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Review: The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin

>>Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Title: The Farthest Shore
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Pages: 259
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A+

This is the third novel in the Earthsea cycle and also part of the Summer of Series challenge at Jawas Read, Too!.   

Warning: Spoilers.

In this third installment of the Earthsea Cycle, Le Guin tells the story of Arren, a prince and the Archmage Sparrowhawk who decide to debark on a journey together to discover the cause of the loss of magic occurring around Earthsea.

I think I enjoyed this book the most in the trilogy. I thought Arren was a good protagonist and it was great to see Ged back in the spotlight. The mystery of the plot and the seriousness of it really intrigued me and kept me wanting to read more just to see who was behind all the trouble. I thought at first it might be the return of Jasper, but sadly no.

The book focused a lot on immortality. For some reason I've been reading/watching things with this theme and I always find it interesting. I like to see what people's motivations for immortality are and how they think to gain it. In this book, they gain it by denying life and therefore death. I thought was was quite a good message: that you cannot have life without death. I also like how Le Guin connected this to the use of magic and the knowing of your true name and the names of things.

When the wizards would lose their magic ability, often the laypeople (including the boys at Roke) would just say that magic was all trickery anyways. I wonder why they would write it off so easily, even if they had seen it for themselves for many years. Perhaps it was sour grapes at the loss of it. I thought that perhaps people were too reliant on magic since things started to go so downhill after it was removed. Farmers didn't produce good crops anymore and man became lazy.

Another great highlight of this novel is the prevalence of the dragons. We see them quite a lot and even get more interaction with them than in the previous books. I loved the ending when Kalessin carries Ged and Arren back to Roke.

Overall I definitely recommend this book of the Earthsea Cycle. Actually, you should just go out and read all of them if you like epic fantasy! A+


  1. YA Book Giveaway at: http://kateevangelistarandr.blogspot.com/

  2. Here from the hop! I love this series. They're wonderful books, and yes, she makes a really good argument for the necessity of death in that world. It was thought provoking.

  3. I think the laypeople were just jealous of things they did not understand and bitterly finding any way possible to dismiss the school, which by its very nature is selective (and thus, seen as elitist). :)



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