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Voices (Annals of the Western Shore, #2)
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Voices (Annals of the Western Shore #2)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,702 ratings  ·  262 reviews
În chiar anul nasterii lui Memer, frumosul oras Ansul a fost cucerit de o armata si, de atunci, preotii acesteia i-au prigonit pe toti cei care îndrazneau sa iubeasca scrisul si cititul. Toti cei care erau prinsi având carti asupra lor erau degraba condamnati la moarte.
Intoleranta alzilor, care cred într-un singur Zeu al Focului, fata de cultura politeista a celor din Ansu
Hardcover, First Edition, 341 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Harcourt (first published 2006)
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Moira Russell
My favourite of the three - often the subject was unrelievedly painful to me (BURNING BOOKS OMG NO), but I really loved Memer's voice, utterly direct, plain, and believable, despite the sometimes heavy-handed Symbolism everywhere (her role in the book reminded me very much of Irena in Beginning Place).

I heard someone call these books 'Earthsea lite' but that's really unfair - the language is simpler, less mannered and archaic, but the people more complex, the plots more political. (Melle is cer
Mar 02, 2011 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All LeGuin fans. Anybody who finds much modern literature bland and pointless.
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 20, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Julian, think_galactic
The peaceful merchant city of Ansul, famous for its university and learning, was invaded a generation ago by an army. The Alds believe that anything written is an abomination, the educated populace are dark wizards, and that they will find their religion's foretold final battleground in Ansul. They pillage, rape and torture their way through the citizens, destroying every book and shrine they can find.
Seventeen years later, the Alds remain as uneasy masters in a slave-city. They still sleep in t
This book was excellent, even better than the first book of this series, Gifts. The two main characters from the first book are seen again here playing important parts in the story, but the viewpoint character is someone new. Again, UKL's deft storytelling catches you up right away and pulls you into the action, thoughts, and feelings. In no way does this feel like Young Adult literature. Both of these books are awesome stories. There's nothing that's simplified here, or minor in any way.

The sto
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Lynn Crow for

A companion novel to Le Guin's GIFTS, VOICES looks in on the life of a teen growing up in a city controlled by an enemy people. Memer has never known a life when hostile soldiers didn't patrol the streets and the possession of a book was not a crime punishable by death. The invading army believes that written words are evil, and that the city of Ansul is full of demons. But Memer knows that the Waylord, the man who raised her after her mother's death, ha
Drew Nelson
May 14, 2008 Drew Nelson rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People I secretly hate
Memer is a sheep-haired oppressed minority girl who is oppressed by a manly warrior society who thinks reading is evil. How does she fight the book burning Nazis? With the power of understanding. Oh, and there's some kind of crazy magic that no one understands that happens about once. Horrible, disgusting tripe. Paper dolls have more real personality than these characters.

Example dialog (completely made up, but in character):

Memer: I am very oppressed. It is because I am a minority who loves to
A lot more seems to happen in Voices than in the first book of the trilogy, Gifts. It has more tension, more drive, and it feels more full. Ursula Le Guin has a habit of writing very beautiful books that aren't very immediate or exciting because they have very little by way of plot. I still like them, but plenty of people won't stop to read them. Voices isn't like that -- there's a plot, as well as compelling characters, beautiful writing and careful worldbuilding. Nothing slips, here.

Gry and Or
Jie Hui
There is magic in her words. Gonna hunt down the other books of the same series.
When Ansul was first sacked by the Alds, the soldiers pillaged, raped and destroyed all the books they could find. 9 months later, Memer is born to the house Galva, the once glorious Oracle House, which is home to a secret library, where the people of Ansul hide the few books they could safe.

The lord of the house, The Waylord, was held captive and tortured by the Alds for years, and when he is finally released both his body and spirit are broken. Memer and the Waylord bond over the books that we
Althea Ann
This is a companion book to LeGuin's earlier, "Gifts," but it also
works as a stand-alone novel. It takes place about 20 years later. The two main characters from "Gifts" do appear, but are not the main characters here.
The story takes place in an occupied and defeated country. The
invaders, distrusting and fearing the written word as a form of
demonic magic, have sought out all books to destroy them. But young Memer has grown up in a household that still secretly houses a forbidden library... and a
Jul 17, 2013 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio, ya
I read/listened to this book on audio. Great narrator, excellent ability to evoke place and feeling. Not a lot of different character voices for characters, but that fit because the story is told in first person and so it's all filtered through Memer's head.

I found the story a bit on the slower paced end of things. The main character is central to a lot of action but doesn't actually do a lot. Trigger warning: she is the product of a wartime rape and this is discussed in several occasions in th
When comparing Voices to Gifts, the first book of the series, in terms of the themes described, Voices is certainly the better book. This is a book about the loss of a cultured civilization through colonization. The colonizers consider the ability to read and write a demonic ability… books as evil entities that must be destroyed at all costs, with no lives spared. Seventeen years after the war, we’re faced with a lost civilization, or a Dark Age, with a new generation of “half-castes” who no lon ...more
This book is very different from the first in the series. Where the first was a bit slow and plodding, the story in this one moved right along. It has a different main character than Gifts. Orrec and Gry do take part in this story, but it takes place a good 18 years or so after the first book. You could very easily read this book without ever having read the first, and I'm guessing there are quite a few people who read the first and never moved onto this one, which is a shame.

The writing in thi
LeGuin always creates interesting worlds. In this young adult novel, the city of Ansul on the Western Shore is under the dominion of the Alds. The Alds are aggressive, warlike and religiously intolerant of any religion and any god other than their one god Atth - a god who forbids books and the written word in any form. The people of Ald on the other hand are more passive, focused on commerce and scholarship with a complex set of daily observed rituals to their plethora of gods.

For seventeen year
Lauren Smith
Meh. A heavy-handed, often simplistic novel, perhaps because it's written for children or teens. The conflict is very neatly divided into black and white. The polytheistic city of Ansul was famed for its literary and scholarly culture, until the Alds of Asudar invaded, raping, murdering, and wrecking. The Alds are religious extremists who believe that the written world is evil. They destroy every book they can find, kill anyone in possession of written material, and make reading a crime. Sevente ...more
I particularly love Le Guin's creation of the pantheon of this world. he god of Luck is deaf so "when you have nothing to pray for that's when he hears you." The god who guides the soul at death "from darkness into light" is a black cat or a lion when you need protection (very Egyptian.) Her shrine is an empty niche with paw prints.

As I said in reviewing book one, this is more a fable than S&S fantasy. The story starts with one-god, fanatics who view writing and in particular books, as the w
In the beginning, I didn't actually realize that Memer was a girl, funnily enough. But I loved how even from the beginning, the words in this book took on a kind of life of their own. When most growing up are now illiterate because invaders have forbidden the evil of books, Memer knows some of her letters, thanks to the hidey hole that saved her life and that of her mother's when the invasion first came. And though the hidden books are beautiful to look at, Memer has no idea what they're about u ...more
“Gifts” explored the nature of inner creation and finding one’s place in life in the midst of uneasy relationships among differing tribes. “Voices” takes that on a larger scale. Where Orrec was once involved in feudal clan warfare, now he is embroiled in a larger war between an enslaved nation and a conquering race.

The drama is incredible as Orrec and Gry are drawn helplessly into a tense situation that, at every opportunity, has the potential to explode into disaster. The urge for retribution,
Voices has been my constant companion on the daily commute to work for the last week or so. Sometimes, these can be my favourite moments of the day, with time, (relative) quiet and a good book to pass the time. Sadly, with Voices, this was not the case.

I felt like it was a bit of a nothing book, well written but I had a decidedly 'meh' feeling upon finishing. The general concept of the Ald invasion and occupation of the city has potential, but the story never takes this anywhere interesting. A f
Este es el primer libro de Ursula Le Guin que leo, y me gustó, pero en verdad esperaba más... La trama es interesante y original, pero creo que no llegué a conectar con los personajes (tal vez debí leer el primer libro de la saga antes que este jaja). De todos modos fue una lectura lenta, rica y entretenida.

Lo que más me gustó fue la trama, centrada en una realidad que básicamente sería mi peor pesadilla: los libros están prohibidos. Cualquier forma de escritura es destruida por ser considerada
Bryce  Bodily
When I found out that Ursula K. Le Guin had written another YA series besides The Wizard of Earthsea I was super stoked. This is the second book and you have to appreciate her ability to weave a tale. It helps to have read the first in this series just because it gives you a little bit of background on some characters. The nice thing is that you could read this without the other books and it would still be a complete world.

Memer lives in Ansul which was once a very beautiful city that valued bo
Nov 16, 2014 Dylan added it
The book Voices, by Ursula K. Le Guin is about a peaceful town, Ansul, filled with libraries, schools, and temples. But that was long before it got conquered and the new rulers thought that writing and reading were acts of punishment and,could result in death. They also believe that the Oracle house, where the last few destroyed books are hidden costliest of demons. Memer however, a seventeen year old girl, feels that the house is the only place she feels safe. Then, a poet naked Orrec comes wit ...more
Feb 01, 2015 Robin rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya, 2015
Not the greatest YA fantasy series, but not terrible. I liked the fact that Memer was not always likable - I didn't care for how she treated Simme, but that made her more real and multidimensional.

Favorite quote:
"The Oracle was not giving orders but just the opposite: inviting thought. Asking us to bring thought to mystery."

" bring rational thought to impenetrable mystery" was the only really interesting idea in this book for me. The whole "the enemy thinks books and readers are evil and sh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The book following Gifts, set in a society where books and the ability to read are considered evil acts. A small group of people living under captivity manage to share their gifts and guard the books, and a young girl finds that she might have something to offer.
Though the story progresses slowly, the language used ambles along helping the reader become a part of the scene, observing and feeling the air of the city.

A passage I found to be poignant:
"[Referring to the Oracle, Memer says,] 'It doesn't speak to me! It uses me! It wasn't even my voice--was it? I don't know! I don't understand it. I'm ashamed, I'm afraid! I don't ever want to go into that darkness again.'
[The Waylord] said nothing for a long time, and finally spoke gently. 'They use us, yes,
"Fear breeds silence, and silence breeds fear." This quote sums up the theme of Voices if not the plot, and it also speaks to Gifts, the first book in the series. In both books, people are silenced in order to create fear, or frightened in order to create silence. In Voices, the city of Ansul, once known for its library and university, has been silenced by the invading Alds, who believe the written word is evil. All books not smuggled into a hidden room are destroyed. Also hidden away are all of ...more
This is one of those Le Guin books that failed to engage me because of its theme. I just don't care.
It sometimes read a little too much like a history book, I think. The culture as interesting, the characters were engaging. I just wanted more... To be able to see Memer actively involved in the plot instead of passively writing about it. It read a little bit like: and then this happened, and then this happened. Which. Was dry. It was a book that I only finished because I was interested, really, in the way they interacted with their gods. It as the religious aspect that held me. Without it, I do ...more
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As of 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. Forthcoming ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin...

Other Books in the Series

Annals of the Western Shore (3 books)
  • Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore, #1)
  • Powers (Annals of the Western Shore, #3)
A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1) The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2) The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3) The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4) The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #5)

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“I always wondered why the makers leave housekeeping and cooking out of their tales. Isn't it what all the great wars and battles are fought for -- so that at day's end a family may eat together in a peaceful house?” 24 likes
“Having one king, one god, one belief, they can act single-mindedly.” 10 likes
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