Voices

by Ursula K. LeGuin

The city of Ansul has been held captive by occupying forces for seventeen-year-old... read more

The city of Ansul has been held captive by occupying forces for seventeen-year-old Memer’s entire life. Its scholars, libraries, and places of learning are despised by the invading Alds, who have outlawed books and severely punish anyone who openly writes or reads. Memer is one of the few who knows of a secret cache of books hidden within the Oracle House where she lives, preserved for a future time when they might be safely revealed. Fascinated by the books and what they offer, Memer learns to read and yearns for a return to the Ansul of the past. The opportunity appears with the arrival of the Upland poet Orrec and his wife Gry. Orrec’s powerful stories give strength and focus to the oppressed citizens of Ansul. Even the Alds cannot help being compelled by his words, while Memer finds she has a role to play as the revitalized community plots to overthrow its oppressors. Following Gifts (Harcourt, 2004), this second volume in the Annals of the Western Shore works equally well as an addition to the series or as a stand-alone fantasy. (Ages 11–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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