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Gr 7 Up-The year Memer was born, a foreign army overthrew her city's elected government, declared the written word demonic, and destroyed every book it could find. Seventeen years later, possession of books is still punishable by death, and Memer and her mentor, the Waylord, are the protectors of a hidden library and the intermediaries of an oracle within it. At the invitation of the head of the occupying forces, Orrec the poet and storyteller and his wife Gry visit the city, and their arrival catalyzes the end of the occupation and the renewed prominence of Memer's extended family. Some readers will recognize Orrec and Gry from Le Guin's Gifts (Harcourt, 2004), although Voices stands entirely on its own. Filled with thought-provoking parallels to our own world, this political saga adeptly shows some pragmatic reasons why a war might end: growing personal connections between an occupying army and a local populace, changes in leadership and dimming of religious fervor within an invading nation, the expense of maintaining a distant garrison, and the recognition by two parties of shared economic goals better served by cooperation than oppression. While her prose is simple and unadorned, Le Guin's superior narrative voice and storytelling power make even small moments ring with truth, and often with beauty.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Ursula K. Le Guin's luxurious prose is effortless and elegant in Voices, the companion to her Gifts, a PW Best Book. Orrec, now a famous poet, arrives at the home of 17-year-old Memer, where the family has hidden books forbidden by the occupying Alds. Memer's reverence for the written word, equal parts loving and fearful of its power, will resonate long after the story's end. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
* (starred review) "While her prose is simple and unadorned, Le Guin's superior narrative voice and storytelling power make even small moments ring with truth, and often with beauty." --"School Library Journal" (August 2006 * (starred review) "Le Guin's latest pairs organically with its companion novel "Gifts," echoing themes of revenge, family legacies, personal morality, and a humanistic magic redolent more of earthly mysteries than flashy sorcery... The relevance of the slowly festering conflict between occupying and occupied cultures cannot be missed, and her understated writing flows as unstintingly as ever." --"Booklist "(August 2006) [star] "Le Guin's superior narrative voice and storytelling power make even small moments ring with truth, and often with beauty."--School Library Journal (starred)