Le Guin, Ursula K. Gifts.

Author:Rohrlick, Paula
Position:Brief Article - Young Adult Review - Book Review

LE GUIN, Ursula K. Gifts. Harcourt. 288p. c2004. 0-15-205123-6. $1700. JS*

In the Uplands, feuding families fight each other using their strange "gifts"--the ability to strike someone blind or deaf, to set a fire just by pointing to a spot, or to take a man's will from him and make him do your bidding. Young Orrec's family has a gift known as "the undoing," a means of killing with just a look, a gesture, and a word. At first, Orrec is not even sure that he has inherited this gift, but a dramatic episode convinces him, though it seems that his ability is not fully under his control. He becomes so afraid of his gift that he voluntarily wears a blindfold at all times, so as not to injure anyone accidentally, and accepts the help of a guide dog. His good friend Gry has the gift of communicating with animals, but she refuses to use it to call them to the hunt to be killed. In refusing their gifts the teenagers find other strengths, and Orrec discovers that he has talent as a poet and storyteller, relating the tales his lovely mother...

To continue reading