Saturday, August 14, 2010


Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin. Is a really good book. It is set on the west shore of a unknown land. The uplander(what they call the people in the hills) have gifts. They a basically magical powers. The land is broke into small domains. The domains had been waring for years. In one domain one little boy is born. Soon after a girl is born in the next domain. The boy in named Orrec, Orrec Caspro. His clans gift in unmaking. That means you can look at a animal and turn the bones to mush. His best friend, Gry, can talk to animals. Orrec's mother is not from the uplands. She was a learned preacher's daughter who came to marry a man from the uplands. At the age of about 13 your gift is suppose to work. Gry can now communicate with animals, but Orrec can do nothing. His father tries and tries but Orrec's gift won't work. Then suddenly when he is out riding with is father he "unmakes" the whole hillside. Then he does the same to his dog. They claim he has the wild gift and could be very dangerous. The blindfold Orrec, so that he can't look and destroy anything. One day they travel to another domain. Their power is they say a spell and whoever they say it over will get sick and die soon after. The men there are sometimes rude and drink a lot. They fear Orrec and don't do anything to him. His mother however feels chilled and cannot feel warm again. She gets sicker once the return. For about a year she suffers, it is clear a spell was cast upon her. Finally a year later she dies, but not before she writes books. She writes down all the stories she was taught for her son. He is the only person in the Uplands who knows how to read. For days Orrec's father shuts himself away. The days turn to months and for years he is sad. The only time Orrec ever takes his blindfold off is to read his mother's stories. Gry trains him a guide dog to help in in his life. Finally Orrec takes off the blindfold. He tries to cast a spell but nothing comes of it. Suddenly Orrec knows the truth. He never had a gift, it was a trick. A trick that prevented him from seeing his dying mother, and so much else. What will Orrec do faced with this revilation?
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