by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Difficulty Level : Young Adult
- Length : 286pages ( roughly 4 hours )
- Type: Fantasy Fiction
- My Rating: ***
Scattered among poor, desolate farms, the clans of the Uplands possess gifts. Wondrous gifts: the ability–with a glance, a gesture, a word–to summon animals, bring forth fire, move the land. Fearsome gifts: They can twist a limb, chain a mind, inflict a wasting illness. The Uplanders live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. Two young people, friends since childhood, decide not to use their gifts. One, a girl, refuses to bring animals to their death in the hunt. The other, a boy, wears a blindfold lest his eyes and his anger kill.
In this beautifully crafted story, Ursula K. Le Guin writes of the proud cruelty of power, of how hard it is to grow up, and of how much harder still it is to find, in the world’s darkness, gifts of light.
This is the first book of Annals of the Western Shore series, each crafted in a different manner, Gifts has philosophical meaning using the analogy that powers or talents can be used for good or bad things . It focus on exploring what it means for a person to have a potentially lethal ability and the how one will choose.
It also touches on Parents’ expectation on their children on how the children need to conform to either family traditions. Questions whether to groom and nurture their talent or to leave it absent.
better knowledge of human nature – and you will get Gifts.