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9 January 2013 / getrus

Gifts — Ursula Le Guin

gifts

Gifts is a fantastic YA novel about a civilization where each family (or bloodline) has a certain gift.  Most gifts are used for destruction when the families war against each other.  Orrec though has gone years with out one instance of his gift appearing.  His best friend Gry, however, has an amazing gift of being able to understand and talk to animals.  She showed her gift early on.

Orrec becomes very frustrated the his gift will not show, when one day he undoes (his gift is undoing, effectively killing) an adder which was about to attack his father.  It still does not sit well with him, because he though it would feel differently.  This use of his gift escalates and he eventually gets very angry and undoes and entire hillside leaving only rubble and scorched earth.  At this time he and his father agree he should be blindfolded in order not to harm any one.  If he cannot see them he cannot use his gift.

As always, Le Guin never fails in her story.  It was lyrical and thought provoking.  (It discusses why most of the gifts are those of destruction and if they could be used for good.)

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