I can separate the work of an artist and her/his art, so I don’t let Orson Scott Card’s homophobic comments bother me too much. Yet reading this book for a second time reveals the conversation uncle that he is; writing passages about chastity, marriage, passing on genes. And all his female characters are overly emotional: Novinha, Quadra, Ela, and Wang-mu, who cries or yells every page she is on. Qing-Jao is an annoying person, and an annoying antagonist simply makes an annoying read. Plus the book drag on a bit too long.
And yet OSC is a fantastic writer. His books — especially Xenocide — are sometimes accused as pseudo-philosophy but I disagree. There’s a religious veil on every topic, and I love the dialect and dialogue on moral questions.
I wouldn’t recommend Xenocide on its own, but it’s a necessary bridge from Speaker of the Dead to Children of the Mind.