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The Gifts of Asti

Andre Norton

Book Overview: 

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.

Recommended for fans of Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .She put aside the fine silks, the jeweled cincture, which had been the badge of Asti's service and drew on over her naked body a suit of scaled skin, gemmed and glistening in the rays of the small sun. There was a hood to cover the entire head, taloned gloves for the hands, webbed, clawed coverings for the feet—as if the skin of a giant, man-like lizard had been tanned and fashioned into this suit. And Varta suspected that that might be so—the world of Erb had not always been held by the human-kind alone.

There were supplies here too, lying untouched in ageless containers within a lizard-skin pouch. Varta touched her tongue without fear to a powdered restorative, sharing it with Lur, whose own mailed skin would protect him through the dangers to come.

She folded the regalia she had stripped off and laid it in the chest, smoothing it regretfully before she dropped the lid upon its shimmering color. Never again would Asti's servant wear the so. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is a fast easy read, I first read in in the late 1950's when it first came out. Based on the story of the last Priestess of the Asti Religion, and one of the beasts that inhabits the temple where she serves. The barbarians have attacked the city, conquered the country, and destroyed her civiliz

Fantasy listening

Review of a "Teaser"

The story line is good. The fact that it is but the first chapter of a (much?) Longer story is disappointing. However, what was available has my curiosity tweaked. I look for the whole story....more

A story by grand master Andrea norton.

The really short does an excellent job of delineation for an entire world. This is a real challenge for a science fiction writer who writes in the short form. A basic plot of boy meets girl.

not a bad story. It has about as much depth as I expect in such a short story.

I was surprised to see the somewhat mediocre rating for this story until I actually scrolled down to the reviews and saw my one grievance shared by everyone else: it's too short! I started reading this thinking it was actually a full novel (I wasn't paying attention when I downloaded it), so was qui

This 22 page short story is another incredible example of a master storyteller at work. I have read many books and stories by this author and in this one she once again manages to create an astounding world and characters to live in it in so very few pages. She is so good that by the bottom of the f

Another Classic Science Fiction story from Andre Norton, Love the old Sci-Fi.

Like many Norton stories, the author builds out an intriguing setting with lots of possibilities, then fails to explore them. A common thread through the reviews here is that it felt like this was going to be the start of some series, but ends abruptly.

Varta and Lur brush against marvels and dangers

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