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Gifts: Annals of the Western Shore, Book 1 | [Ursula K. Le Guin]

Gifts: Annals of the Western Shore, Book 1

In the Uplands, people have magical and fearsome gifts. Orrec, a boy growing into his powers, can destroy any living thing with simply a glance. But he refuses to use his ability, and wears a blindfold to protect others from his devastating gaze.
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Publisher's Summary

In the Uplands, people have magical and fearsome gifts. Orrec, a boy growing into his powers, can destroy any living thing with simply a glance. But he refuses to use his ability, and wears a blindfold to protect others from his devastating gaze. This allegorical coming-of-age tale shows that power can be cruel.

Listen to another book in this series: Powers.

©1994 Ursula K. Le Guin; (P)1994 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Rich in the earthy magic and intelligent plot twists that made the Earthsea novels classics." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (121 )
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3.8 (42 )
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3.8 (41 )
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  •  
    Ken Boiling Springs, PA, United States 11-10-11
    Ken Boiling Springs, PA, United States 11-10-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Book 3 won the 2008 Nebula Award"

    I had never heard of this series and thought I'd take a chance on them because of the author. These are well written, thoughtful books that really deserve as much attention as her other works. Each audio reader does a good job. Each book could stand on its own, too. The stories are complex (I mean that in a good way - as in, not simplistic). It's just good literature. (...hence the Nebula award.) She respects the intelligence of the reader/listener and the maturity of her characters' thoughts and actions reflects that.

    I really enjoyed Le Guin's Earthsea trilogy, so for those of you looking to compare them, this has a less dark theme and these are more about the people than about the magic - if that matters to you. As I listened to all three books, I found myself thinking, "These are really good books!" as I got into each. And they stayed good right to the ending of each. They really deserve just as much attention as other bestsellers in the field.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Williamsburg, MI, USA 04-21-07
    Andy Williamsburg, MI, USA 04-21-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    1
    1
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    "Great for Anyone"

    This is a great book whether you are into science fiction or not. It is thought-provoking and very emotional. It has turns in the story that makes it fun to listen to as well. Definitely recommend it.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tasha-kitty 10-14-08
    tasha-kitty 10-14-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    10
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    "LeGuin is guaranteed to please!"

    This is classic Ursula LeGuin. She tells a story which is interesting, drawing you in to the action and at the same time teaching lessons about kindness, understanding and acceptance of yourself and others. She weaves this into a tale mixed with magic and fantasy. It is written for "children" but is a great read for any age.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christie American Fork, UT, USA 09-01-08
    Christie American Fork, UT, USA 09-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    21
    4
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    "Unique"

    This is a very unique story, but it seems more like a diary-type story that jumps around a bit. There was no real climax. The story itself was intriguing, but I think the narrator made the story a bit more dull then if you were to have read it yourself.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alyssa 03-18-13
    Alyssa 03-18-13 Member Since 2009

    I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    206
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    "Short"

    The world described in this book is fascinating, almost even more so than Le Guin's famous Wizard of Earthsea books, which makes it a real shame that we get to spend so little time in it. To be blunt, this program is way overpriced for only five hours. The story in "Gifts" is more like the pilot episode of a TV series than a self contained book. The conflict and moral issues at stake are truly interesting but are resolved in the last 14 minutes of the book with a too convenient death, it is incredibly disappointing, in fact I would go so far as to call it a cop-out.

    I was planning to say that I was eager for the continuation of the story surrounding these characters except I made the mistake of immediately purchasing the Voices audiobook, and so I all ready know it's terrible, and fails to address anything brought up in Gifts, though the main characters do feature prominently.

    The reader, while not awful, doesn't suit the character behind the first person narrative and that takes a little getting over. Enough so that I would recommend getting the print version of this book if that's an option. He is, however, not nearly as dreadful as the reader of Voices.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen M. Kemmerer Wilkes-Barre, PA USA 06-03-11
    Kathleen M. Kemmerer Wilkes-Barre, PA USA 06-03-11 Member Since 2008
    ratings
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    "The gift of Gifts"

    I have always enjoyed the worlds created by Le Guin. Her character development is excellent and her plots are worthwhile. The first book of this series presents a premise as interesting as the magic in the Earthsea series.

    While a bit more brooding than Earthsea, I liked the book and plan to read the whole series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Virginia Beach, VA, USA 06-09-10
    Jeremy Virginia Beach, VA, USA 06-09-10 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Enjoyable Listen"

    I picked up a monthly audible account the day I was able to install the audible app on my android :) (beta) and this was my first listen. I'm happy :)

    It took me about an half an hour to really get into this book, after that I really enjoyed the pace and plot line

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Dallas, TX 01-09-10
    Amazon Customer Dallas, TX 01-09-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    "great story, simple, moving, original"

    Ursula LeGuin grown yet more masterful with age, spinning a dark tale with tragic depth lit by a young heart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JEFFERY SALIDA, CO, United States 10-22-11
    JEFFERY SALIDA, CO, United States 10-22-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Only last 2 hours"

    I was only able to make it through a couple of hours. I tried real hard to last longer as I was stupid enough to buy the second book first when it was on a half price sale. I just thought it would be a good series based on my experience with other Le Guin books. I am still not sure what the book is about, who the main character is, if there is even a plot. Seems to be just a disconcerted rambling.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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