Opening line: ‘”Don’t talk about it,” Sallo tells me.’


Gavir and his older sister, Sallo, are slaves. Stolen as children from the Marsh Lands, they know nothing else but their life in the House of Arca. Their masters are kind and Sallo, Gavir, and the other slave children are educated along with the children of the Family. Gavir is gifted, but his sister tells him to hide his gifts, especially his occasional glimpses into the future. Prized for his memory, is destined to become the Family’s next Schoolteacher. But then Gavir’s trust in the Family he has been loyal to for so long is broken, leaving only a poem and a song in his heart to guide his steps.

Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin is the third book in the Annals of the Western Shore trilogy. Each book takes place in a different country and culture in the Western Shore, and the trilogy is held together by the poet and poetry of Orrec Caspro. You do not need to have read Gifts or Voices to read Powers. Le Guin’s masterful storytelling and crafting of different societies shines in the Annals of the Western Shore trilogy; I loved the settings in Gifts and Voices, and Powers was no exception. I really enjoyed reading about the city of Etra, imagining the blend of Classical Greek and Japanese cultures. Part One and a bit of Part Two reminded me a lot of the first half of A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner, which is no bad thing at all (being as it’s another wonderfully crafted novel and a favourite of mine). Part Three I cared less for, but the ending was a satisfying one.

I am afraid that I am running out of Le Guin’s novels to read — I think I’ve read all but two or three of her novels now. Looks like I need to catch up on reading her short story collections! Please, Ursula, write more novels!

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