Le Guin, with her masterful use of seemingly simple and fluent prose, tells us the stories of how four very different people find hope after terrible ordeals. The background to the stories --and also the main source of hope-- is the need to fight: against slavery, against enormous social inequalities and brutal sexual segregation... in short, against most of the worst injustices that we can find in our world, but that Le Guin transports to the imaginary planets of Yeowe and Werel. We see in these two planets, thanks to the author's mastery, an example of nightmarish distopias whose consequences are analysed in the four main characters. However, Le Guin is always more convincing when describing a society with defects (any kind of defect), and the reactions these defects provoke in the individual, than when describing highly evolved, almost perfect societies. These latter may be better to live in, but they sure are more boring to read about, since the author has to keep within the limits of the politically corect, and that shows.