Parents' Guide to


By Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Well-wrought fantasy explores pacifism, violence.

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Le Guin maintains her signature lyricism here, but the melancholy of the first book, Gifts, is replaced by sometimes-shocking scenes of the aftermath of cruelty.

This is not a fast-moving novel; Le Guin concerns herself more with the inner struggle of the conflicted heroine than with the intricacies of the rebellion. The result is a rich but challenging exploration of violence, justice, faith, and honor. For some young adult readers, the book will be too slow to capture their interest. Others will be upset by the description of the torments of the Ansul people, including the torture that crippled the Waylord, Memer's caregiver. Readers don't need to have read Gifts before tackling this book, but those who have will be happy to reacquaint themselves with Orrec and Gry, who arrive early in the book.

Book Details

  • Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Publication date: October 20, 2006
  • Number of pages: 352
  • Last updated: September 17, 2015

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