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The Gifts of Asti   By: (1912-2005)

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The Gifts of Asti by Andre Norton is a captivating science fiction novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey to a distant planet. Set in a stunningly imagined world, this book effortlessly combines elements of fantasy, adventure, and romance to create a truly unforgettable reading experience.

The story transports us to the planet Asti, where an ancient and powerful goddess named Asti resides. She possesses incredible gifts, such as telepathy and healing abilities, which she uses to protect her people from various threats. Asti is a fascinating character who struggles with her sense of duty and isolation, making her instantly relatable to readers.

Norton's writing style is elegant and descriptive, allowing readers to vividly picture the lush landscapes and vibrant cultures of Asti. The author skillfully builds tension and suspense, keeping us engrossed in the story from beginning to end. Additionally, the pacing is well-balanced, ensuring that there is never a dull moment in the narrative.

The book also explores profound themes of sacrifice, love, and the nature of power. Asti's internal conflict as she grapples with her role as a goddess and her desire for a human connection adds layers of depth to the story. The interactions between Asti and the other characters are excellently crafted, creating meaningful and heartfelt relationships that add emotional resonance to the plot.

One aspect that particularly stands out is Norton's ability to create a strong sense of atmosphere. The descriptions of Asti's temple, the rituals, and the surrounding landscapes are beautifully rendered, immersing readers in the world and making it feel incredibly real.

Furthermore, the author's mastery of world-building is impressive. The societal structure, customs, and beliefs of the people of Asti are intricately detailed, helping to create a fully realized and believable civilization. This level of world-building adds a layer of authenticity to the story, making it all the more compelling.

A minor criticism of the book would be that some aspects of the plot feel predictable, especially in the romance department. However, this does not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the story, as it is ultimately the characters and their growth that drives the narrative.

In conclusion, The Gifts of Asti by Andre Norton is a captivating and beautifully written science fiction novel. With its engaging characters, rich world-building, and exploration of profound themes, this book will undoubtedly appeal to fans of the genre. Norton's ability to transport readers to a distant planet is truly a gift in itself.

First Page:

Transcriber's Notes:

This etext was produced from Fantasy Book Vol. 1, No. 3 1948. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the copyright on this publication was renewed.

A number of typographical errors found in the original text have been corrected in this version. A list of these errors is found at the end of this book.

THE GIFTS OF ASTI

ANDREW NORTH

She was the guardian of the worlds, but HER world was dead.

Even here, on the black terrace before the forgotten mountain retreat of Asti, it was possible to smell the dank stench of burning Memphir, to imagine that the dawn wind bore upward from the pillaged city the faint tortured cries of those whom the barbarians of Klem hunted to their prolonged death. Indeed it was time to leave

Varta, last of the virgin Maidens of Asti, shivered. The scaled and wattled creature who crouched beside her thigh turned his reptilian head so that golden eyes met the aquamarine ones set slantingly at a faintly provocative angle in her smooth ivory face.

"We go ?"

She nodded in answer to that unvoiced question Lur had sent into her brain, and turned toward the dark cavern which was the mouth of Asti's last dwelling place. Once, more than a thousand years before when the walls of Memphir were young, Asti had lived among men below... Continue reading book >>




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