Planet of Exile

{4.5/5} “They looked at her. She had heard that farborns would meet one’s eyes straight on, but did not put the story to test. At least none of them stopped her; her clothing was not unlike theirs, and some of them, she saw in her quick flicking glances, were not very much darker-skinned than men. But in the faces that she did not look at she sensed the unearthly darkness of the eyes.”

At a time when war was raging out in the galaxy, some folks from the League of All Worlds were unintentionally left behind on this planet. Their descendants still survive, although their numbers are dwindling because they don’t have children easily. Jakob is one of the leaders of the group that’s left, people who the natives call “farborns.” Rolery is a native who is initially wary of the farborns, but she comes to trust Jakob. In the midst of Jakob and Rolery getting to know each other comes the news that the Gaal from up north are coming in mass numbers to attack their cities.

Planet of Exile by Ursula K. Le Guin was published in 1966. Like Rocannon’s World it takes place in her Hainish universe.

Despite much of the story being taken up with the attack by the Gaal, it’s still very interesting. Jakob and Rolery learn about each other’s people, and they learn about something that has changed over the centuries that the farborns have been on this planet.

On this planet winter lasts many years — and winter is coming.

You can’t go wrong picking up a Le Guin novel — shorter or longer, older or more recent, they are well worth reading.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 5:37 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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