Memer learns the art of reading--which is forbidden by her oppressors, the Alds--and this knowledge is key in the struggle for freedom. She is the daughter of a woman from Ansul and an Ald, and lives at the House of the Oracle with the Waylord who keeps a secret library and the old faith.
While out shopping for the household, Memer meets a woman named Gry with her halflion, Shetar. She is the wife of the Maker Orrec Caspro, and they seek the Waylord's rumored books.
When not learning about the history of the war against Ansul from the Waylord, Orrec recites poetry for a leader of the Ald (the people who destroyed most of the books in Ansul). Memer and Gry accompany him; Memer poses as the halflion's male groom and befriends a young Ald named Simme.
The information that the Maker, Gry, and Memer gather aids in the resistance against the Alds. A younger, conservative Ald takes power by imprisoning his father--the older, more tolerant leader of the Alds (who loved Orrec's poetry).
Memer learns that she is the Reader, the person who channels the oracle. After a violent attack by the rebellion, people gather at the house of the Waylord. The Alds follow, and Memer reads out of one of the oracle books. Her actions lead to freeing the imprisoned leader and, eventually, a peaceful pact between the peoples that ensures the freedom of reading.
Best part of story, including ending:
Memer's story was a fantastic resistance story with a profound love of books and peace.
Best scene in story:
One amazing scene is when Memer discovers that she can channel the oracle, and reads from an oracular text in the hidden library of the Waylord.
Opinion about the main character:
Memer is loyal to her people, but also learns when to be accepting of others; her knowledge of books and the oracle leads to her enlightenment.