Ender's Shadow

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Ender's Shadow

Orson Scott Card.
Tor Books.
Date Published
Science Fiction
Ender's Game Series.
Shadow of Hegemon.

Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card, is a parallel book for his first novel, Ender's Game. The occurrences in this novel coincide and match with much of the plot in Ender's Game. The difference between the two novels is that while Ender's Game is put in the perspective of Ender, Ender's Shadow is in the perspective of Bean, one of the children on Ender's team.

Plot Summary

Bean is first introduced as a four-year-old urchin living on the streets of Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a very poor region in Europe where everything is a matter of survival. It is not uncommon to find starving children strewn in the streets. Despite this, the younger children with no biological family have gathered together in crews in order to better their chances of survival and protect themselves from the aggressive teenagers. One such crew is Poke's crew.

Poke, a nine year old girl who is leader of a bunch of younger children, reluctantly follows Bean's plan to recruit one of the bullies by brute force. Although she and a few other kids successfully take down a bully, the plan goes wrong. Achilles, the bully, talks the kids into following him into his "family" rather than follow Poke. Bean doesn't fall for it, but he goes with it. Eventually, Achilles gets vengeance and kills Poke mercilessly for taking him down. The event forever haunts Bean because he blames himself.

Because of Achilles and his family, Rotterdam becomes somewhat civilized with many other families spurting up. This catches the attention of the International Fleet, the military force in space responsible for fighting the alien Formics that threaten to destroy earth. The job of the I.F. is to recruit young children that show intellectual promise and train them to become military officers. Bean, upon achieving the highest scores ever on their test, is recruited and trained at Battle School.

Bean makes his primary goal to learn how the Battle School system works. Therefore, when it becomes time to sign into their technologically advanced desks, he signs into two desks under different names and memorizes other people's passwords. With that power, and after going as far as to finding a teacher's login by sneaking though the ventilation system, he effectively learns everything about every single student in Battle School, as well as about Ender.

Bean becomes highly interested in Ender because he is the smartest kid in school and most students compare Ender Wiggin to Bean himself. Eventually, the teachers decide to give Bean a chance to assemble Ender's army for battling other students in mock fights meant to simulate null gravity conflicts.

List of Characters

Main Characters


Andrew "Ender" Wiggin


Poke: The nine year old girl who is a leader of a crew in Rotterdam. After hearing Bean's plan to recruit one of the bullies, she takes him into her crew. After letting Achilles live, she loses the leadership to Achilles and simply becomes another member. Poke is murdered by Achilles after periodic exclusion in Achilles's family, and it is found out that she was protecting Bean the whole time.

Sergeant: Effectively Poke's right hand man. He is a year younger than Poke and takes on much of the responsibility of Poke's commands. When it is discovered that Poke is dead, and Achilles blames it on Ulysses, he puts together the puzzle and figures out that Achilles actually murdered Poke. He keeps quiet, however.

Helga: She is an administrator of the kitchen in Rotterdam. She monitors the behavior of the line of children as they enter the kitchen for food. When Achilles comes with his family, she feels excited and gladly lets them eat first. Eventually, after Bean's confrontation of the other bullies in line, Helga makes it a rule that all the older kids with families eat first. She also gives testimony to Sister Carlotta about how Rotterdam became civilized.

Achilles: Achilles is essentially Bean's main antagonist in the quartet. When Bean tells Poke to recruit one of the bullies, she chose him because he is the lowest bully and has a bad leg. Achilles steals Poke's crew and turns it into his family which gives him easy access into Helga's Kitchen. He excludes both Poke and Bean until he eventually murder's Poke. Later, he is taken to Battle School and put into Bean's army. He, however, is revealed by Bean to be a serial killer (for he killed seven people, all of which saw him helpless at one point) and Bean is transferred to Tactical School.

Battle School Students

Nikolai Delphiki
Petra Arkanian

I.F. Personal

Colonel Graff
Commander Anderson
Sister Carlotta


Julian and Elena Delphiki
Mexican Janitor

Structure Analysis

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