GIFTS: Ursula Le Guin: Harcourt: Young Adult: 274 pgs
This fantasy novel explores the culture of the Uplands and the people that dwell therein. Many of the inhabitants have strange and potentially dangerous abilities that include the killing or maiming of others, or calling wild animals to gather. Orrec and Gry both have gifts, but each refuse to use them, despite their parents’ wishes. Ogge Drum, a haughty landowner in an adjoining area of the Uplands, causes heartache for Orrec and his family when he steals their cattle and pretentiously tries to betroth Orrec to his mentally ill granddaughter.
This book showcases the unique talents of the Uplanders as well as giving Orrec a voice when he cannot see the world around him. Both Orrec and Gry mature throughout the novel to discover what they believe are the right paths for each of them to take. The book is a little hard to read because the names are unfamiliar and many sound similar.