First of a fantasy series about overweening magic power, from the author of Hidden Empire (2009).
The Norths of Virginia are one of many clans of mages who have been trapped for centuries in Mittelgard (Earth) after a powerful enemy closed the magical gates to their homeworld, Westil. Lacking better things to do, the clans settled in as gods, fighting amongst themselves and enslaving the "drowthers" (ordinary nonmagical folk). But, dreading the entity that closed the gates and permanently steals the magic from anyone attempting to get it back, the clan immediately kills those who manifest any such ability. Young Danny North knows his family history, and also that he has no magic power whatsoever—until he discovers that he's unconsciously been creating and using gates. Nobody, it seems, knows his secret until a girl from a visiting magical family catches him. With no choice but to flee, Danny ends up far away in the house of the mysterious Stone, an "orphan" with magic but kin to none of the families—and he's not the only one. Danny needs to understand and develop his powers before his vengeful relatives or the unknown gate thief catch up with him, but little is known about gatemagery save for a handful of cryptic writings in ancient books. Stone, possibly, can help. Card always writes with insight and compassion about children—here it's the irrational, arbitrary and often just plain stupid adults who fail to convince.
An uncharacteristically lumpy series opener, though Card's storytelling skills and devoted audience guarantee success.