A story told through a strong narrative voice – an elder who has travelled far, and speaks several languages, relates events in his youth that led him to leave his island and to become the man who he is now.
Those events involve the relative peace of his island, and island of fishermen, being shattered when relations with their neighbouring island reach a climax. The young boy lives with his parents, and grandfather, and Ingold creates a community, a sense of family history, a regional conflict against a bigger picture quite subtly. The only minor quibble would be his use of Hawnish as a language, with Hainish being a term well known to those who know their SF.
The story benefits from the bookending contributions from the main character, rather than being a straightforward narrative, giving a strong sense of events before and after those in the story.