The Gift

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The Gifts of Asti by Andre Norton

“The Gifts of Asti” is a science fiction novella by Andre Norton, originally published in 1948.

The story takes place on a distant planet called Asti, which has been ravaged by a war that has left its people in a state of despair and hopelessness. However, there is a glimmer of hope in the form of the goddess Asti, who is believed to bestow gifts upon those who are worthy.

The protagonist of the story is a young woman named Lura, who is sent on a mission by her people to seek the aid of the goddess Asti. Lura is a member of a small tribe of survivors who have banded together for protection against the dangers of the post-war world. Her people have heard rumors of the gifts bestowed by Asti, and they hope that the goddess can help them rebuild their world and bring an end to their suffering.

Lura sets out on her journey, accompanied by her loyal companion Kethan. Along the way, they face many dangers and obstacles, including treacherous terrain, vicious predators, and hostile tribes. However, they are also aided by unexpected allies, including a mysterious stranger who appears to have knowledge of Asti’s gifts.

As Lura and Kethan journey closer to their destination, they encounter the followers of a rival goddess who seek to thwart their mission. In the end, Lura must use all of her strength and cunning to overcome these obstacles and reach Asti’s temple, where she will finally learn the truth about the goddess and her gifts.

“The Gifts of Asti” is a classic example of Norton’s science fiction writing, with its vivid descriptions of strange new worlds and its emphasis on adventure and action. However, the novella also contains deeper themes, such as the power of faith and the human need for hope in the face of adversity.

One of the most interesting aspects of the story is the portrayal of the goddess Asti and her gifts. Asti is not a traditional deity, but rather a mysterious force that bestows gifts upon those who are deemed worthy. The gifts themselves are not material possessions, but rather intangible qualities such as courage, wisdom, and strength.

Through the character of Lura, Norton explores the idea that these gifts are not simply bestowed upon those who are worthy, but must also be earned through trials and tribulations. Lura faces many challenges on her journey to Asti’s temple, and it is through her perseverance and determination that she is able to receive the goddess’s gifts.

Through the character of Lura, Norton explores the idea that these gifts are not simply bestowed upon those who are worthy, but must also be earned through trials and tribulations. Lura faces many challenges on her journey to Asti’s temple, and it is through her perseverance and determination that she is able to receive the goddess’s gifts.

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