I've read some of Orson Scott Card's work before and enjoyed his style, so when a friend recommended the Alvin Maker series and added it to my list of books to read. I finally picked up the first book, Seventh Son, at the library and took it with me on my trip a couple weeks ago. I read the entire thing on the plane ride there.
Although it took a while for me to get used to the book and really get involved with the characters, I was on a plane so I kept going. By the end I was intrigued by the story and attached to the characters enough to wish I had brought the sequel as well. But I hadn't, so I had some time to think about the book once I finished. I concluded that this is a series that I will definitely read all the way through and probably enjoy.
The novel takes place in an alternate Colonial America. I guess this could be considered historical fantasy fiction because there are references to history, but Card has built the story on a world that could have been instead of what was. This makes for an interesting setting, but does not detract from the story's focus. Magic plays a central role in the character's lives: it's existence and use are questioned by some of the characters while the reader knows that in this world it does indeed exist.
I'm excited to read the rest of the series and I will definitely let you know what I think.