Powers (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K Le Guin
|Powers (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K Le Guin|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Gavir, a highly educated house slave, runs away from his benevolent masters, and tries to find a place where he belongs.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 472||Date: September 2007|
|Publisher: Orion Childrens|
Powers, the third book in Ursula Le Guin's Annals of the Western Shore series, is the story of Gavir. He is a slave in a fictional ancient civilisation. Whilst his owners largely treat him and the other slaves with more respect than most slave-owners would, events lead Gavir to change his mind, and he runs away. He traipses from place to place, trying to find somewhere that he fits in.
Ursula Le Guin has written a simply magnificent book. From the first page to the last, every word is perfectly pitched, creating an intriguing and involving world without having to rely on the reader's knowledge of the Greeks or Romans. The characters are varied, realistic, and worth caring about. The plot keeps everything ticking along nicely; it's perfectly balanced with the writing style and characterisation, so as to give a feeling of a truly satisfying read. No prior knowledge of the other books in the series is required.
I wasn't looking forward to Powers: the title and blurb suggested that a mythical fantasy would be the order of the day, which would usually leave me cold. As I read through the book, and found myself getting more and more into it, I was dreading when the powers would rear their ugly head, possibly tarnishing my enjoyment. Thankfully, no such tarnishing took place. Whilst there are touches of fantasy and superstition, they are appropriately understated. The tone of the book is consistent throughout. Ursula Le Guin's tale is the stuff of myths and legends, rather than of magic and science fiction.
Powers is a beautiful book, with meaningful messages about identity, self-worth, leadership and individuality. Much like T H White's Sword in the Stone and its sequels, it can be read to and with children, by older children on their own, or can also be enjoyed by adults as an excellent book in its own right. It's got universal appeal and transcends any age range pigeonholing. If you like stories, if you like books, if you like people, then you should read Powers.
As highly recommended as they come.
Thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy Powers (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K Le Guin at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Powers (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula K Le Guin at Amazon.com.
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