The Farthest Shore

Another Le Guin book, I know, I know. But she is just such a great writer and this series is just so fantastic. The Farthest Shore brings back Sparrowhawk again, but this time with a new companion, the Prince of Havnor, Arren. Le Guin writes such fantastic young adults, I’m continually amazed. (Although by this time you’d think I wouldn’t be, but I still am.)

Arren comes to Sparrowhawk with grave news, something dark is afoot in the lands he lives in and his father is worried. Sparrowhawk has felt it too and is worried as well. He asks Arren to accompany him as they set off to find the place where things can be put back to right. This is such a wonderful adventure as they sail through the various lands, to open sea where there is no more land. They meet fascinating people, and they eventually end up where they need to be.

Le Guin has a way with showing the growth and coming of age of young people that is so wonderful and teaches me so much about what it is to be human. And this book is about our true selves. In the world she creates very few people know your real name, you go by a different one publicly. And I’ve found that fascinating in the last two books, when Sparrowhawk choses to reveal that knowledge and what it means about truly knowing one another.

So the first step out of childhood is made all at once, without looking before or behind, without caution, and nothing held in reserve. (loc 148)

“The word must be heard in silence; there must be darkness to see the stars. The dance is always danced above the hollow place, above the terrible abyss.” (loc 1720)