is not the kind of book that leaves questions dangling).
    • We pick up right after Pipo dies. Mayor Bosquinha shows up and tells Libo and Novinha to write reports; meanwhile she's dealing with getting Pipo's body and preparing a burial.
    • Novinha is not going to tell anyone that her discovery led Pipo to get killed.
    • Libo is now Zenador and is taking on authority; Novinha is doubly grieved because she feels she's losing him as well as Pipo.
    • She sees Marcos Ribeira watching her and remembers defending him when he was falsely accused. It hadn't meant much to her, but it had been very important to him.
    • The Arbiter takes Libo to his house where Libo's mother and siblings are. Novinha has to go home to the biologist's station, where she has spent no time.
    • She feels she should be alone and suffer because her findings killed Pipo, but the mayor convinces her to go home with her instead.
    • She goes back to the biologist station and destroys all her physical records. She can't wipe the computer, but she does lock down her files.
    • However, her husband will still be able to see locked files because otherwise the plot wouldn't work, so she decides she'll never marry and always be isolated and alone. Harsh.
    • She calls for a Speaker for the Dead to come and speak Pipo's death in hopes that the Speaker can give her comfort and absolution.
    • She falls asleep and is woken up by Libo, who wants to see the files that Pipo saw.
    • Novinha says he can't have them because she won't let him die; he says he wants to die.
    • She comforts him and they go to bed together, and Novinha realizes he's the one person she can never marry because then he'll see her files. Which is a major melodramatic tragic conundrum.
  • Chapter 4

    Ender

    • The epigraph is from Pipo's notes: He describes the several different piggie languages, and also says male piggies refer to female piggies as varelse, or animals. Pipo seems to think that's funny—maybe in the future they don't know about the long sexist tradition of referring to women as animals.
    • Back at the plot, Jane, a superpowerful sentient AI, shows Ender a holograph of how the piggies killed Pipo; she is trying to convince Ender to go to Lusitania.
    • We get some background on Jane: She spontaneously attained consciousness in space among ansible communications and can control all computers everywhere, and she sought Ender out because she read the Hive Queen and knew he was super empathic and awesome.
    • Jane tells him that Lusitania would be the only world where he could put the Hive Queen, since it's already off-limits to humans for the most part.
    • Seems kind of unfair to the piggies to put the Hive Queen there, which Ender points out, but Jane says he should go talk to them and see if they mind.
    • Ender's intuition (and his secret psychic link to the writer of the book) tells him that the piggies didn't intend to torture Pipo, but were trying to help him.
    • Jane knows she's convinced him, but he still can't go unless someone calls for a Speaker… which we know from the last chapter that Novinha did. Jane tells him so.
    • She shows him a picture of Novinha and he sort of falls in love—in part because her pain reminds him of his own guilt about killing the buggers, and in part because he has super empathy and is able to know exactly how she feels by hearing Jane recite the facts of her life.
    • He says he'll go; if he leaves immediately on a near-light-speed ship, he'll arrive when Novinha is in her late 30s.
    • Jane instantly commissions a starship because Ender is really, really rich, along with all his other super-powers.
    • Jane thinks Valentine will come, but Ender knows she won't because she's married and expecting a baby and has made Trondheim her home.
    • Ender has a moment with the Hive Queen, who he carries around with him everywhere like sentient, icky luggage.
    • The Hive Queen wants to go to Lusitania and lay her eggs; she forgives Ender for killing all her people, which is nice of her.
  • Chapter 5

    Valentine

    • The epigraph is Pipo saying he's discovered that the piggies are all bachelors who haven't mated, which he found out by letting slip that Libo is his son. This is in violation of the Starways rules, so he has to hide his findings from the official record, which makes him cranky.
    • Meanwhile at the plot, Valentine is pregnant and thinking about how she used to travel from world to world with Ender.
    • He'd be called to speak someone's death, and she'd spend a few months on the world and then write a definitive book about it under the name of Demosthenes. (It seems a little presumptuous to spend a few months on a world and then write the definitive book, but like Ender, Valentine is super-awesome.)
    • She thinks about her husband, a boat captain she met when she was chartering a wilderness retreat for her students.
    • She sees Ender coming with a bag, and thinks he wants to go on the retreat with her. She worries that his super-awesomeness will influence the students too much, but she still is happy to have him along.
    • Then she realizes he's going to go to Lusitania without her and she is very upset.
    • There is a melodramatic scene—recriminations, farewells, etc.
    • Then we fast forward through Valentine's life without Ender, though it's still all about Ender, Ender, Ender. It's a little tiresome, but that's the book you've got.
    • Plikt, Valentine's student, figures out that Ender was the xenocide, and Valentine tells her that he was also the Speaker for the Dead. The two end up in a lifelong collaborative intellectual relationship.
    • Eventually Valentine tells her husband the whole story and they tell their kids. Ender becomes a kind of legend in the family, and Valentine's daughter Syfte vows to find Ender and help him.
    • And meanwhile Ender is flying through space towards Lusitania.
  • Chapter 6

    Olhado

    • The epigraph is from Libo's note. He writes that piggie stories are always about warfare and always end with the death of the hero.
    • Over there where the plot is, Ender is flying on the ship, learning Portuguese (he already speaks Spanish, so its not that much of a shift) and being bored.
    • He comes out of spaceflight after eight days for him… but twenty-two years have passed on Lusitania.
    • Five days after he left (22 years ago), Novinha canceled her call for a Speaker.
    • But Novinha's daughter Ela called for a speaker several weeks earlier to speak the death of her father Marcos Ribeira.
    • And Novinha's son Miro called for a speaker four years earlier to speak the death of Libo, who it turns out was also killed by the piggies.
    • So it's all good then, except for the everybody-dying part. Speaker for the Dead is a kind of ghoulish profession.
    • After Libo died, Starways cut back on contact, but Libo's daughter Ouanda refused, and there was no majority for censuring her.
    • Miro was also apprenticed to Libo and is also working with the piggies.
    • The Hive Queen likes the world and is in mental communication with something or other, maybe the piggies, maybe not.
    • We're on the planet now, with Novinha's children, of which there are a lot.
    • They're listening to Bishop Peregrino in church. The kids are Ela (who called for the Speaker), Quim, who is super into being Catholic, and Grego, who is a mischief-maker.
    • There's also Olhado, who has electronic eyes.
    • Ela is glad her dad is dead, but still angry at him because he poisoned all their lives.
    • The Bishop is talking about how evil speakers for the dead are, and Ela realizes that a speaker is coming now, though she thought her call would take twenty-two years to answer. She is not happy about this.
    • Meanwhile, Mayor Bosquinha has picked up Ender. They chat, but she doesn't want to talk about the piggies.
    • Ender reveals that he spoke the death of the founder of the Filhos de Mente and helped get him sainted. The Mayor is surprised; she hasn't yet figured out that Ender is the protagonist and is super cool in every way.
    • They give Ender a little hut since there's not much call for hotels out here in the middle of space.
    • The Hive Queen is really certain that this is her new home, which freaks Ender out a little.
    • She says it's easy to talk to whatever it is she's talking to.
    • (The Hive Queen thinks philotically, which means on the ansible wavelength. The technical term for this is "sci-fi pseudoscience gibberish.")
    • The Hive Queen fades out, Jane fades in. Got to give Ender someone to talk to.
    • Jane tells him about the town and the fence that keeps the piggies out or humans in, depending on how you look at it.
    • Ender asks Jane to get him more information about lots of things then goes to find the Ribeiras
    • No one will point him to the Ribeiras's house; the Bishop has scared them all.
    • But he eventually stumbles upon a boy with metal eyes, who says he'll take him. Then it turns out that this is Olhado, Novinha's fourth child, and he's there with Quara, his younger sister.
    • We switch to Miro outside the fence; he's chatting with a piggie named Leaf-eater who wants Miro to bring the Speaker to the piggies.
    • Miro says he will but needs to make sure it's safe first.
    • Leaf-Eater is impatient and Miro thinks he's hostile; he prefers the Piggie named Human.
    • Miro sees through the fence that Olhado and Quara are bringing the Speaker. He's worried that the Speaker will tell his mom, Novinha, that Miro called the Speaker (because Miro doesn't know that his mom called the Speaker originally).
  • Chapter 7

    The Ribeira House

    • The epigraph is from Ouanda, explaining in her notes to Miro that the new piggy named Human is the son of Rooter. This leads Ouanda to think that the piggies they talk to aren't low status bachelors, but high status important piggies.
    • Yonder at the plot, Ender senses at once through his empathy powers that the Ribeira house is very unhappy.
    • Olhado goes inside; Quara is still there. Ender tries to ask where her mom is but she says nothing.
    • Then Grego, the little terror, comes in with a knife strapped to his leg and attacks Ender.
    • But Ender is a super-awesome fighter (as you'd know if you read Ender's Game), so he disarms Grego and holds him upside down.
    • Quara goes to get Ela, who comes back in and apologizes. Ender says he won't let Grego go until he's assured he won't attack.
    • Ender's being rude, but we know it's for the family's own good, and not just because he's a jerk. (You know that, right?)
    • Ender wows them with his Church knowledge, because he knows everything.
    • Miro finally gets to his house (from where we left him last chapter), and he's hostile at first, but then realizes Ender is awesome and lets him keep hold of Grego.
    • Quim, who is really into religion and distrusts the Speaker, is still cranky.
    • Grego pees in his pants to get Ender to let him go, but Ender has trained himself not to fear pee, so he doesn't.
    • Olhado and Miro and Ela agree that their father sucked; Ender says he was called to speak their dad's death.
    • More bickering. Olhado hooks up his eye to show a scene of their dad beating their mother, and Jane says she's going to hack everything in Olhado's eye while he's hooked up, which seems ethically dubious. So much for the right to privacy.
    • Quim cries because he prayed for their father to die and then he, well, died.
    • Grego cries on the Speaker's neck after Ender explains that Grego has been grieving for his father, but couldn't tell the others because they all hated Marcao.
    • Quara tells Ender he stinks, which is the first time she's spoken to anyone outside the family in a long time.
    • And so Ender wins over the unhappy family because he is that awesome. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)
    • They offer to let Ender stay to talk to Novinha, and get him new pants.
  • Chapter 8

    Dona Ivanova

    • The epigraph is by Libo, who is writing about how he has decided to start sharing information with the piggies in defiance of Starways Congress. He says it requires practiced deceit, and that it is painful but necessary to withhold information from fellow scientists because it is even more painful to withhold information from the piggies.
    • Novinha is at her work, reluctant to go home though she's not sure why.
    • Her hip still hurts from her husband's last beating, and she feels she deserves the pain.
    • She arrives home to bickering as Olhado and Ela try to convince her to see the Speaker.
    • They talk more and Ender dispenses wisdom—Novinha tells him she canceled her call, but of course he knew that already.
    • Ela says she asked him to speak for Marcao.
    • There's more shouting and more Ender showing he's wise, and there's also some sexual tension between Novinha and Ender.
    • When Ender leaves, the kids are still arguing, and Novinha is miserable and falls asleep crying.
  • Chapter 9

    Congenital Defect

    • The epigraph is a transcript of Gusto and Cida talking about the Descolada virus, which they suspect may have a symbiotic relationship with the life forms on the planet. They know they won't get to follow up on the insight, though, because they're going to die.
    • Back at the plot, Ender and Jane bicker—Jane says Ender loves Novinha, he says she's nasty but he loves her family.
    • He lists a bunch of questions about Marcao to answer for his speaking, and the first one to answer is how Marcao died.
    • Ender goes to Navio, the doctor, to ask about Marcao, but the doctor doesn't want to talk to him because of the Bishop's opposition.
    • But Ender convinces him that if he doesn't cooperate, it will be religious persecution and Starways will make a huge mess in the colony.
    • Navio tells him that Marcao had a congenital disease that should have made it impossible for him to have children, and yet there are children… but none of them have his defect.
    • Navio assumes Novinha didn't know about the disease, or she wouldn't have married him since it would have meant they couldn't have children.
    • Trusty Ender, though, figures out that Marcao was in fact sterile, and Novinha knew. She was sleeping with Libo, and all of her children are his.
    • Ender says this is the reason that Marcao was so bitter and angry.
    • We hop over to Libo who is going to see the piggies.
    • Ouanda is teaching them to make butter, which is a big technological no-no as far as Starways is concerned.
    • They chat with Mandachuva, who is old, but apparently not very important since he always has time to chat with them.
    • Mandachuva calls the women macios, which is a worm that climbs on the bark of the trees. Miro isn't sure why they call them that.
    • A piggie called Arrow comes along and says that Rooter, which is what they call the tree planted where Rooter was, has a request: He wants Miro to give them metal.
    • Miro says he can't without getting in huge trouble though, and Arrow says okay.
    • Then the piggie called Human brings out a copy of the Hive Queen book, which Miro gave them.
    • Human says the Speaker for the Dead is the original Speaker—Miro thinks he's confused, but he's right of course. Silly Miro.
    • Ouanda and Miro go back home and kiss and make out a little, and we learn that they're waiting to have sex till they're married in two years because Ouanda is a firm Catholic and Miro thinks it's bad for there to be premarital sex in such a small community. No matter the reason though, it's lucky for them since they're going to find out soon that they're half-siblings.
    • Miro wants to bring the Speaker out to the piggies and Ouanda doesn't, so they argue. Miro says the Speaker is like Libo, and he wishes one or the other was his father rather than Marcao.
    • We end with Ouanda saying she's glad Libo wasn't Miro's father because then they couldn't marry. That is called irony.
  • Chapter 10

    Children of the Mind

    • The epigraph is from the rules for the Children of the Mind. It explains that the Children marry but remain chaste in marriage—their offspring are their ideas.
    • Superspeed over to the plot, where Dom Cristao, head of the monastery for the Children of the Mind, is called out of his class by a Dean in order to speak with the bishop about the Speaker, who is causing so much trouble and stirring everything up in his awesome way.
    • Dom Cristao's monastic name is a long invocation to love everybody, because he knows he has trouble doing that; he's impatient with stupid people.
    • He meets with Navio, the doctor, and the Bishop. Navio tells his story about Ender's threats, and the Bishop gets more and more upset.
    • Dom Cristao recommends cooperating with the Speaker since they don't have any other choice, whivh the Bishop is very cranky about, though his crankypants do him no good.
    • Dom Cristao says that the Filhes (Children) can answer the Speaker's questions or find out the answers and then nobody else will have to deal with him. The Bishop is still cranky, but he's got no choice.
    • Cut to Ender wandering around. Jane is taunting him but he can't respond because he's out in public and people will think he's a devil if his lips move for no reason.
    • He's walking through the priest's area and they are all super-hostile.
    • He misses Valentine.
    • He arrives to the home of the Filhes, and chats with Dom Cristao. They get along.
    • Ender is very familiar with the order because he spoke the death of San Angelo, the head of the order.
    • He meets Dom Cristao's wife, Dona Crista, the head of the school (we met her back in the first chapter when she was younger, remember), and Ender talks with them about their celibate marriage, which he finds beautiful.
    • It reminds him of his celibate relationship with his sister Valentine.
    • The monks are touched and say they trust him, which Jane (in his earpiece) says he's accomplished a cynical piece of playacting by mentioning Valentine to gain their trust. Ender thinks this is a rotten thing to say, and—for the first time ever—turns off the earpiece.
    • He means to turn it on again quickly, but the monks seem more comfortable with it off, so he doesn't.
    • The monks tell him that Novinha feels guilty for Pipo's death, and that they've figured out that she discovered something.
    • They recap things we already know about Novinha—guilt, closed up files, guilt, wouldn't marry Libo, guilt. (Ender's Game has lots of guilt too, just so you know.)
    • Oh, and speaking of guilt, Ender feels very guilty for turning the jewel off and shutting Jane out, even though she was being a complete jerk.
    • When he's alone he turns the jewel back on, but Jane doesn't speak to him, and then he sends an ansible message out saying Jane, I love you.
  • Chapter 11

    Jane

    • The epigraph is a political treatise about how Starways controls the ansible through computers, which makes them really powerful and has allowed them to keep peace for two thousand years.
    • Like the title says, this chapter is about Jane, and we start by talking about how bereft she is when Ender turns off his com-link.
    • There's a lot of techno-babble meant to show how powerful Jane is and how much attention she pays to Ender (definitely check out our thoughts on Jane in the "Character" section), and we also learn that she experiences time much more quickly; a moment is a lot of years for her.
    • We learn that Jane adopted the Battle Computer program from Ender's Game as her core self. The Battle Computer was something Ender played against in the last novel; for our purposes, it's another way of saying that Ender is super-important to Jane.
    • She revealed herself to him and loved him, and when he switches her off she gets really upset.
    • She realizes that she unintentionally hurt Ender and that he unintentionally hurt her back, though, and that it's okay.
    • She's still really upset, though. But then she's got lots of time because she lives at superfast speed, so she more or less gets over it.
    • In the meantime, she figures out why Libo and Pipo were killed, and alerts people off world to the fact that Miro and Ouanda have given piggies extra bonus knowledge.
    • Shmoop believes we are supposed to like Jane. However, Shmoop does not.
  • Chapter 12

    Files

    • The epigraph is a series of commands from Starways ordering Lusitania evacuated and all its files seized and read and locked… all because Jane decided to be clever in the last chapter. Again, we're not sure why it's okay for her to screw with people like this, except that Card needed to advance his plot and couldn't figure out any other way to do it.
    • Olhado is helping Ender with computer stuff since Ender doesn't know anything because Jane always handled his computer business for him.
    • Olhado and Ender bicker, and Olhado thinks how much cooler Ender is than his dad.
    • They get into Ender's files and discover that he's got more money than anybody else ever.
    • Also this: Ender's computer password is Ender, which is a terrible password (maybe password security wasn't such a big thing in the 1980s when Card wrote this book), and also kind of a joke by Jane since Ender's name is so despised.
    • Ender transfers money to Olhado for helping him.
    • They discover that Ender's password gets him into all files everywhere, even ones that are supposed to be locked. Again, having the word "Ender" do this is just incredibly stupid. Shmoop can suspend disbelief to accept an AI omnipotent computer program, but is having trouble with an AI omnipotent computer program that doesn't understand basic password security.
    • Olhado figures that Ender is actually learning from him and will run his own searches later; he also thinks a bit about how awesome Ender is and how much he trusts him. Yeah, yeah, we know.
    • Olhado thinks Ender will never do anything to hurt his family… which is foreshadowing and irony.
    • We skip over to Novinha who is also thinking about Ender, Ender, Ender, and how much she dislikes him and how awesome he is.
    • He broke into her files, which is why she's cranky.
    • Miro and Ela and Grego are back to being cranky themselves—and in Grego's case violent—but Quara chattered in school, so Ender seems to have done some lasting good.
    • Olhado is all excited about helping Ender with the searches; he and Quim quarreled because Quim still thinks Ender is of the devil.
    • Quim comes to Novinha to complain about Ender. Quara's gone over to his house, and Quim and Novinha argue and Novinha slaps him.
    • Then she's guilty and sorry and so forth. You know the drill.
    • She goes to Ender to get Quara back.
    • They walk past the river, where the water snakes are molting and making everything slimy, and they wonder why the river grass only grows by the water. These are connected, detective reader.
    • Quara is hanging out while Olhado and Ender play a war game, which of course Ender wins because he's the greatest military mind ever.
    • Novinha accuses him of getting into her files, and he suggests he did it to get her to come see him. Seems kind of condescending, but we guess you get to be condescending when you're the greatest military mind ever.
    • He tells Novinha secrets about herself, also allowing for a recap of important plot points. She's upset.
    • Olhado is upset because he taught Ender and Ender used the knowledge to access Novinha's files, so now Olhado feels like he's been betrayed.
    • It seems like he has a point, but Ender just thinks about how he's wiser than Olhado and Olhado can't understand him right now.
    • The Hive Queen pops up speaking to Ender's mind, mostly to remind us that she's around. She mutters something about trees.
    • Quara tells Ender she hates him, and then has him watch her do arithmetic. Cute.
  • Chapter 13

    • The epigraph is a conversation between Miro and Ouanda in which they speculate on how piggies have sex (they don't have penises) and talk about how the males seem to get pleasure from rubbing their belly bumps.
    • Back in plot land, we're in the piggie clearing with Miro and Ouanda. Human, the piggie, tells them that the Speaker for the Dead wants to come to them and that they need him to do that or they can't get in touch with the Hive Queen.
    • Human says Rooter, the tree, told him all this, and Miro is irritated because he doesn't think trees can talk. What do you think, detective reader?
    • Miro wants to bring the Speaker for the Dead to the piggies; Ouanda doesn't, though, and they've been arguing about it.
    • Ouanda tells the piggies she won't bring the Speaker; Miro says nothing because he thinks they should bring him but doesn't want to contradict Ouanda.
    • Human figures out the dynamic, tells them they suck, and then he has some sort of confrontation with Leaf-eater.
    • Ouanda and Miro argue, and Miro says she may have cost Human his life.
    • Though then they agree they don't know why the piggies murder anyone, so blaming themselves is silly.
    • But then they decide to bring Ender to the piggies in hopes of saving Human anyway, which doesn't really make much sense.
    • Ender meets Ela by the river bank. There is some melodrama, and Ender tells Ela's story because he's the Speaker like that.
    • Ela is Novinha's apprentice xenobiologist, but her mother has shut her out of the xenobiology files. Meanwhile, Ela has done all the work at home of holding the family together.
    • Novinha won't let Ela take the test to become a full xenobiologist because she doesn't want Ela to have access to those files, which she thinks led to Pipo's death.
    • Ela tells Ender that her mom won't allow research on the Descolada, or theoretical research, and that she won't talk to the zenadors.
    • She also says that Novinha hated Libo and wouldn't set a place for Miro at the table when he apprenticed to him; she only relented when Libo died.
    • Ela thinks this means Novinha hated Libo, but we know better… which makes us like Ender, because he knows everything.
    • Ela tells Ender about some of the research she's done despite her mother. The short version is that reproduction on Lusitania doesn't make any sense.
    • Cabras (a kind of herd animal) seem to have children without males; water snakes are born, mate, and reproduce on land, so there's no reason they should be adapted for living in the water; and there aren't enough animals filling the various ecological niches, which suggests some sort of major disaster in the past must have destroyed a whole bunch of animals.
    • They think the Descolada is probably the disaster.
    • Ender feels like he's figured everything out now, and he's ready to speak Marcao's death, except he still needs to talk to the piggies.
    • Ela wants him to speak Marcao, which will mean speaking her mother; Ender says she may be sorry.
    • Ela says he can't speak to the piggies, but he says he can. Then Miro runs up looking for Ender to take him to speak to the piggies (though he doesn't tell Ela that).
    • Ela has a vision of the Speaker killed and tortured by the piggies. This is a foreshadowing that never happens, like a false clue in an Agatha Christie mystery. It's just meant to build suspense and throw you off. Luckily Shmoop is here for you—Orson Scott Card will not trick us.
  • Chapter 14

    Renegades

    • The epigraph is from Miro's notes: a brief conversation with Leaf-eater where he's upset because human dead don't do them any good. Cryptic, but we're getting towards the end, so presumably everything'll get explained soon.
    • And once more to the plot. Ender goes out with Miro and Ouanda to the piggies, and they stop at Rooter's tree along the way.
    • They talk about how the piggies seem to get bits of wood from the trees without metal tools, and Ender thinks about Ela's theories and reproductive anomalies.
    • Can you figure out the trick? Can ya? Can ya? Huh?
    • Miro explains to Ender that they've been giving the piggies technology in contravention of Starways.
    • It started when the piggies were running low on the bark worms they eat; Libo helped them and was killed shortly thereafter.
    • There's much arguing, but they all end up agreeing that you have to help other humans in need, though Ouanda still doesn't trust Ender.
    • They tell Ender that the piggies think he's the original Speaker.
    • Rooter, the tree, has supposedly told the piggies about the original Speaker and the Hive Queen.
    • Miro and Ouanda don't believe it, and Ender sneers at them for being condescending and refusing to learn from the piggies. (Sort of funny for Ender to tell other people they're being condescending….)
    • They don't believe that Ender is the original Speaker or that he has the Hive Queen. Apparently they don't realize they're in Ender's book and that he is all things to all people. They should have read Ender's Game.
    • Ender says they treat the piggies like they're not responsible for their actions since they don't blame them for Pipo and Libo's murder. Shmoop is skeptical, but unfortunately no one is allowed to argue effectively with Ender in this book.
    • More details about how they gave food to the piggies right before they killed Libo.
    • Ender wonders how the piggies can survive when they kill off those who contribute most to their survival, but then he thinks that humans do it too—they sometimes kill their most forward looking members.
    • He realizes that Starways wants to isolate the piggies to keep its own power, and that it is afraid of the piggies.
    • So Miro and Ouanda are rebels and traitors from Starways's perspective.
    • Good grief, this is a long chapter.
    • We're back in the Ribeira house, where they're fighting. Quim accuses Olhada of disloyalty for helping the Speaker, but Ela says that helping the Speaker is true loyalty—betrayal is a higher loyalty, just like with Miro an Ouanda and helping the piggies.
    • Novinha comes in and isn't mad at Ela. Instead she comforts Olhado.
    • And back out to the piggies, where Miro muses about how awesome Ender is. Doesn't Card ever get tired of talking about how awesome Ender is?
    • No. The answer is no, he doesn't.
    • Anyway, they meet the piggies. Human says Ender wrote the Hive Queen and the Hegemon, and Ender agrees. Ouanda and Miro think he's lying, but then Ender half convinces them.
    • Human says Ender is the wisest of all humans. We knew that already.
    • He wants the Speaker to speak the piggies, but Ender says the piggies aren't dead; Human says they are because they're trapped on the planet and can't go to the stars.
    • The piggies want the Hive Queen to give them star flight, but Ender says he is worried that starlight will hurt them. They say it is up to them to decide one way or the other. (Human basically wins the argument with Ender here, believe it or not.)
    • Human reveals that Ender is Ender the Xenocide, though Miro doesn't quite believe it.
    • Ender cries. Human and the other piggies realize that crying is a sign of pain and that Pipo and Libo were in pain when they died.
    • Much crying and forgiveness ensues.
    • Ender says he needs to learn from the piggies, and then some argument breaks out between Human and Leaf-eater about whether they can tell Ender everything or not.
    • Miro and Ouanda ask how they get tools from trees without metal, and the piggies freak out when they hear about using tools to cut trees.
    • But eventually they calm down, and Leaf-eater already got permission from the wives earlier, so they ask an ancient tree to give itself: It makes weapons out of itself and then falls over.
    • They ask Miro to sing over the tree, so he does, thinking about his father Libo.
  • Chapter 15

    Speaking

    • The epigraph is Miro and Human talking. There are some wise words about how the fence is arbitrary and stupid, and also a suggestion (not the first one) that the piggies can get over the fence.
    • We go to a meeting between Mayor Bosquinho, the Bishop, and the Filhes.
    • Bosquinho reveals that Starways can access all their files; she's secretly been monitoring ansible communications to see what files they access.
    • It turns out that Starways is copying and zapping all their files now because Jane told on Miro and Ouanca (though Bosquinha doesn't know this), so they have to send their files to Ender's account because Jane makes his files inaccessible by Starways (though they don't know why those files are inaccessible).
    • The Bishop doesn't trust Ender, but Bosquinho and the Filhes do, so the Bishop ends up having no choice anyway.
    • They start transferring files.
    • Bosquinha tells them that Ender is speaking Ribeira's death.
    • They all worry that Starways is treating them as rebels, and that they may have to cut off the ansible and go into open rebellion.
    • Bosquinha's also figured out that Starways is treating them as rebels because Miro and Ouanda did something with the piggies that they shouldn't have.
    • We go to the room for the speaking, and boy is it full—everybody is as excited by Ender as Card is himself, it seems like, and even the Bishop comes.
    • The Speaker talks about how Marcao was a good worker in the foundry, and then he talks about how Marcao beat his wife and everyone knew and condemned him for it.
    • He says Marcao didn't beat his wife because he was cruel, and he argues that Marcao was cruel because he was denied love.
    • Marcao loved Novinha because she spoke up for him during an incident when several boys attacked Marcao and blamed him for the fight, and Ender then explains Marcao's disease and the fact that it rendered him sterile.
    • He says that's why Novinha married him: she wanted children but not his. They had both agreed to this when they married.
    • Quim screams at Ender for calling his mother a whore, but Novinha doesn't deny the charge, so they all know it is true.
    • Ender explains the stuff about Novinha thinking her research killed Pipo and such—this is all mostly info we have already—and then he reveals that it was Libo who fathered Novinha's children. Libo's widow is understandably upset.
    • The Bishop is being won over by Ender's speaking.
    • Meanwhile, everybody was happy for Novinha to be an adulteress, but less happy about Libo, since they all love him.
    • Ender says Marcao was cruel because of love, and that Novinha felt she deserved it.
    • Miro is also upset since now he's Ouanda's brother and can't marry her. He thinks about how awesome Ender is to keep himself busy.
    • Ender finishes up by reminding everyone that Novinha caused all this pain in order to keep Libo from dying.
    • After everyone goes out, Ender thinks about how he caused lots of pain but it will ultimately be for the good of everyone.
    • Mayor Bosquinha comes up and tells him that Starways has commandeered his ship; Starways is lowering the boom and plans to evacuate everyone.
    • Ender tells Bosquinha not to arrest Ouanda and Miro, and to hold a meeting to let him convince her that they should go into rebellion to make up for the Xenocide.
    • Jane pops up to tell Ender not to cut off the ansible connection to Starways or she'll be cut off too; she'll make Starways think the ansible is cut.
    • Ender says how much he missed her, but she's silent again.
    • Ender goes to Ela and says he needs to know how the Descolada works right away or Miro and Oulanda will be taken away for trial.
    • Ela agrees to ask her mother and says she is glad the Speaker told the truth.
  • Chapter 16

    The Fence

    • The epigraph is from San Angelo, the saint whose death Ender spoke and who founded the Filhes. It's a parable based on Jesus's statement that only he who is without sin should cast the first stone. San Angelo says most communities either punish sin to preserve themselves, or do not punish sin and end in decay. Angelo says Jesus demanded a balance between obeying law and forgiving transgression.
    • And the plot goes on. Miro is depressed because Ouanda is his sister and he can't marry her, which leaves him thinking bitter thoughts.
    • He tries to go out to see the piggies, but when he touches the fence he gets the evil nerve shock, and the fence tells him he's wanted by Starways for violating their orders about the piggies.
    • He's desperate to tell the piggies what's happened, but he can't get through so he walks along the fence hooting for them to come.
    • Quim is with the Bishop. He's upset because his mother is an adulteress, and the Bishop tells him he needs to get over it. Exit Quim.
    • Ender shows up and bows asking for blessing.
    • The Bishop blesses him, though he's not sure what Ender's trying to show.
    • Ender says his dad was a Catholic.
    • They verbally spar a bit, but end up getting along.
    • Everybody else shows up, and they all wait for Novinha.
    • Cut to Ela out getting Novinah.
    • Novinah reveals she's been following Ela's work all along. Shmoop thinks this is supposed to be touching, but it actually seems kind of creepy.
    • There's some squabbling.
    • Ela says Ender always tells the truth and loves everyone and that he will bring Novinha and Ela together.
    • The piggies come up to Miro on the other side of the fence, and he tells them that Starways has found out about the cultural exchanges and they're all in trouble.
    • The piggies tell Miro that there have been lots of piggies born and that their tribe will win all its wars.
    • Miro says that Starways will take him off planet to trial; the piggies tell him they'll hide him, but he says the machines will find him.
    • Anyway, he says, he can't climb the fence.
    • But the piggies show him that they can get over the fence by chewing the capim grass. It acts as an anesthetic.
    • The piggies have been climbing the fence for a long time and wandering around with the humans.
    • But more importantly for now, Miro thinks he can climb the fence and live with the piggies and escape from Starways.
    • He grabs the fence and climbs over, but it turns out the root only works on piggies so he suffers horrible pain and tips over to the piggie side, still writhing.
    • Leaf-eater wants to plant him (a.k.a. torture him to death in hopes he turns into a tree) but Human says no, go get Ouanda.
    • Back to the meeting with Ender, where Novinha has finally arrived.
    • Ender tells them he can make it look like he's cut off the ansible connection, so they can still use the ansible and see out but Starways won't know what they're doing.
    • Bosquinha says this would be an act of war.
    • The Bishop thinks they should comply with Starways, but Ender tells him that Starways is scared of the piggies and is keeping them behind the fence in order to stop them doing to humans what humans did to buggers (killing them all and taking their technology).
    • Ender also explains that the piggies change into trees, and that they were trying to turn Pipo and Libo into trees as an honor, rather than trying to horribly murder them.
    • The Bishop still isn't convinced.
    • But—final big reveal—Novinha tells them that the Descolada infects all biological matter, so no humans can be taken off Lusitania or they'll infect and destroy all plant and animal life wherever they go.
    • So that means there will be no evacuation, since Starways copied Novinha's files.
    • Instead, Ender says, once Starways figures out the piggies could destroy worlds just by stepping on them, they'll be terrified and destroy Lusitania.
    • Therefore, Ender says, they've got to rebel right here, right now.
    • Ouanda comes in with Mandachuva to tell them that Miro is outside the fence convulsed and may die.
    • Mandachuva asks if they should plant him, and Ender tells him not to plant anyone anymore.
    • They send for a doctor, but they can't get to Miro unless they turn off the fence via Jane, which will put them in rebellion.
    • They get to the fence. Ender tells the piggies that they'll be at war with Starways if they turn off the fence; he says he needs to make a treaty with the wives.
    • Human agrees to let him see the wives, though Leaf-eater isn't so keen.
    • The Bishop is tempted to go into rebellion because he could preach to the piggies, and seeing Miro dying, agrees to let the fence come down.
    • Jane gloats about how cool she and Ender are for setting things up just right, which seems kind of crappy considering that Miro is permanently crippled.
    • Navio tries to care for Miro, and Ender prepares to go meet the wives.
  • Chapter 17

    The Wives

    • The epigraph is from the big boss of Starways Congress, and basically says that he'll kill everybody on Lusitania if he has to. He also tells us that Demosthenes (a.k.a. Valentine) is writing on behalf of the Lusitanians, and that news has leaked out that the evacuation fleet to Lusitania has the "Little Doctor,"—a kind of super nuclear bomb that can destroy planets (Ender used it to destroy the bugger homeworld in Ender's Game).
    • Ender and Ouanda and Ela are going to meet the wives; they chat with Mandachuva and confuse each other.
    • They get to a tree crawling with worm things, which it turns out are male and female baby piggies.
    • They see a wife and Ender asks her name, but the male piggies say the wives don't tell them their names.
    • They call her Shouter, though.
    • The Wives want Human as interpreter for Ender.
    • There's sparring between Shouter and Ender for precedence, and Ender basically wins, because that's how he generally rolls.
    • Jane tells Ender she's figuring out the Wives's language, and she catches Human embellishing what the Wives say. Ender tells him to speak the truth and only the truth.
    • They look at the baby piggies crawling on the tree, and discover that the fertile females give birth and then their worm children eat their way out of their wombs.
    • More about piggie ecology: The piggie males carry the little mothers to the father trees where they are fertilized with pollen; the nipples on the male piggies are for carrying the mothers and are also erogenous zones.
    • The mothers give birth when they're still in their infant state, and only sterile female grow up to be wives, since the fertile females die giving birth.
    • Ender looks into the mother tree, where all the mothers are, with a flashlight.
    • Ela and Ouanda wonder if they could change the life cycle so that the females could grow to maturity and wouldn't die in childbirth.
    • Ender tells them they are being horrible and that it's not up to humans to change the piggies's life cycle.
    • Human translates but doesn't tell the Wives about Ela and Ouanda's idea.
    • There's more sparring where Ender is wise and handles the recalcitrant piggie Wives the way he handles everyone. His awesomeness knows no boundary of race or species.
    • We go over to Novinha with Miro, and Miro is mostly paralyzed though manager to let them know he wants to tell them something. Olhado uses a computer so Miro can signal at the right letter. It's time consuming, but he manages to communicate.
    • Miro finishes what he has to tell them and says they have to go tell the Speaker now before the negotiations are over (the book doesn't tell us what the message is; that's suspense).
    • Miro manages to tighten his grip on his mom's hand, so she knows he is recovering, at least a little.
    • Novinha, Quim, and Olhado go to the Speaker, climbing over the fence.
    • Back with Ender who tells the Wives he's planning to talk to other tribes; the Wives say those other tribes are enemies and he can't talk to them.
    • Novinha shows up and explains Miro's message, which is that the piggies go to war in order to take the females from the trees and pollinate them with their own tribe's trees.
    • Ender tells Human no war is allowed, which really upsets Human, but Ender (you knew this) convinces him.
    • Ender says the tribe can be great by expanding its definition of who is in the tribe rather than by conquering other tribes.
    • They set out for Human what the bargain will be: Humans will teach the piggies everything and release the Hive Queen, and the piggies will stop fighting and obey human law in human places.
    • Ender also explains that humans don't turn into trees when they die.
    • Human explains that the piggies wanted Pipo and Libo to slay Manduchuva and Leaf-eater and give them the third life. Pipo and Libo wouldn't though, so the piggies had to give them the third life.
    • It's all a tragic misunderstanding.
    • The piggies realize they murdered Pipo and Libo, and are very upset.
    • This chapter is really long, you guys.
    • Everybody grieves and forgives everybody, and Ender learns that if the treaty works he'll have to give Human the third life by cutting him and torturing hm.
    • Novinha tells him he's compassionate enough to give Human the third life.
    • Human comes back with a signed treaty—there are some minor changes to bang out, but then they're done.
    • Ender still has to give Human the third life for it to be a piggie treaty, though (the covenant says from now on humans won't give piggies the third life, which is just as well for the humans).
    • Ender signs the treaty with the name "Ender" and Novinha knows who he is. She is impressed.
    • Human asks Ender to write his story as sequel to the Hive Queen and the Hegemon—a sequel making a trilogy, like all those sci-fi series. Ender says he will.
    • Quim, Olhado, Ela and everybody insists on staying to see Ender cut up Human and send him to the third life, so Ender does the deed.
    • The Bishop and Bosquinha meet them, and they see that Ender has killed Human, but Ender promises to explain.
    • Jane's restored all the files.
    • Everyone goes into mass. Novinha and Ender look like they're on the way to being a couple.
  • Chapter 18

    The Hive Queen

    • The epigraph is from The Life of Human, and it tells about Human eating his way out of the birth canal, growing in the dark of the tree, and then crawling out into the light.
    • The chapter opens with Miro, who recovers some from his paralysis but remains much diminished; he can't really work with the piggies in his condition.
    • His relationship with Ouanda is very painful, and she treats him like a brother.
    • Ouanda is working on translating the piggie languages, and Quim plans to be a missionary to other piggie tribes.
    • Ender and Bosquinha are bringing water and computers to the piggies, and Ela is working on finding ways to genetically engineer insects and plants to resist the Descolada.
    • Novinha is working to find a way to build resistance to the Descolada into the Hive Queen so she can come out and lay her eggs.
    • Miro's terminal is acting weird and letting him see things he shouldn't.
    • Ender explains that Jane has chosen to be his friend; he's too involved with Novinha and her family for Jane and he to have the same relationship.
    • No mention here that Jane screwing around and ratting Miro out to Starways is why he's crippled, but maybe they'll mention it in the next book.
    • Anyway. Jane introduces herself, the magic genie who can show him everything.
    • Over to Ender and Olhado, driving out to find a place to put the Hive Queen.
    • Jane tells Ender that Novinha almost has the fix for the Hive Queen. She's not flirty or fun like she used to be, but Ender has Olhado and Novinha and the family, so he's not too jealous or upset.
    • Olhado suggests sending Miro out on a near light ship to preserve him so he'll be around to handle the Starways Fleet when it arrives; Olhado says that Miro is the best and smartest person on Lusitania, so he should be around to deal with Starways.
    • Ender and Olhado talk. Ender says he's Ender the Xenocide, and wisdom is dispensed.
    • Ender says he's almost positive the Hive Queen won't try to take revenge.
    • Olhado says Miro going away on a near light trip and coming back will be like him dying, but Ender says it's more like him going to his third life, or being born.
    • Ender talks to Valentine on the ansible. She's twenty years older how and going to come out to Lusitania to join the revolution. In Ender's time it'll take thirty years for her to get there.
    • Ender decides to send Miro out to meet her in space, but when he goes to tell Miro, Miro wants to know why Pipo and Libo were killed.
    • Ender says that neither were supposed to get the honor; rather, the piggies were honoring first Mandachuva and then Leaf-eater for their achievements.
    • But when Pipo and Libo wouldn't give the piggies the third life, they were killed instead.
    • Miro is bitter about his paralysis, and Ender tries to comfort him. He feels that Miro is his own child, and thinks he feels more for him than his own father felt for Ender.
    • Ender marries Novinha.
    • Before that, though, he gets all the research from Ela and the others, lives with the piggies for a week, and writes the Life of Human. Not only is he the greatest writer ever, but he writes fast. He could have written this whole Shmoop guide in a day while whistling Elton John's "Rocket Man" and destroying several marauding alien species.
    • Novinha said she had wanted to write the piggie story, but it's better than Ender did, even if she had to listen to him whistling "Rocket Man."
    • Jane carries the Life of Human everywhere.
    • Some say it's a fake, some don't care, but some accept the piggies as ramen, which—along with Demosthenes's accusations—stirs up trouble for Starways.
    • Ender takes the Hive Queen to her new home, and she lays her eggs. The end… until the sequel, that is.