The Earth colony of Landinhas been stranded on the planet Werel for ten orbits, each of which is sixty Earth years long. As Werel once again enters its fifteen-year-long winter, the lonely and dwindling human settlement is joined by the nomadic hilfs, an indigenous humanoid people who only settle down for the cruel cold spell. The hilfs fear the Earthmen, whom they call farborns, regarding them as witches and avoiding interaction with them. Although both populations share a common genetic heritage in the Hainish people, the differences are believed to be significant enough to prevent interbreeding. But hilfs and farborns also share common enemies: the hordes of ravaging barbarians called gaals and the eerie preying snow ghouls. As the winter dangers approach, a visit from the curious young hilf Rolery to the human colony becomes a sign of coming changes.
by Ursula K. Le Guin
"Though a bit dated and certainly not one of Le Guin's most impressive works, this book is performed quite well, with Stephen Hoye and Carrington MacDuffie switching off as dual narrators. As two humanoid races prepared for a harsh winter in an unforgiving environment, they must overcome their prejudice toward each other in order to protect themselves from another race that has the means to obliterate them. The narrators trade off as the story's point of view switches between a male and a female. While Hoye and MacDuffie give formidable performances, the decision to have dual narration is a bit dubious since that gender consistency is not entirely maintained throughout the novel. L.E. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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