Ursula K. Le Guin,
(Harcourt, 2007)

Gavir, kidnapped as a baby and taken to the City State of Etra, is comfortable as a young house slave being groomed to work as a teacher. He has the companionship of his sister, who also protects him by reminding him not to reveal his unusual ability to "remember" the future.

When he's forced to flee his home base, however, he has already begun the process of examining the justice of the system that he has been living under. His adventures take him to the dark heart of his own culture and, eventually, back to his home in the Marshes.

As you would expect from the work of Ursula Le Guin, part of Gavir's window into understanding injustice is his realization that women in Etran society are treated worse than men. The story is full of adventure, does not avoid tough subjects like sexual subjugation and warfare, and does not end with a neat resolution, leaving the reader with more to ponder. It is geared to young teens, and is written by the premier female writer of fantasy fiction.

Powers is the third book of the much praised Annals of the Western Shore.

review by
Barbara Bamberger Scott

1 December 2007

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