The Farthest Shore (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 3)

Paperback, 272 pages

English language

Published Sept. 1, 2001 by Aladdin.


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5 stars (7 reviews)

13 editions


4 stars

I listened to the audiobook version of this story, which was narrated by Rob Ingles. Many years ago he performed the Lord of the Rings; it was a wonderful surprise to hear that old favorite voice retelling this story. Perhaps because of this narration I felt there were echoes of Tolkien's work. An old wizard, a rising king, a long journey.

I loved the characters, particularly Ged. The idea of a great person who is also extremely humble, a sorcerer who loves to sail — I appreciate the juxtaposition.

I could also see a bit of Le Guin's interest in the Tao Te Ching seeping into the story. When Ged and the other characters discussed leadership, they depicted Lao Tzu's ideal of a sovreign who did very little and allowed people to govern themselves. Strange to have a story of the ascendency of a King to play upon anarchistic themes.

When one door is closed many more are open

4 stars

Content warning mild spoilers inside

Review of 'The Farthest Shore (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 3)' on Goodreads

5 stars

Sometimes a person dies, and yet they still live. While at some level this novel is another wonderful yarn about wondering the Earthsea and discovering its wonders, on another, it explores what it means to let the person everyone knows us as die, to allow another one to be born. The cyclical ebb and flow of selfhood is continuous, and we see one cycle of it here, not writ large, but writ small, in the lives of two people. The sea and the self, so deeply intertwined for the people of Earthsea, has lessons for the reader as well.

This quote is a stunner, and one of my favorites from any of LeGuin's books.

"You will die. You will not live forever. Nor will any man nor any thing. Nothing is immortal. But only to us is it given to know that we must die. And that is a great …

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  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
  • Juvenile Fiction
  • Fairy Tales & Folklore - General
  • Children's 12-Up - Fiction - Fantasy
  • Children: Young Adult (Gr. 7-9)
  • Magic
  • Classics
  • Juvenile Fiction / Classics
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Fiction