Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Furthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle): First impressions.

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for yourself.
I have very conflicting opinions when it comes to giving first impressions on things. On the one hand I like doing it because I can still give my opinions on something as I'm experiencing them. On the other hand, the opinion I give might turn out to be an incompletely thought and is much harder to pin down objectively. In the case of  The Furthest Shore, I've yet to read the entire book, and so I have to urge you to take what I say about it with A LOT of salt and consider it as an incomplete thought.
Anyway, The Furthest Shore is the third book in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series. And thankfully, unlike The Tomb of Atuan  Ged is once again a central character...but he's still not the main character. No, this time the main character is a Prince named Arren from the kingdom of  Enland. Who has come to visit Ged, now Archmage of Roke's magic university, to discuss with him a very dire matter. Magic seems to be dying from the world and nobody knows why. Ged takes it upon himself to go forth with Arren and solve the mystery. I'm not real sure what to make of Arren, personally. He's basically a male version of Tenar from the last book, at least in the sense that he's almost completely ignorant of the world outside of his homeland. but the other side of this, and his entire reason for staying in the story so far, is that he's irrationally smitten with Ged and wants to learn from him. Granted, that's what I would want to do, but still. Hell, he begs early on to stay at Roke and become his page/servent. Now, I know that that's a common theme in this series, they're all coming of age stories. But it feels like Le Guin is
Ged AKA Sparrowhawk.
repeating herself just a bit. at least so far. I will have to get back to you on how Arren develops; but for now let's take a quick look at Ged. He hasn't changed all that much from the second book, save that he's physically older now, and has become Archmage of Roke's school of magic. That's where he was always going to end up. There was no question about that. But the question I have is...where can his development as a character go from here? Realistically, there's really no more reason for him to be in the story at this point. He's fulfilled his dream, he's the Archmage, a leader that's looked up too and respected around the world. And so far, there's no all powerful Dark Lord Sauron-type character for him to defeat. and he's already overcame his greatest character flaw, his arrogance, in the first book. So where exactly can he go from here, besides just being a mentor? I dunno, I honestly couldn't tell you at this point. And that's one reason I want to keep going. To see where he's gonna end up...at least until I can get my hands on The Other Wind.

Anyway, Overall, I am enjoying this story. I can't wait to see what happens next. And when I do, then I'll give my complete thoughts on the series as a whole.
And I'm out. Later.


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