Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “De wilde gave (Annals of the Western Shore, #1)” as Want to Read:
De wilde gave (Annals of the Western Shore, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

De wilde gave

(Annals of the Western Shore #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  8,586 ratings  ·  811 reviews
De bewoners van de Oplanden zijn als hun land: fel, trots en hard. Ze zijn arm, maar hun gaven zijn kostbaar. Sommigen kunnen – met één blik, gebaar of woord – dieren roepen, vuur maken of land verplaatsen. Anderen kunnen ledematen verwringen, een geest onderwerpen, een slopende ziekte geven. Twee jeugdvrienden besluiten hun gave niet te gebruiken. Het meisje Gry wil geen ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published March 2009 by De Vliegende Hollander (first published September 1st 2004)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about De wilde gave, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Shayla Morgansen I'm not sure what you mean by 'commentary on society', but Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov were futurists who wrote science fiction and postulated a…moreI'm not sure what you mean by 'commentary on society', but Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov were futurists who wrote science fiction and postulated about our fates based on societal conventions of their time. In many cases they were scarily on-point; their work actually influenced change and development in society. Hope that helps.(less)
A I read it as a standalone book and while I enjoyed it (3 stars) the whole book felt like the first chapter of a larger work.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,586 ratings  ·  811 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of De wilde gave (Annals of the Western Shore, #1)
Dear Ursula Le Guin,

You've given me many gifts over the years, and I cherish them all, so it is fitting that your most recent gift is a book of the same name. I know it is not the favourite of many of my friends who love your work too, and I don't know if I can even call it a favourite, but I accepted Gifts from you at the perfect time, much as I've accepted your other works.

When all my fantasy worlds were filled with too obvious expressions of god vs. evil, and I was struggling with the binar
Jan 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading several books by Ursula K. Le Guin and a little more about her and her writing, I think that she may not be capable of writing a bad story, perhaps not capable of writing a bad sentence.

Gifts, her 1999 novel, has tone and imagery reminiscent of Anne McCaffery or Robert Silverberg. The gifts she described, powerful spell-like traits associated with a family or lineage call to mind the knacks Orson Scott Card invents in his Alvin Maker series – though those powers seem to appear spo
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Marija
Shelves: 2011, ya, fantasy
Gifts is a hard sell as a teen fantasy novel. Why not market it in the same vein as A Wizard of Earthsea I wonder?

As all Le Guin's books, Gifts is deeply philosophical and introspective. It is preoccupied with exploring what it means for a person to have a dangerous, potentially lethal ability. To give some frame of reference, think Graceling with Katsa's constant fretting about her killing Grace minus action, angsty teen romance and pseudo-feminist propaganda plus more depth and better knowled
Aug 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All LeGuin fans/Everybody who thinks Fantasy is stupid.
Shelves: fantasy
With the recent publication of the third volume of the Annals of the Western Shore, I decided to go back to the start and re-read the first two and follow it up with the latest.

Gifts is the first book. It is narrated by Orrec Caspro son of his clan's leader. The clans of the uplands have uncanny powers, Gifts, at least if the family blood runs true, but Orrec's mother is not of the clan or even of the Uplands where the clans lead their isolated impoverished existence, feuding and farming. Orrec'
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am maybe a bit disappointed but that is more of my fault than Ursula's.Since it's fantasy coming of age story I expected something along the line of Wizard of Earthsea and Gifts isn't that nor is it trying to be.There isn't much of a plot line or world building in this book instead it's focus is on Orrec's growing up and on politics and struggles within small community. It's not flashy or philosophical book but it's small piece of world is well fleshed out.It's warm, unpretentious and very sat ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Ursula LeGuin's book 'Gifts' is written with exceptional intelligence and a parable-like lyricism. If it wasn't for the subject matter, it would be as musical as dreamy poetry in prose form. It is a coming-of-age story beautifully rendered.

'Gifts' is about a patriarchal society, isolated and under the dying suns of inbreeding, tribalism and island culture. No one can read or write except the captured lowland women and children used as slaves and wives. When permitted, they teach the mountain fo
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Gifts is a quiet story, in the way that Ursula Le Guin can do really well: those moments of silence, introspection, contemplation. It isn’t my favourite of her books, but I love the things she explores here: the longing of parents to see their children succeed; love within families; grieving and loss; trying to choose the lesser evil… Orrec’s voluntary blindness and the way it affects the world around him, his fears and his wants, are beautiful; Canoc is a wonderful portrait of a difficult man: ...more
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. Beautiful. UKL's use of the English language is without equal or parallel. Not a word wasted. Not an idea wasted. Simple, efficient, and yet touching and thoughtful. I don't know how she does it.

How fortunate that I read Gifts during the Christmas season, when we in western culture are too often focused on the wrong "gifts" in our lives. Gifts is not a book about Christmas or the Christmas season, but the parallels are unmistakable. Of course the other themes are all there ... a paren
Juho Pohjalainen
Witch-clans being passive-aggressive and occasionally active-aggressive at one another. It's a mellow, low-stakes story about a single life or two - I liked it fine when I read it, but I suspect it was a little unremarkable in the end since I can't seem to be able to find many things to talk about it after the fact.
Apr 22, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What was I supposed to think when I picked this up? I hardly ever actually look inside the book and read the first page or first chapter. It's always the cover and blurb on the back of the book that makes me want to read it.

Maybe I should start reading the first page or chapter from now on?

It's written by Orrec's point of view, and when I say written, I pretty much mean exactly that. It's like an autobiography. Orrec, to me, comes across as a bit of an emo person. The way he talks about his life
A coming-of-age tale in a land reminiscent of Scotland with mystic powers. Orrec and Gry come from Upland families with powers, but cannot, or will not, use theirs.

Monopoly move as a YA book; contributes to B-ward readings by UKLG.
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a little bit disappointed when I had heard that this recent book from LeGuin was a ‘children's book' – but I needn't have worried. It's just another one of those publishers' marketing ploys. This is definitely a story that can be appreciated by readers of any age.

It's a very bleak story, in many ways. It tells of two young people in a remote, backwards society. Life is harsh, they're dirt-poor, inbred, always violently feuding over the slightest of pretexts – and to make things worse, each
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Orrec is born into a Gifted family in the Uplands. Although his family controls a fey and unsettling Gift, they are nevertheless barely able to eke out a life from their sparse and rocky land. The Gifted families raid each other for the few resources that remain: livestock, wood, serfs. Cut off from the rest of the world by a combination of shunning and pride, the people of the Uplands grow more stunted and inbred with every generation.
Unable to find a wife among his own people, Orrec's father
I love Ursula Le Guin's writing a lot. Gifts is a YA book, technically, but it doesn't have to be just for young people. It's a lovely story, like a fairy tale, and it's very easy to read, but that doesn't mean it's not worth reading for people who are older. The main character is a young boy, but the emotions of other characters, like Orrec's father, are there and it's important to understand them and try to identify with them. And Ursula Le Guin's writing is simple and lovely, easy to read but ...more
Rachel Leonard
Sep 20, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find this book compelling, maybe I should have read Voices first. Reading the premise at the library, I was interested.

"Scattered among poor, desolate farms, the clans of the Uplands possess gifts. Wondrous gifts: the ability--with a glance, a gesture, a word--to summon animals, bring forth fire, move the land. Fearsome gifts: They can twist a limb, chain a mind, inflict a wasting illness. The Uplanders live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. Two y
Sep 20, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this, found it interesting and compelling reading, and quite moving at certain points. LeGuin's prose is as lucid and sharp as ever, though I think to get the full impact of Orrec's story, you need to read Voices as well. ...more
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to gio by: Lys
"Stories are what death thinks he puts an end to. He can't understand that they end in him, but they don't end with him."

Okay, so...I would have never read this book if it wasn't for Lys. I read the whole Earthsea series last year and was actually disappointed by it, so I didn't think I would pick up something by Le Guin so soon. Now, after reading Gifts, I think that the Italian translation played a key role in my huge Earthsea disappointment.

I have to admit that I really liked Le Guin's writi
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Usually I love an Ursula Le Guin novel, but I just couldn't get into Gifts. The writing is beautiful, as we expect from Le Guin (therefore 4 stars), but I found this novel too dull for me.

Most of the story is told by Orrec as it happened in the past (a technique I just couldn't appreciate), and he relates several stories that his mother told him. Orrec and his best friend Gry live in a culture where magical gifts are used for destructive purposes and they
Ben Nash
This one has a slow start, making me wonder how well it'll work for young adults. In the beginning we're introduced to Orrec as a boy made blind by his father. As the book progresses, we see vignettes over the course of his early years, preparing him for the development of his gift.

Having just finished I Am Number Four, Gifts made a good contrast. I Am Number Four is more fast-paced, but there are so many little holes and a general lack of attention to detail. With Le Guin, we get a fully develo
Jenny (Reading Envy)
A new YA book that seems to start a new series(?) - the second book is Voices, which I'm reading next. In the Uplands, all families pass down certain gifts to their children. Some are positive, some are destructive. Two good friends choose not to use their gifts, and have to try to find a way to live in the society without them. It seems like a commentary on violence as well as an interesting story. I found myself seeing it vividly in my mind, which doesn't happen all of the time.
Ai Miller
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this--the book was short and FLEW by, but the pacing never once felt off. It was good to read a young YA book for a change, and the story was compelling and interesting. (view spoiler) Otherwise I really enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to starting the next one! If you want a quick and very satisfying read ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, teen-ya-plus
A delightful fairy tale made of fairy tales with a message. Le Guin's prose soars.

7 of 10 stars
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
A very well-written, engaging short novel; my only complaint is that it felt more like a prelude to a story than a story proper.
Sep 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life is harsh in the northern uplands where Orrec Caspro grows up. The climate is cold. The farmers and serfs scratch an uneasy living out of indifferent soil. The land-owning families that lead them are divided by vicious feuds. And the most powerful among them, honored with the title Brantor, wield terrible powers. One family's gift is calling to animals, which can be helpful when you're training a horse or a dog, but is oftener used to deadly effect—in the hunt. And that's one of the milder g ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I enjoyed the story of Gifts and the issues and questions Le Guin raises through it. It was a bit hard to get into at first because everything in Orrec's life seemed so bleak - from the mostly destructive gifts themselves and the implied poverty and harsh way of life to his stoic father. However, after the setting is established I realized that I was very invested in the characters of Orrec and Gry.

One of my favorite takeaways from the book was the concept of restraint. Although you may
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Gifts is set among primitive mountain tribes whose strange, wild magic pervades every aspect of their life. These powers, or gifts, run in the family line, from father to son and mother to daughter, and they die out if people marry outside their tribe. The gifts are quite varied, all wild and dangerous, and the people live in constant fear that one family might unleash its gift against another. All this makes for a fascinating societal structure, politics and culture; I loved how convincingly Le ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This was a pretty powerful book for YA, but I didn't really expect anything less from Le Guin.

The clans of the Uplands are rumored to have powers, and Orrec knows it's true because he's part of it. His family has the power of unmaking -- looking at something and undoing its very essence, a dangerous power for those who can't control it, to be sure. The story follow Orrec as he grows up in this world of rival clans with different powers, ones that are threatened but rarely used against one a
May 21, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
2.5 Stars
In first person past tense we see 'through the eyes' of a young man, Orrec, who's heterogeneous blood line may have given him the unstable gift of great power?
In standard Le Guiniean fashion Gifts started out slow and slightly obtuse. It followed the normal, rambling (almost flow of consciousness) pattern I have grown to expect in books by Le Guin (note that my sample set is relativity small but 3 points do define a line :P). It was as though she needed to gain steam
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vippi by: Lys
3.5 stars

Although at the beginning it was a bit slow-paced, I liked this book. Le Guin herself has a rare gift - a very poetic, suggestive writing that gives her story the warming scent of an old tale told in the firelight.

I also appreciated the evolution of the main character, Orrec, and the path that led him to his final decision.

The only flaw was that I found difficult to completely empathize with him: he sometimes seemed too self-involved, unable to understand the others’ feelings (especiall
Disappointingly slow and bland. Much repeating of the same information. Weird shift in the story narration - starts with visitor, goes back several years, then back further, then to visitor again, then continues on. Place names and people/clan names confusing - has a detailed map in front of the book, but almost none of the places mentioned in the book are on it - a bit annoyed to find this.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Beyond Reality: Gifts -- Finished Reading ***SPOILERS!** 5 19 Jul 19, 2017 11:56PM  
Play Book Tag: Gifts (Annals of the Western Shore, #1) – Ursula LeGuin - 4 stars 1 10 Sep 10, 2016 10:51AM  
Class of 2015: Gifts 1 6 Mar 26, 2014 09:44PM  
Blind YA fantasy? 3 24 Dec 16, 2013 01:54AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Delibo
  • Sürüklenme
  • Poz
  • Son Bakış
  • Hayattan Sahneler (Levayih-i Hayat)
  • Picnic on Paradise
  • House of Teeth
  • Nine Bar Blues
  • A Man
  • Elden Düşme Dünya
  • The Darkness Gathers (Lydia Strong, #2)
  • The Kill Order (The Maze Runner, #0.5)
  • Catspaw (Cat, #2)
  • Negroes with Guns
  • This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman
  • Arife - Evde Cat Başına, Orada bir Aşk Var Bence
See similar books…
Ursula K. Le Guin 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. She lived in Portland, Orego ...more

Other books in the series

Annals of the Western Shore (3 books)
  • Voices (Annals of the Western Shore, #2)
  • Powers (Annals of the Western Shore, #3)

Related Articles

Magic and myth, getting real and standing up for what’s right, love and longing, growing up and falling in love. Get ready for some of the best...
137 likes · 50 comments
“To see that your life is a story while you're in the middle of living it may be a help to living it well.” 129 likes
“We scarcely know how much of our pleasure and interest in life comes to us through our eyes until we have to do without them; and part of that pleasure is that the eyes can choose where to look. But the ears can't choose where to listen.” 29 likes
More quotes…