Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Date Started: 15-08-2019
Star Rating: ✪✪✪
Synopsis from Goodreads
Centuries in the future, Terrans have established a logging colony & military base named “New Tahiti” on a tree-covered planet whose small, green-furred, big-eyed inhabitants have a culture centered on lucid dreaming. Terran greed spirals around native innocence & wisdom, overturning the ancient society.
Humans have learned interstellar travel from the Hainish (the origin-planet of all humanoid races, including Athsheans). Various planets have been expanding independently, but during the novel, it’s learned that the League of All Worlds has been formed. News arrives via an ansible, a new discovery. Previously they had been cut off, 27 light-years from home.
The story occurs after The Dispossessed, where both the ansible & the League of Worlds are unrealized. Also well before Planet of Exile, where human settlers have learned to coexist. The 24th century has been suggested.
Terran colonists take over the planet locals call Athshe, meaning “forest,” rather than “dirt,” like their home planet Terra. They follow the 19th century model of colonization: felling trees, planting farms, digging mines & enslaving indigenous peoples. The natives are unequipped to comprehend this. They’re a subsistence race who rely on the forests & have no cultural precedent for tyranny, slavery or war. The invaders take their land without resistance until one fatal act sets rebellion in motion & changes the people of both worlds forever.
I did like this book, it was a very important book to read in my opinion. It has a very important lesson and touches on topics that are as important now and they have been in the past. One of the topics that this story discusses is slavery, rape, murder and invading of other peoples land. I think it is done extremely well – the main character Captain Dan Davidson is an awful man and thinks that the natives of the other planets are beneath him and should do as he wants them to.
A lot does happen in this book and I did get a little lost and confused whilst reading it but I did manage to get back into it fairly quickly.
I think this is a book you could re-read and get something else from it each time.