Earthsea

Discussion in 'Ursula K Le Guin' started by The Wanderer, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

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    Well having read the quartet, I like the series very much, I felt the strongest was 'The Farthest Shore'...

    Any thoughts welcome
     
  2. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I've only read the original trilogy...is the fourth one worth reading?
     
  3. j d worthington

    j d worthington Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps I shouldn't speak up here, not having read Tehanu myself but... from the accounts I've heard from people who have -- yes. Albeit it's a distinct shift, and more mature in approach (as befits the world, the characters, and LeGuin's own growth as a writer). Also, there are two other books in the Earthsea set: Tales from Earthsea (2001) and The Other Wind (2001). One of these is a story collection. There are also a couple of Earthsea stories in her collection, The Wind's Twelve Quarters, "The Word of Unbinding" and "The Rule of Names". Below is a link to a chronology for the series:

    Earthsea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  4. Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Fried Egg -- The fourth and fifth ones, and some of the short stories, essentially rip the first three to pieces. There are things about Tehanu that I admire very much, but I didn't find it altogether satisfying, and The Other Wind struck me as a very weak effort for an author of LeGuin's calibre.

    She obviously felt that she had important things to say and she was able to communicate them with some power in Tehanu but even there I wished she had chosen a new series and a new setting in which to say them and left Earthsea alone. And from that point on the axe-grinding seems to repeatedly get in the way of the storytelling.

    For whatever flaws there are in the first trilogy, they strike me as books arising directly from the artistic impulse and the joy of creation, the others keep whispering the dread word agenda in my ear. I don't lack sympathy for that agenda, but ... as I said, I wish she had chosen some other place than Earthsea to advance it.

    Wanderer -- I've learned to appreciate The Farthest Shore more with subsequent readings, but it's a toss-up between Wizard and Atuan which one I love the best. The prose in all three books really sings, and I feel that LeGuin has the ability to say more in fewer words than practically any author writing today.

    JD -- The short story collection is Tales from Earthsea. It has some new stories and some old ones.
     
  5. Who's Wee Dug

    Who's Wee Dug Well-Known Member

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    I did not enjoy Tombs as much as Wizard and Farthest Shore not to say I disliked it but it didn't grab me as much, maybe a little bit of middle book syndrome and I have Tehanu, Tales, and Other Wind in my yet to read pile.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  6. Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    Tehanu was, in earlier editions, subtitled "The Last Book of Earthsea." Which began to shift the middle and give more importance to Tombs.

    After Tehanu, it seems that she decided that what she had was still incomplete.
     
  7. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

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    I would say yes, classic fantasy lovers may be frustrated and unstatisfied though, On a personal level, I thought it was great
     
  8. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    Would you care to elaborate on this?
     
  9. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

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    Well the main characters struggle with loss and conscience rather than enguaging with enemies, I recommend it though, the ending is handled with consumate skill
     
  10. Saltheart

    Saltheart Bitter Giant

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    It's true. The epic climax with Ged and his shadow confronting and the Jungian concept of the self worked delightfully. I was tingling all over at that simple, one word confrontation--far more excited than any amount of explosions or killing or coming back from the dead of any fantasy novel. That inner struggle--simple, not externalized, swift--delivered the best climax I've read in any fantasy novel my whole life.

    EDIT: Doh. Thought you were explaining the first one, not the fourth, the only one I didn't read.
     
  11. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

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    She's never had any problems finishing novels, IMO, even some other great Science Fiction Authors have
     
  12. akhc

    akhc New Member

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    it's actually a sextet now. or as I prefer the 1st and 2nd Earthsea trilogies since the two are written from completely different perspectives (imo).

    FWIW I enjoyed the Farthest Shore of the first 3 books the most though Wizard of Earthsea ran it close.
     
  13. Maletbon

    Maletbon Dad, get me out of this!

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    The Wizard of Earthsea is a masterpiece in my opinion, like a eensy LOTR, and stands on its own. Having been running like the dickens from my own shadow my whole life, I grokked it. Loved Tombs of Atuan, not so much the others, though I did like the short stories of Earthsea book.
     
  14. eellenlit

    eellenlit Member

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    These books define a part of my childhood. Wish more people new about her.
     
  15. Bunami

    Bunami Member

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    I recently purchased Tales from Earthsea and I enjoyed the first story so much that I brought the other five books and have placed Tales aside until I can read it in the order that was intended (the introduction alone really moved me and that is rare indeed).

    I find her way of story telling very, very appealing, great descriptive narrative and a real feeling of making contact with the characters.

    Tell me, I have yet to read any Sci Fi of substance. Would I find Le Guin's work in that genre as appealing as that of Earthsea?

    Cheers
     
  16. Quokka

    Quokka wandering

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    Hard to say, maybe depending on what you liked about Earthsea. I find some of her SF harder to read then Earthsea though it can be extremely rewarding. Her Social Anthropological studies affects all her writing but maybe she gives it freer reign in her science fiction.

    The Lathe of Heaven is a good introduction and is an easy read. The Dispossessed is one of my all time favourite books. Her ability to create a beautiful image from just a sentance or two is constant across her writing.
     
  17. Bunami

    Bunami Member

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    Thanks I appreciate the recc's and will give both of those books a try in the future.

    Yes indeed the ability to create beautiful images with few sentences is something I really enjoy, I find the same with Janny Wurts Mistwraith writings which also has splendid narratives within.
     
  18. JLawrenceDavis

    JLawrenceDavis Aspiring Author

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    I read this whole series about a year ago and loved it. I enjoyed the philosophical topics that were brought up. My favorite was The Farthest Shore and hope to dig it out and reread it sometime soon but new ones always push it back. This is a great series I've recommended to many people.
     
  19. Fried Egg

    Fried Egg Well-Known Member

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    I finally ended up reading "The Tales of Earthsea", still not having read "Tehanu" and I understand from the introduction that the story "Dragonfly" was a bridge between "Tehanu" and "The Other Wind". However, I really enjoyed this set of tales and it was pleasure to re-visit Earthsea again after so long.

    I'm still not sure though, particularly from comments I have seen read, whether I want to visit these other books set in this world.
     
  20. Gabe.

    Gabe. Active Member

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    The Earthsea Trilogy (as it was known back then) was what first got me started in reading fantasy, and I remember how much I loved reading them. The first book will always remain my favourite just because it so masterfully created the world; no infodumps or anything of the sort. I never got to read the later additions that made it a quarter/sextet, but that is something that I will get to in due course.
     
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