Wednesday, November 28, 2007

[Book Review] GIFTS by Ursula K. Le Guin


Beth reviews GIFTS: Annals of the Western Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin (Harcourt, 2004)

This young adult book “fell into my lap” after I finished reading Garden Spells, and it just seemed the perfect title to read next. Gifts is about a group of people who live in the Uplands and have special abilities—mind powers. These powers are passed from father to son or mother to daughter and each clan has their own power. Gry can communicate with animals, but, unlike her mother, refuses to use it to call the animals to the hunters. Orrec’s line has the power to “unmake” any living thing—from grass to animals to people. With Orrec’s mother being a lowlander, there is a fear his power will not work—however, it turns out to be something even worse! For the safety of those around him, Orrec chooses to wear a blindfold and hide his gift, but will it be enough?

This beautifully crafted book had me ordering up the sequel, Voices, the next day! I can’t wait to read it and the continuing journey of Orrec and Gry.

Beth, Highland Branch Library

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Thank you for reviewing this book. I appreciate that your reviews have exposed me to a group of "supernatural" titles that I probably would not have considered otherwise. Vampires seem to be really hot right now, so it's refreshing to learn about a book that explores "special powers" for other types of near-human beings.

Are there titles that you haven't formally reviewed that you might be recommend to readers new to paranormal/fantasy?

This is a sub-genre that I greatly enjoy! There are several books that I can recommend:

Shannon Hale’s books: Enna Burning, The Goose Girl and River Secrets

Pay the Piper: a Rock & Roll Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen

Tithe: a modern faerie tale by Holly Black
(BTW--I’ve heard her other books are good…)

White is for Magic by Laurie Faria Stolarz

These are all great books that I think you’ll enjoy!
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