Orrec, the son of the Brantor of Caspromant, and Gry, daughter of the Brantors of Barre and Rodd, have grown up together, running half-wild across the Uplands. The people there are like their land: harsh and fierce and prideful; ever at war with each other.
Only the gifts keep the fragile peace. The Barre gift is calling animals. The women of Cordemant have the power of blinding, or making deaf, or taking away speech. The Rodds can send a spellknife into a man's heart. The Callems can move heavy things - even buildings, even hills. The Caspro gift is the worst and best of all: it is the gift of undoing: an insect, an animal, a place . . .
Orrec and Gry are the heirs to Caspro and Barre. Gry's gift runs true, but she refuses to call animals for the hunt. Orrec too is a problem, for his gift of undoing is wild: he cannot control it - and that is the most dangerous gift of all . . .
GIFTS is Ursula Le Guin at her best: an exciting, moving story beautifully told.