The Athsheans live among a forest, on a planet that “yumens” are attempting to colonize. The yumens take the Athsheans to be primitive, stupid, docile—unlikely or unwilling to fight their own enslavement. But Selver—a dreamer among the Athsheans, and soon, a god—leads his people in a bloody fight against his captors. Le Guin’s characteristic judgment, her refusal to play either the colonizers or the indigenous people as simple, and her spare, compact language are all on display here. The book is an indictment, as sharp against the throat as any knife can be.