In his introduction, Orson Scott Card says that gifted children who read the book "didn't love Ender, or pity Ender (a frequent adult response), they were Ender." So that was in my head as i read the book.
never in my childhood did I feel like a child. I felt like a person all along---the same person that I am today. I never felt that I spoke childishly. I never felt that my emotion and desires were somehow less real than adult emotions and desires.That felt very familiar, but throughout the book i kept thinking i wasn't Ender. I'm not that brilliant (take your average gifted child through to adulthood and they're not that much more impressive than everyone around them -- everyone else has caught up with them; that's how i feel anyway, that i'm still extraordinary but hardly a head and shoulders above my peers -- but maybe that's just because my peers are still lots of impressive people) and i'm not that much of a (cruel)tactician. What he did to Stilson, and then to Bonzo, made perfect sense, but i couldn't do that.
For much of the book he reminded me of Leto in Dune, having to make the difficult decisions, making things worse to make them better, hurting people to save humanity.
I was Valentine (the two times she contacts Ender, particularly the second time, i thought of Meg's confrontation with IT at the end of A Wrinkle in Time), or maybe Bean, but not Ender. Loving is what i do, not fighting. I can talk about the necessity of military force, greater good and all that, but i could never do it, never kill anyone.
But then, as the book neared the end and he didn't want to kill the buggers and they had to make it a game for him to do it and you learned just how long the game had been real, i remembered how in the beginning they talked about how sensitive he was and how they had to grind that out of him to make him the fighter they needed, when they talked about him as a balance between Peter and Valentine, i wondered if maybe with the right training (he was only 6 when they took his monitor out) i could be like that, and that was frightening.
I teared up frequently throughout the book, but when he finds the queen i started really crying and actually had to put down the book.
For some reason my library does not have Speaker for the Dead, so it is on its way to me via interlibrary loan.