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Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile, City of Illusions (Hainish Cycle #1-3)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  1,263 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the greatest science fiction writers and many times the winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards. Her career as a novelist was launched by the three novels contained in Worlds Of Exile And Illusion. These novels, Rocannon's World, Planet Of Exile, and City Of Illusions, are set in the same universe as Le Guin's ground-breaking classic, The Left Hand ...more
Paperback, 370 pages
Published October 15th 1996 by Orb Books (first published 1966)
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Oct 09, 2015 Zanna rated it it was amazing
I am glad I made the decision to read the Hainish cycle from the start, even though I owe this to my OCD reading style. While each novel is entirely capable of standing alone, has very different protagonists and raises very different issues, the continuity of the world-building was satisfying. I especially liked how protagonists from each novel became so legendary that they are mentioned much later in time in subsequent novels. The ethical concerns become deeper and more elaborate over the cours ...more
Liviu Szoke
Am așteptat cu mare nerăbdare acest volum încă de când s-a anunțat că va apărea și la noi în traducere, pentru că este un ciclu ce n-a fost niciodată publicat începând cu primul volum. Așteptarea a meritat, pentru că Urslua Le Guin creează lumi absolut fascinante în interiorul unor lumi la fel de fascinante, și asta nu în romane de mare întindere, de 500-600 de pagini, ci în trei nuvele care de-abia se întind pe 400 și ceva de pagini. Însă scriitura este atât de densă și de compactă, plină de id ...more
May 19, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Shelves: sciencefiction
Just finished the first of these, Rocannon's World, and enjoyed it a great deal. This is very early LeGuin, and her powers, while evident, are not yet fully developed here. It's rather interesting the number of different societies she sites on this single world, with multiple intelligent building and technology-using species. In many ways it's much more a typical or even formula science fiction story than her usual. But still you can hear her sparse poetic voice, her simple language that goes st ...more
This is actually reprinted in a collection called World’s of Exile and Illusion, which collects three of LeGuin’s earlier works into a single book. I haven’t gotten around to reading the other two yet, and since I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it, I figured I’d just review this one now. The publishing info/ISBN is for the collection.

All three books are part of LeGuin’s ongoing “Hanish” universe. The conceit of the universe is pretty simple; long ago, there was an enormous interstellar human e
May 09, 2016 Betty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, women-authors
Three novels, Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile, and City of Illusions, make up this collection. These are Le Guin's first three novels, and the first three set in the Hainish universe (which also includes The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, The Word For World is Forest, and many short stories). These lean a little heavier towards the fantasy side of the genre; science fiction elements are at play, but the central tension in all three stories is of technology being suppressed, destroyed ...more
Jun 26, 2008 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Le Guin fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Three Hainish Novels is an omnibus collection of UKL’s early novels Rocannon’s World, Planet of Exile and City of Illusions.

Rocannon’s World: This is the earliest and the least satisfying of the three. Rocannon is an ethnologist of the League of All Worlds (what would become the precursor of the Ekumen of later novels when Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle actually took shape) who’s intrigued by the natives of Fomalhaut II when one of its representatives visits the nearest League outpost. Coupled with h
Jan 11, 2014 Sunil rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2014
I know it's a crime that I've never read any Ursula K. Le Guin, and I also know that none of the three books contained in this omnibus are considered her finest work, up to the level of her well-known classics, but I was still happy to receive it as a gift so I could finally see what all the fuss was about.

Rocannon's World is an interesting hybrid of science fiction and fantasy, taking a very traditional high fantasy setting and presenting it through the lens of an ethnologist (Rocannon), who vi
Oct 22, 2009 Marie rated it liked it
Somewhat uneven. Parts were delightful, but there were parts I just wanted to skip. LeGuin sure loves to have her heroes trek over winter landscapes, which makes for nice lonely, rainy day reading. I was somewhat disturbed at how all the female characters are passive and secondary, most often left behind lovers of the hero who must struggle alone (across a cold landscape) against all odds to save... something.

It's when the against-all-odds battles are happening that she's strongest, and because
Jul 07, 2011 unperspicacious rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Reading her more mature work has spoilt me. These are good in their own right, but lack the sheer simplicity, panache and confidence that the others had to make you believe these worlds actually exist. Too much artifice...just a little, but already too much. These three novellas are also much less coherently and overtly political than her later books, drifting away from the kind of fiction that I had been originally searching for. They are not even that anthropological...too much of looking from ...more
Richard Buro
Aug 22, 2015 Richard Buro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The short version first . . .

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of today's most famous living science fiction/fantasy authors. The titles of her works are frequently in contention for if not announced as winners of the coveted Hugo and Nebula Awards for Excellence in Science Fiction. Her writing consistently reflects her adherence to the cutting edge of the hard sciences, so her works are imminently believable as well as plausible. Her fans and critics have named a group of her works as “The Hainish Cycle
Oct 03, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This omnibus volume of the first three books of the Hainish Cycle is also available under the title Worlds of Exile and Illusion . I chose to lead with the simpler, more plainly descriptive title, mainly because it happened to be this edition that I borrowed from the public library. To be sure, it's a bit of a misnomer. The first three installments in Ursula Le Guin's multiple award-winning series—titled Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile, and City of Illusions—are really more on the order of no ...more
Alexander Lyons
Jun 27, 2014 Alexander Lyons rated it really liked it
Great collection for existing fans, maybe not the absolute best introduction for new readers, simply because she has written better works, not because these have any barrier to entry or understanding.

Each of the three books follows the thread and mechanism recurrent in Le Guin's work - a protagonist new or alien to the world around them. Doing so allows Le Guin to excavate, explore and engage in some deep world building, each book describing a world vastly different from the one before, physical
Anna Weber
Mar 31, 2014 Anna Weber rated it really liked it
Overall, a nice collection of Le Guin's shorter novels. I would not recommend this as an introduction to her work (The Lathe of Heaven and The Left Hand of Darkness would be better for that), but for fans of her other work, these are worthwhile and enjoyable reads. Planet of Exile was my favorite of these three.

Rocannon's World: A quick read delivering what I expect from Le Guin: a fantasy/quest type plot set in a unique sci-fi setting within her broader Hainish universe. Given the novella lengt
Apr 26, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
I've been looking for these 3 novels for a while and so snapped up this really nice new omnibus edition (with a smooth cloth cover that feels really good when you stroke it!). While I would still rate "The Left Hand of Darkness" and "The Dispossessed" higher (the latest and earliest in the chronology of this Universe, respectively) I've really enjoyed these and anyone looking to start with LeGuin would be fine here. They're first novels LeGuin wrote and published and introduce us to her unmistak ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Badb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
segundo libro que leo de esta autora,y si ya me gustó " la mano izquierda de la oscuridad" ,con este me ha conquistado.
Es una historia que podría ser la nuestra en un futuro,donde la humanidad se ha integrado en una sociedad compuesta por una sociedad con ancestros comunes contada en 3 historias en 3 mundos.
El primero de estos mundos es Rocannon,nombre dado por el personaje con el mismo nombre,un antropólogo con la misión de recoger información sobre las 3 razas humanoides que habitan el planeta
Linda Robinson
Jun 13, 2014 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are hundreds of years between the three novellas, which are quite short and require the reader to fill in the backstory, which is fine with me. The three together bring into clear frightening focus what an initially benign grouping like the League of All Worlds might be about 2 thousand years into the future. High intelligence life forms may not include humans after all. Rocannon's World begins with Rocannon himself, an ethnographer on Fomalhaut II, sent to evaluate and help prepare the HI ...more
Mar 26, 2013 Ivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-excelentes, en-2015
"El mundo de Rocannon" es sencillito, sin mucha profundidad ni originalidad argumental; sin embargo, entretenido y una buena novela para meterte en el universo de la Liga de Todos los Mundos, pese a que no tiene ningún tipo de continuidad con los demás. "El planeta del exilio" es mucho mejor, una novela corta muy entretenida y con unos temas más definidos (para saber más, aquí). "Ciudad de ilusiones" es el mejor de todos, pese a que le cuesta arrancar, pero cuando lo hace, más o menos hacia la m ...more
Apr 19, 2013 Lucas rated it really liked it
I liked each novel in this volume better than the last, which is how it should be. About that one, City of Illusions, it felt as much like a mystery novel as science fiction, insofar as the main character spends the duration of the plot trying to find his lost identity through the titular illusions. That being said, I had the same sense of foreboding I always get when I read a mystery: the choices the author makes in wrapping this up are going to determine, retrospectively, how I felt about the ...more
Aug 28, 2011 Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing with my Le Guin marathon. This collection of three novels is subtle, brilliant, and chronically interesting. Rocannon's World is a penetrating exploration of the clash of colonizers and colonized; arrogant ignorance dominating native intelligence. The crushing brutality of violent humanity magnifies that jewel-like rarity of the intelligent, empathic, and compassionate individual who tries - against overwhelming odds - to do the right thing. Ursula K. Le Guin never ceases to amaze wit ...more
Oct 03, 2012 Sub_zero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2013
Reunidas en un solo volumen, las tres primeras novelas del ciclo del Ekumen resaltan por su espectacular percepción del futuro y de las relaciones humanas que se establecen en un paradigma tan estremecedor como el que nos presenta Úrsula K. Le Guin. Absorbente, poderosa, magnética y soberbiamente narrada, esta colección de novelas hará las delicias de los aficionados a la ciencia ficción y te proporcionará material de calidad para debatir sobre cuestiones de profundidad cósmica.
Mar 14, 2016 Loreley rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
4.5 უფრო
Dispossessed-ივით და Left hand-ივით მაგარი ვერ არის :დ მაგრამ სხვა მხრივ <3
სამი ნოველაა ამ გამოცემაში გაერთიანებული, ათასწლეულებით დაკავშირებული ერთმანეთთან.
თემაც აერთიანებს დაახლოებით - კულტურებს შორის ურთიერთობა, განსაკუთრებით განვითარებულის და native-ს, ბოლო წიგნი კი თითქმის მთლიანად ტყუილსა და სიმართლეს 'ეძღვნება' :D და მთავარი გმირივით ტყუილ-მართალში ხარ კითხვისას და მაგასავით იტანჯები :დ
overall - recommended :3
Thom Dunn
Jul 28, 2009 Thom Dunn rated it really liked it
NOT A REVIEW I do wish someone would pull together a giant Hainish Ekumen series beginning with Semley's Necklace, including Winter's King, and ending with The Day Before the Revolution. These are magical stories. In addition, the Ekumen itself, replete with real stars known to us Terrans in 2011, could be mapped easily enough.
Anthony Peter
I found this on a pile of books and realised I finished it a while ago and hadn't reviewed it.

I always think I'm going to like ULG more than I eventually do. Certainly, these three novels ('Rocannon's World', 'Planet of Exile' and 'City of Illusions') are good yarns and present consistently well-imagined worlds, and there is a lot of fun to be had in getting one's own imagination round the effect of, for example, a planet whose orbit of its sun is so long that it is unlikely that many of its hom
Jared Pechacek
Jan 04, 2017 Jared Pechacek rated it really liked it
Ursula K. Le Guin can do no wrong, but that being said, this collection is for completists only.
It's not that the novels themselves are bad, but they aren't her strongest work, and they can be slow going, particularly City of Illusions, the last of the three. Her style is also noticeably more elaborate; rather than the clean, terse prose of her later books, the sentences here move in loops and zigzags, weighed down by metaphors and similes she never seems entirely comfortable with.
Rocannon's Wor
Dec 03, 2016 Ilya rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Earth now supports two species of orangutans, two species of gorillas. two species of chimpanzees, but only one species of humans. However, 100,000 years ago in addition to modern humans there were also the Neandertals, the Denisovans, the Flores hominin, and perhaps more species of archaic humans. Imagine a fantasy novel set on a planet that, likewise, supports several species of humanoids, some of them telepathic, like the Neandertals in William Golding's The Inheritors. The novel is embedded ...more
Anthony Bracciante
These are three separate novellas that complement each other and are the first three works of this master of the fantasy/science fiction genre. As early works they are not as fully developed as her later novels and may disappoint some readers who are more familiar with her later works. I enjoyed them because they each told a good story, had interesting characters and each novella built on legends established in the one that proceeded it. In my opinion, if you like the writing of Ursula Le Guin, ...more
Nov 12, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Enjoyable set of precursors to the Left Hand of Darkness. Each with a standalone story but all with similarities of situations.
Jan 22, 2017 Marc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
This is what I imagine good science fiction to be. Props to Le Guin.
Aug 16, 2010 Myles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, c20th
When reading this, I thought I'd treat it like any other compilation of novels, reviewing each book separately. But after finishing City of Illusions I can see that, despite appearances: all three novels are at widely different time periods, though chronological, set on different planets and, of course, have different cultures; all three of these books build off of each other and are the better for being read together.

In Rocannon's World LeGuin covers a lot of ground, fully living up to the prom
Oct 03, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing
This omnibus volume of the first three books of the Hainish Cycle is also available under the title Three Hainish Novels. I prefer this simpler, more plainly descriptive title, mainly because it happened to be this edition that I borrowed from the public library. To be sure, it's a bit of a misnomer. The first three installments in Ursula Le Guin's multiple award-winning series—titled Rocannon's World, Planet of Exile, and City of Illusions—are really more on the order of novellas, weighing in a ...more
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As of 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin has 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. Forthcoming ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin...

Other Books in the Series

Hainish Cycle (8 books)
  • The Dispossessed
  • The Word for World is Forest
  • Rocannon's World
  • Planet of Exile
  • City of Illusions
  • The Left Hand of Darkness
  • Four Ways to Forgiveness
  • The Telling (Hainish Cycle #8)

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