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Book Title: La costa más lejana|
The author of the book: Ursula K. Le Guin
ISBN 13: 9788445075319
Date of issue: June 28th 2004
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 22.76 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.2
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Decades before J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, and even longer before Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, came a school of magic that clearly inspired them all. It does not take centre stage in this series, Sparrowhawk has that honour, but it does play a major role in the workings of this beautiful fantasy world.
And I don’t use that word liberally. Not only is the scenery vivid and vast, bordering upon the picturesque in regards to its language, it is also a powerful force. Sparrowhawk perceives this in its entirety and he tries to impart his wisdom to his new student Arren. Understanding the importance of a balance within nature, between life and death, is a precursor to comprehending one’s own fate and the purpose of existence itself. Sparrowhawk is more than a wizard; he is also a spiritual guide and a great teacher.
An unlikely student
Arren is not gifted with magic. Nor is he a skilled warrior or particularly cunning. He has never killed anybody or performed a heroic deed. He does not comprehend the wisdom he hears; yet, for some reason, the old wizard has seen something in him and asks for his assistance with his new quest. But why choose someone so inexperienced? Sparrowhawk has seen a flicker of courage behind the boy’s eyes; he knows that one day he will have the strength to succeed in the face of great evil, so he encourages him and teaches him how to be an effective leader.
Arren is a prince and Sparrowhawk attempts to temper his greatness. The two embark on their quest; the details of which aren’t overly important. What is important is what the wizard is trying to show the future king. Sparrowhawk has no apprentice, no successor, but if he can impart his knowledge to a boy who will one day rule thousands, then his life will not be wasted as his ideas will spread much further. He questions the boy and encourages him to look beyond his own human imperfections:
"In our minds, lad. In our minds. The traitor, the self, the self that cries I want to live, let the world rot so long as I can live! The little traitor soul in us, in the dark, like a spider in a box. He talks to all of us. But only some understand him. The wizards, the singers, the makers. And the heroes, the ones who seek to be themselves. To be oneself is a rare thing, and a great one. To be oneself forever, is that not greater still?"
Le Guin is one of my favourite fantasy writers. There’s just something about the way in which she writes; she doesn’t waste a single word with her smooth and succinct prose. Her novels are thought provoking and her characters are wise. I’m looking forward to trying some of her science fiction after finishing this series and seeing how it compares. I've heard great things about some of them.
1. A Wizard of Earthsea- Four worthy stars
2. The Tombs of Atuan- A redeeming four stars
3. The Farthest Shore- A strong four stars
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Read information about the authorUrsula K. Le Guin published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. She lived in Portland, Oregon.
She was known for her treatment of gender (The Left Hand of Darkness, The Matter of Seggri), political systems (The Telling, The Dispossessed) and difference/otherness in any other form. Her interest in non-Western philosophies was reflected in works such as 'Solitude' and 'The Telling' but even more interesting are her imagined societies, often mixing traits extracted from her profound knowledge of anthropology acquired from growing up with her father, the famous anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber. The Hainish Cycle reflects the anthropologist's experience of immersing themselves in new strange cultures since most of their main characters and narrators (Le Guin favoured the first person narration) are envoys from a humanitarian organization, the Ekumen, sent to investigate or ally themselves with the people of a different world and learn their ways.
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