Once a culturally rich world, the planet Aka has been utterly transformed by technology. Records of the past have been destroyed, and citizens are strictly monitored. But an official observer from Earth will discover a group of outcasts who still practice its lost religion - the Telling.
Intrigued by their beliefs, she joins them on a sacred pilgrimage into the mountains...and into the dangerous terrain of her own heart, mind, and soul.
Locus Award, Best Novel, 2001
"In this virtually flawless new tale set in her Hainish universe, Le Guin...sends a young woman from Earth on her first mission, to the planet Aka as an Observer for the Ekumen....This is a novel that aficionados of morally serious SF won't want to miss." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gabra Zackman's steady and grounded narration lays the foundation...." (AudioFile)
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Sci-fi with feeling