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Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Furthest Shore by: Ursula K. LeGuin

The Farthest Shore
Earthsea Book 3
Ursula K. LeGuin
Various Editions

I read most of the Earthsea Cycle as part of a children's literature course I did back in 1999. This is another book about Ged. But in this one he is the special educator to Lebanner/ Arren.

It is a book about the big questions, such as life and death, and the search for who we are. It is also about what we are to be and the idea of predestination. Ged says "to seek to be one's self is rare." It is also that we seek what we don't know in order to be found by our destiny.

In the book darkness is overtaking the world, singers are losing their songs, mages are forgetting their crafts. Men doubt and society is decaying, all because of fear or death. Men are giving up their true names to a lie. They are becoming slaves to a dead master.

Key Notes:

Ged is Master of Roke - Archmage
Lookfar (Ship is back again)
Isles of Myths

The Books of Earthsea:

A Wizard of Earthsea - 1968
The Tombs of Atuan - 1971
The Farthest Shore - 1972 (Winner of the National Book Award)
Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea - 1990 (Winner of the Nebula Award)
Tales from Earthsea - 2001
The Other Wind - 2001

The Short Stories of Earthsea:

The Word of Unbinding - 1964
The Rule of Names - 1964
Dragonfly - 1997
Darkrose and Diamond - 1999
The Finder - 2001
The Bones of the Earth - 2001
On The High Marsh - 2001

Chronology:

The Word of Unbinding
The Finder
Darkrose and Diamon
The Rule of Names
The Bones of the Earth
A Wizard of Earthsea
The Tombs of Atuan
On the High Marsh
The Farthest Shore
Tehanu
Dragonfly
The Other Wind

Note: The short story "Dragonfly" from Tales from Earthsea is intended to fit in between Tehanu and The Other Wind and, according to Le Guin, is "an important bridge in the series as a whole".

Also check out this great Earthsea site. It should be noted as well that these books have editions in Children's (9-12) Teen, Sci-Fi and adult fiction, It appeals to a very wide audience.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

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