Sunday, May 17, 2020

Voices by Ursula K. Le Guin

This is the second of three volumes of the "Annals of the Western Shore" series.  It begins several years after the end of Gifts, and starts with a new main character, Memer, a young nine-year old girl growing up in a town that was defeated by religious zealots some ten years earlier, now a place where books are banned and burned, and freedoms (especially for women) are unknown. After Memer turns seventeen, Orrec and his wife Gry (of Gifts) come to town to tell stories and perform. The town is rife for rebellion, and Memer helps to bring it about. Like Gifts, this volume is an extended meditation on power and responsibility.  Voices is a more substantial book that Gifts, and both are fine achievements even if they fall short of the majesty Le Guin created in her Earthsea volumes.

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