by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Difficulty Level : Young Adult
- Length : 341 pages ( roughly 4 hours )
- Type: Fantasy Fiction
- My Rating: *****
Ansul was once a peaceful town filled with libraries, schools and temples. But that was long ago, before the Alds came. The Alds believe demons hide in words, and so they ban reading and writing, acts now punishable by death. What few books have survived are hidden in the Waylord’s House for safekeeping, in the care of the Waylord, crippled by years of torture, and the daughter of his heart, Memer.
And now times are changing. The Uplands poet Orrec Caspro and his wife Gry have arrived, and in his voice is a clarion call, awakening a conquered people.
The second book of the Annals of the Western Shore, Voices is a haunting and gripping coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of violence, intolerance and magic.
I thought the first book was ok but this second one is insanely good. I am truly impressed with the way she is able to compose so many ideas into a novel and make it so good. It is a good novel that managed to combine topics on conflicts, religion, revolution, culture and oppression in a readable manner.
Through the character of Memer, the half Alds and Ansul, the result of the war on the city, it tackle how the society views woman in that era. It shows the identity issues and how an oppressed woman felt and how she manages.
The relationship between the Alds and the Ansul, is really like an analogy about religious conflicts in the modern world. Through the weaving of the story, like how we always pre-judge or jump to conclusion about the other person without trying to understand them. ( either as a person or their culture )
In the end we are actually just human, we are just the same. I think in a blatant sense, she is also trying to highlight that education is Key, not necessarily to enlightenment but at least to Knowledge. At least you wont be afraid of the Unknown.