Sunday, 3 December 2006

Book Review: Voices (Ursula Le Guin)

Too lazy to type an intro. Going straight into review. hehe.


Title: Voices
Author: Ursula Le Guin

Synopsis (from
Memer is a child of rape; when the Alds took the beautiful city of Ansul, they desecrated or destroyed everything of beauty. The Waylord they imprisoned and tortured for years until finally he is freed to return to his home. Though crippled, he is not destroyed. His life still has purpose. Memer is the daughter of his House, the daughter of his heart.

The Alds, a people who love war, cannot and will not read: they believe that in words lie demons that will destroy the world. All the city's libraries, the great treasure trove of knowledge of ages past, are burned, except for those few volumes secreted in the Waylord's hidden room. But times are changing. Gry Barre of Roddmant and Orrec Caspro of Caspromant have arrived in the city.

Orrec is a story-teller, the most famous of all: he has the gift of making. His wife Gry's gift is that of calling; she walks with a half lion who both frightens and fascinates the Alds. This is Memer's story, and Gry's and Orrec's, and it is the story of a conquered people craving freedom.

What I Liked:
  • BOOKS! BOOKS ! BOOKS! (are pretty much the focus in this book)
  • The grown-up Orrec and Gyr are more fun to read about than the kiddy ones in Gifts
  • Easy to read
  • Story is slightly 'deeper' than Gifts

What I Didn't Like:
  • Like Gifts, the story's a bit too simple (but then its a children's book after all)
  • Doesn't tell us much about what happened in the time between Gifts and Voices
  • Nothing much about the 'gifts' that were so central in Gifts
  • Oooo, religious commentary. I scare.

This is the 'sequel' to Gifts, and much like Earthsea's 'book 2' The Tombs of Atuan, it doesn't exactly continue the story in Gifts, but continues years and years after the events in the first book.

Where Gifts told the story of Orrec and Gyr as children, growing up and developing their characters, Voices continues almsot what, 20 years after the events in Gifts.

In one way, it's intriguing to see how the two kids we read about in Gifts are so grown up, and in another, I also wanted to know how they got to this point. Or maybe not. but anyway...

I like how the story in Voices focuses on books, and how the Alds think reading is EVIL and that books are EVIL and how all books should be DESTROYED. Made me think about all the book 'banning' over here...

this is a decent enough read, simple, interesting, and quite easy to read. It's not as good as Earthsea, but then again, it's not meant to be. It's probably a good read for kids though...

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