The people of the City arrived on the planet Victoria by one-way spaceship, exiled from Earth, convicted criminals. Many years later the People of the Peace arrive in the last such spaceship, also exiled, but by choice. They form a town and call it Shantih, but the people of the City call it Shanty - deftly contrasting the views of the City folk and the townfolk. Over time the People of the Peace have become the peasants of a feudal society in microcosm but now confrontation is coming. The People of the Peace apply their principles of nonviolent non-co-operation. Where will the confrontation lead the colonists of Victoria to?
LeGuin rarely puts words on paper without having something to say and I'm sure she had something to say with this short novel. The question is, what? I think I missed something important somewhere. The usual perception of both individual character and society is present but real narrative drive is absent, a weakness shown in a number of LeGuin's books and this novel has a singularly unsatisfying ending.
Do not start here if you've never read LeGuin, a tremendously worthwhile author - instead try The Left Hand of Darkness (sci-fi) or the Earthsea books (fantasy).