Believe it or not, there’s an actual plot in The Farthest Shore. Yay! for all those out there who care about plot. Not so much for all those who love suspense, catharsis, magnificent final fight and the clear-cut triumph of good over evil. Not so much for all of those who like to be shocked when they find out who the evil master mind is. Not so much for those who like action. Nope, not so much.
Yay! for all who love magnificent writing, ominous atmosphere, majestic scenes and meaningful messages. Yay! for all who love a book which makes them think about life, society and the human race. Not so much for those who like dragon-slaying, flamboyant coronations of brave and fearless kings and the use of amazing magic.
All in all, Yay! for me.
I’ve already reviewed two Earthsea books, so I decided to keep it light this time (there’s three more coming up, and I doubt I’ll be able to resist writing a line or two about them…). One interesting thing that keeps recurring during my reading of the Earthsea books, I keep hearing Freddie in my head:
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.
Now, some quotes from The Farthest Shore.
“Try to chose carefully, Arren, when the great choices must be made. When I was young I had to choose between the life of being and the life of doing. And I leapt at the latter like a trout to a fly. But each deed you do, each act, binds you to itself and to its consequences, and makes you act again and yet again. Then very seldom do you come upon a space, a time like this, between act and act, when you may stop and simply be. Or wonder who, after all, you are.”
“On every act the balance of the whole depends. The winds and the seas, the powers of water and earth and light, all that these do, and all that the beasts and green things do, is well done, and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium…But we, in so far as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility. Who am I – though I have the power to do it – to punish and reward, playing with men’s destinies?”
“In all this, and in its sure, ponderous movements, and in a deep frightening calmness that it had, he saw the sign of age: of great age, of years beyond remembering.”
I almost forgot.