Powers (Annals of the Western Shore #3)

by Ursula K. Le Guin


  • Difficulty Level : Young Adult
  • Length :502pages ( roughly 3 days)
  • Type: Fantasy Fiction
  • My Rating: *****


Young Gav can remember the page of a book after seeing it once, and, inexplicably, he sometimes “remembers” things that are going to happen in the future. As a loyal slave, he must keep these powers secret, but when a terrible tragedy occurs, Gav, blinded by grief, flees the only world he has ever known.

In what becomes a treacherous journey for freedom, Gav’s greatest test of all is facing his powers so that he can come to understand himself and finally find a true home.

Book Review:

This book is not constructed in those epic manner ( single hero, born of tragedy, learnt many skills, kill the dragon and become the hero ) , instead it is a journey of how a slave named Gav find his direction in life through many trials.

Instead, the author truly took effort to plot a detailed description of the many different “worlds” the Gav move to. In a way, i feel it is a progression from the second book whereby we talk about forced oppression, this book is about caged mentality.

This book is about perception, example, how do you know it is right? Just because someone is nice or good to you? It is right? But due to the lack of opportunities ( or exposure or knowledge ) you will just accept things as it is.

Just a few examples from the book, Gav and his teacher Everra were brought up as slaves, in their world, they were taught that their masters were law,they were taught they have to sacrifice everything for their masters and to trust everything they say. The concept of disobedience was non-existent.

When he ran over to Barna, he wanted a society of Free Men, a place with no slavery however the hypocrisy is that Barna has everything and everybody have to listen to him.

I don’t know whether the younger generation will appreciate her way of story telling. I personally find that her metaphor are interchangeable, slavery to me is a form of abuse. There are many incidents whereby spouses (typically men) will physically abuse their other half. They will find excuses like children or their other half have done something wrong or they were drunk. Of course family structure is very complex in nature and everybody have to decide how they wish to lead their life.

This is one book i will re-read again after a few years.



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