School Library Journal
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Gr 7 Up-Gavir, a 14-year-old slave in a noble household in Etra, one of the city-states in Le Guin's vividly imagined country, the Western Shore, is troubled by visions that may or may not foretell future events. Kidnapped in early childhood from the northern Marshes, set apart by his darker skin and hooked nose, endowed with a prodigious memory, Gavir is educated to become the scholar who will teach the family's children and their slaves. Protected by his elder sister, Gavir accepts his lot, unable to imagine any other life. Trusting his masters implicitly, he is blind to the danger that enslavement poses to his beautiful sister. When she is raped and killed by the second son of the household, Gavir walks away from the city, crazed with grief. He continues to walk for three years, passing through a wild forest into the Marshlands where he was born. He meets a variety of people along the way, some protective, some threatening, each one contributing to his quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. Hunted by an old enemy from Etra, Gavir returns to the forest to rescue a small girl he met there. In a thrilling escape sequence, he carries her to freedom. He finds a home with Orrec, Gry, and Memer, heroes of Gifts (2004) and Voices (2006, both Harcourt). Le Guin uses her own prodigious power as a writer to craft lyrical, precise sentences, evoking a palpable sense of place and believable characters. This distinguished novel belongs with its predecessors in all young adult collections.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* With compelling themes about the soul-crushing effects of slavery, and a journey plotline that showcases Le Guin's gift for creating a convincing array of cultures, this follow-up to Gifts (2004) and Voices (2006) may be the series' best installment. Like M. T. Anderson's Octavian Nothing, young slave Gavir, stolen as a baby from the Marsh tribes, has been educated by his masters. Gav responds with deep loyalty, but after a horrific betrayal, he flees, repudiating every aspect of his past and seeking to reconnect with his native people. Tension provided by a slavecatcher's pursuit cinches to thriller intensity, but Le Guin's storytelling mastery shows clearest in the ways Gav's perambulations express human relationships, and push the unformed teen to carve a future that doesn't deny his past especially the poems and tales that once gave him joy. Told with shimmering lyricism, this coming-of-age saga will leave readers as transformed by the power of words as is Gav himself, who ultimately finds a lifeline that tugs him toward a spiritual homecoming. Based on the strength of the first three books in the Annals of the Western Shore, Le Guin's fans have ample reason to hope that the author may be building toward a fantasy cycle as ambitious in scope as her beloved chronicles of Earthsea.--Mattson, Jennifer Copyright 2007 Booklist
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In Powers, the third book in Ursula K. Le Guin's Annals of the Western Shore series, a slave boy named Gavir struggles with his ability to see into the future and encounters familiar faces from the previous books. (Harcourt, $17 512p ages 14-up ISBN 9780-15-205770-1; Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved