Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore Series #1)

Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore Series #1)

by Ursula K. Le Guin
3.8 37

NOOK Book(eBook)

$5.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now

Overview

Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore Series #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Scattered among poor, desolate farms, the clans of the Uplands possess gifts. Wondrous gifts: the ability--with a glance, a gesture, a word--to summon animals, bring forth fire, move the land. Fearsome gifts: They can twist a limb, chain a mind, inflict a wasting illness. The Uplanders live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. Two young people, friends since childhood, decide not to use their gifts. One, a girl, refuses to bring animals to their death in the hunt. The other, a boy, wears a blindfold lest his eyes and his anger kill.

In this beautifully crafted story, Ursula K. Le Guin writes of the proud cruelty of power, of how hard it is to grow up, and of how much harder still it is to find, in the world's darkness, gifts of light.

Includes a reader's guide and a sample chapter from the companion title Voices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547539874
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 04/01/2006
Series: Annals of the Western Shore Series , #1
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 371,585
Lexile: 830L (what's this?)
File size: 342 KB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

URSULA K. LE GUIN was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. Among her honors are a National Book Award, five Hugo and five Nebula Awards, the Kafka Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Portland, Oregon. www.ursulakleguin.com

Hometown:

Portland, Oregon

Date of Birth:

October 21, 1929

Place of Birth:

Berkeley, California

Education:

B.A., Radcliffe College; M.A., Columbia University, 1952

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In Ursula K. Le Guin's GIFTS, the gifts in question bring more trouble than happiness to the novel's main character, sixteen-year-old Orrec. Orrec lives in the Uplands, a rough landscape where small clans squabble amongst themselves to maintain their land holdings and cattle herds. The leader of each clan has a specific gift: a mystical power that allows them to call animals or twist human bodies with the force of their mind. Orrec is the next in line to lead his clan, and his family's gift is one of the most terrible: the undoing. His father can kill a man with a word and a gesture, and it is expected that Orrec will come into the same power. However, when Orrec's power arrives, it is wild and uncontrollable, and he must stay blind-folded to avoid harming those he loves.

The best thing about this outstanding novel is its premise. Everyone has wished at one time or another for a secret power. GIFTS forces the question: what if your having such a gift caused harm to the people around you? It gives no easy answers, exploring the issue with depth and feeling. The society and culture of the Uplanders is detailed and realistic, making the conflicts that much more powerful. Readers will quickly feel as though they've lived in this wonderful and terrifying world themselves.

As narrator, Orrec is thoughtful and questioning, with a rhythmic voice that recalls traditional story-tellers. He handles the tragedies and disappointments in his life with honesty and good humor. Despite being from a somewhat alien world, his view is very human and teens will find it easy to see through his eyes. When he is finally able to face the most disappointing truth of all, readers will cheer even as they share his pain.

GIFTS is an excellent read for teens of all interests. Fans of fantasy will be particularly drawn to it, but the world is grounded enough in earthly reality that it should appeal even to those who usually avoid the fantastical. Thought-provoking and suspenseful, with a dollop of action and romance, a novel like this is a gift to its readers.
Honya More than 1 year ago
This story is about outcasts who are all given special powers, or "gifts." The main character, Orrec, looks forward to the day when he can use his to his full potential - but once it happens, realizes he doesn't want it quite so much after all. It's a unique fantasy story, which disturbingly believable characters. I enjoyed this book.
BluHawk More than 1 year ago
I had such high hopes for this book - the ideas and storyline sounded extremely compelling and interesting! I am sorry to say that I almost wish the same story had been written by a different author. The whole thing was told in an impartial reminiscent manner which made it extremely difficult to relate to the characters. I understood the emotion, but I didn't FEEL it. That said, the story was origional and entertaining and likely a lot of people will enjoy this series. If you enjoyed the "storytelling" writing style, you will probably also like "Once Upon a Winter's Night" by McKiernan, and "The Ill-Made Mute" by Dart-Thornton. Both had the same feel, and both were great books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Ursula K. Le Guin's GIFTS, the gifts in question bring more trouble than happiness to the novel's main character, sixteen-year-old Orrec. Orrec lives in the Uplands, a rough landscape where small clans squabble amongst themselves to maintain their land holdings and cattle herds. The leader of each clan has a specific gift: a mystical power that allows them to call animals or twist human bodies with the force of their mind. Orrec is the next in line to lead his clan, and his family's gift is one of the most terrible: the undoing. His father can kill a man with a word and a gesture, and it is expected that Orrec will come into the same power. However, when Orrec's power arrives, it is wild and uncontrollable, and he must stay blind- folded to avoid harming those he loves. The best thing about this outstanding novel is its premise. Everyone has wished at one time or another for a secret power. GIFTS forces the question: what if your having such a gift caused harm to the people around you? It gives no easy answers, exploring the issue with depth and feeling. The society and culture of the Uplanders is detailed and realistic, making the conflicts that much more powerful. Readers will quickly feel as though they've lived in this wonderful and terrifying world themselves. As narrator, Orrec is thoughtful and questioning, with a rhythmic voice that recalls traditional story-tellers. He handles the tragedies and disappointments in his life with honesty and good humor. Despite being from a somewhat alien world, his view is very human and teens will find it easy to see through his eyes. When he is finally able to face the most disappointing truth of all, readers will cheer even as they share his pain. GIFTS is an excellent read for teens of all interests. Fans of fantasy will be particularly drawn to it, but the world is grounded enough in earthly reality that it should appeal even to those who usually avoid the fantastical. Thought-provoking and suspenseful, with a dollop of action and romance, a novel like this is a gift to its readers. **Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall, Gifts was an excellent book to read. The plot was fast moving, suspenseful, and has several exciting twists. The description in this book was amazing. It described everything in great detail, without being excessive and boring. The choice of words just made the Here is a quote showing the typical descriptions: ¿At last dismal little groups of boys and women came driven through the streets to the marketplace, two here and three there, weeping and pleading, some even crawling on their hands and knees, goaded forward by whips and kicks.¿ The author¿s phrasing in the book is also very good. She words sentences so that it is very easy to understand and read. Take this sentence as an example: ¿To Lowlanders, the Uplands are accursed, forgotten corn of a world they left behind long ago.¿ This could have been a very confusing statement, but Le Guin simplifies it without losing any effect. Like most authors, Le Guin uses foreshadowing. However, she does not use enough to ruin what is going to happen later in the book, it is just enough to make you want to keep reading. This is an example of her foreshadowing that Orrec does not have the gift: ¿The snake was unmade when I saw it,¿ Canoc said. `But you-¿ He frowned, though not in anger. `It was you that struck it,¿ he said.¿ Another thing that makes this book so good was feeling so close to the characters. When something was wrong with a character, I felt bad for them. This really humanized the story, not like some books where it is obvious you are just reading a book. This is an example of when I felt bad for Orrec and his father when his mother/wife passed away: ¿For him, there was no replacement the sweetness of his life was gone.¿ Those were just a few of the ways that this book was such a good read. I think that anyone who read this book would enjoy it, but some more than others. I would mainly focus on young adults, both boys and girls, as people who would especially enjoy this. The book deals with a lot of adolescence problems, like being accepted, and having boyfriends/girlfriends. I don¿t think younger readers would understand the more in-depth things happening in the plot, but they would get the main points. If there were any adults who really like fantasy, this would also be a good book for you. I would truly recommend this book knowing that anyone would like this book, and it would become an instant favorite.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book with a burning intensity and can't wait to read the second book. It was thrilling and well written
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was magnificent! Ursula K. Le Guin is one of my favorite authors and she hasn't let me down yet. IF you like Sci fi and fantasy put this on your reading list.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though I have yet to read LeGuin's other books, I thought this one was really good. It took me about eight hours (food breaks alotted) to read it because I could not put it down (which was good during Hurricane Frances).
exist2serve More than 1 year ago
I haven't read the other books in the series yet, but this is a great opening and reminded me of how well fleshed out Earthsea was. The way the story is told is sort of ... odd, but in the end it works out well enough. There's also an odd twist, which I'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not it was acceptable. Much like her other books, Gifts is all about the characters, and you can't help but love (and hate) all of them. The main character is probably the only one where it's left to you to really decide if you like them or not. I'm anxious to read the next book, just hope it's a little longer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
A young boy strives to be like his father, to be worth his father's love. In his world this doesn't just mean following his father's career, but inheriting his magical skill (his Gifts) as well. Orrec strives so hard to be the perfect son, but learns there's more to life. "To thine own self be true" says the old, our-world adage. And "Love your neighbor as yourself." But Orrec must learn to love himself before he can be sure he won't be a danger to his neighbor: The first of Ursual Le Guin's Gifts series, and a really enjoyable book. Disclosure: I bought this one then I had to buy the rest of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hbart1 More than 1 year ago
This book presents no challenges to the reader, but is great for a simple mindless read, great for a few hours of escape into the pages. This one is also unique to the early book in the series in that this one helps one realize, as the main character does through her experiences, that no all change has to be gotten through bloody warfare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shalom88 More than 1 year ago
Still waiting for the book to arrive. Thanks for this reminder though, I do appreciate that. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago