The Gifts of Asti

The Gifts of Asti

By

5
(2 Reviews)
The Gifts of Asti by Andre Norton

Published:

1948

Pages:

24

Downloads:

7,217

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The Gifts of Asti

By

5
(2 Reviews)
Varta, the last priestess of Asti, lives alone with Lur, a telepath of the lizardfolk, in Asti's isolated mountain retreat. Decadent Memphir has long since drifted away from the austere paths of Asti, and now the barbarians of Klem are sacking the city, and the smoke of its burning drifts up to the temple. This short story was produced from Fantasy Book Vol. 1, No. 3, published in 1948. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the copyright on this publication was renewed.

Book Excerpt

uster of the fruit, dead ripe with the sweet pulp stretching its skin. But below the surface of the water--

Varta's breath hissed between her teeth and Lur's head snapped around as he caught her thought.

The branch below the water bore a perfect circle of green flowers close to its tip, the flowers which the turbi had borne naturally seven months before and which should long ago have turned into just such sweetness as hung above.

With Lur at her heels the girl edged around to pull cautiously at the branch. It yielded at once to her touch, swinging its tip out of the lake. She sniffed--there was a languid perfume in the air, the perfume of the blooming turbi. She examined the flowers closely, to all appearances they were perfect and natural.

"It preserves," Lur settled back on his haunches and waved one front paw at the quiet water. "What goes into it remains as it was just at the moment of entrance."

"But if this is seven months old--"

"It may be seven years old," cor

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A simple "escape from marauding hordes into danger and wonder" story, but with fully-fleshed characters and great plotting. Good writing shouldn't look so easy.

Worth reading.
This short story is an excellent example of Norton's early work. Themes and style that will dominate her later writing are already present. The destruction of the human civilization and its humble resurrection, knowledgeable evil and naive good, the struggle of good people to gain forgotten knowledge: these themes are rich and developed. Her elegant style, abbreviated yet dynamic, moves the story quickly from scene to scene, leaving the reader's imagination to fill in the details.
Colin Falconer - Historical Romance in Spain's Golden Age
FEATURED AUTHOR - Colin Falconer has published twenty-six novels so far, and been lucky enough to have them translated into 23 languages. (Real ones too, not just Esperanto and cockney rhyming slang.) In between leaving school and securing his latest publishing deal, he found time to chase black witches across Mexico, travel the silk road, and occasionally play the guitar in bars. His only claim to fame from those days is completing all the verses of ‘All You Need is Love’ during a bar fight in the Stella Maris… Read more