Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Slow but rich book of fantasy, feuds for tweens.

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Kids say (2 ):

As in her earlier work, Le Guin creates a strange and somewhat mystical world, without the epic sweep and bombast of high fantasy, and devoid of breakneck pacing.

Le Guin instead takes the time to lay the groundwork for this story about feuding magic clans. Readers may get confused by the profusion of names and relationships, but they will be fascinated by the well-drawn world, and find meaning and resonance in Orrec's story of shame and fear and self-imposed blindness. This is clearly the work of a master, though it may not be to the taste of many fantasy fans weaned on plot-driven, action-oriented fantasy. For those for whom "quiet" and "slow" are not terms of criticism, though, it's a rich and meaty tale.

Book Details

  • Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Publication date: April 12, 2006
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
  • Number of pages: 274
  • Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle
  • Last updated: December 5, 2019

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