Book Reviews

Voices (Annals of the Western Shore Series Book 2) by Ursula K. Le Guin

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List Price: £5.99


Kindle Edition: 388 Pages.

Published: 09 September 2010 by Gateway

Edition: New Ed



Memer is a child of rape; when the Alds took the beautiful city of Ansul, they descecrated or destroyed everything of beauty. The Waylord they imprisoned and tortured for years until finally he is freed to return to his home. Though crippled, he is not destroyed. His life still has purpose. Memer is the daughter of his House, the daughter of his heart.

The Alds, a people who love war, cannot and will not read: they believe that in words lie demons that will destroy the world. All the city's libraries, the great treasure trove of knowledge of ages past, are burned, except for those few volumes secreted inthe Waylord's hidden room.

But times are changing. Gry Barre of Roddmant and Orrec Caspro of Caspromant have arrived in the city. Orrec is a story-teller, the most famous of all: he has the gift of making. His wife Gry's gift is that of calling; she walks with a halflion who both frightens and fascinates the Alds.

This is Memer's story, and Gry's and Orrec's, and it is the story of a conquered people craving freedom.


4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Anne

Beautifully written but a bit slow in places

Memer is brought up by the Waylord who is idolised by the ordinary people but a marked man in a city overcome by invaders. He maintains a library despite the local suspicion about words and books. As war comes to the city Memer, the Waylord and her friends (including two from the first/companion book in the series) have to work out what to do and how to save their written treasure.

This is a book written with real lyrical power. It is a thoughtful one where nothing is quite as black and white as you may think. There is an underlying feeling of sadness and regret at how people treat one another because of difference.

I have to say that I found this book slow going in parts but the theme and the writing always engaged me and made me want to read further. It isn't an exact sequel to the first book in the series and you could read it as a standalone but it is best read after the first and as a contrast to the very different world she creates there.

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