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Winter's King

(Hainish Cycle #4.5)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Published 2017 by Harper Perennial
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Lagarto I read an e-book copy available through the Hoopla app via my local library system, so YES!
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Who knew there was a short story sequel to The Left Hand of Darkness? And "Winter's King" was one of the 1970 Hugo award nominees in the short story category.

A couple of generations after the end of that novel, Argaven, the popular young king of the country Karhide, is kidnapped. For two weeks he/she (the people of this planet are changeable as to gender; most of the time they are androgynous and asexual) is drugged and put through mental torture and brainwashing, then she's dumped on the street
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it

Time stretches and shrinks; changes with the eye, with the age, with the star; does all except reverse itself—or repeat.

Argaven, young king of Winter, is attacked and faces a decision that will affect many things.

Short story set on the world known as Winter, with the people of Karhide and the Ekumen.

Le Guin brings us a story where it is clear to us that a king's choices are hard and bitter, here and in the chili pepper stream and light years from space where hours of communication become lig
Alex Bright
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to fall back into the world of Winter, but once I did it was beautiful as ever, even in short-story form. Le Guin’s prose is philosophy in motion.
Mar 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Winter's King is a short story sequel to the truly magnificent Hainish novel The Left Hand Of Darkness. This story is everything I have come to expect from a story set in this universe; it is haunting and beautiful. It's cold and humid. It's totally alien and yet remarkably human.

It took me a while for my head to wrap itself around what was happening here, but that immediate feeling of confusion is very deliberate. The clicking point is also the point at which the story takes off, and what follo
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a little reluctant to read this story (which is a sequel) since here Le Guin returns to Winter (which is a planet), the setting of The Left Hand of Darkness; but not only my fears were obliterated, it went way past any good expectation. The way Le Guin deals with Power in her stories is worth many essays: sometimes it is with a whisper, sometimes with a foot to the door.

And I swear I wasn't sure which way the story would end until I read the very last line. And oh, yes. OH, YES!
“Левая рука тьмы” меня в свое время хорошенько растрясла, так что я до сих пор с определенным замиранием в сердце вспоминаю свои ощущения.

“Король планеты Зима” является то ли сиквелом, то ли приквелом, но площадкой для развития событий является все та же планета Зима/Гетен, где правят суровые холода и население которой не признает самоидентификации в таком виде, в каком к ней привыкла большая часть человечества. История следует за Аргавеном, которому выпала тяжелая доля быть королем. Вокруг заго
Faris Abdala
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
So we're back again on Gethen/Winter with a short story. It's an interesting story which focuses more on the consequence of lightspeed interplanetary travels rather than the gender fluidity of the Gethenian. An interesting story that adds to the universe but not particularly special. ...more
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Starts off nightmarish and the reader has no idea about what is going on. Interesting concept, bizarre execution. Names are thrown about without introducing any characters. Places and events are abstract.

As for the story? An impenetrable palace of intrigue. Plays like the reader has the same memory loss as the abused king. But that was the whole point. The story does eventually come around to be coherent, but wow, that's a rough way to start. The pacing feels rushed and exceptionally enigmatic;
Tyler Cole
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Our difference is our beauty. All these worlds and the various forms and ways of the minds and lives and bodies on them—together they would make a splendid harmony.”
“No harmony endures,” said the young king.
“None has ever been achieved,” said the Plenipotentiary. “The pleasure is in trying.”

I enjoyed this neat short story (sequel/companion to the Left Hand of Darkness) which is set on Gethen. Ursula K Le Guin's writing shines bright, even when it comes to some of her shorter works.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le Guin in 2020

This short story was originally published in The Wind's Twelve Quarters collection. Winter's King was written, but not published, before The Left Hand of Darkness, and is set in the same world. Here Le Guin addresses some issues from TLHoD, e.g. the indefinite pronoun is now "she" rather than "he". The plot involves the young king who has been kidnapped, tormented, drugged, and brainwashed, but is now returned, totally broken, to the palace in Erhenrang and to the consternation o
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
It took me a while to get my bearings, even though I'd read The Left Hand of Darkness relatively recently. This read as if it could/should have been a novella, rather than a short story. So much happens in so few pages that there isn't really time to connect with the main character. ...more
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this short story in the series.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This was nice, I missed Winter.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
a short story, included in The Wind's Twelve Quarters ...more
Wow. Wow. My brain was so confused at the beginning! It took me a while to get used to the no gender thing again. Mind blown... I liked it.
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So sad.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting thought process.
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most beautiful thing that I’ve read this month. Le Guin’s writing skills continue to astonish me.
A sequel/prequel to The Left Hand of Darkness.
Jasmine A. N.
need some closure after having finished the left hand of darkness so here i am
aw man that was a little disappointing
Proper review:
This was indeed more of a story that decided to explore the physical world a bit more. If you were into that when you read The Left Hand of Darkness, then, hell yeah, read this. If you were, like me, far more invested in the characters, this was a little bit of a let-down. It's great world-building and potential for further discussions, but not really what I had
rated it really liked it
Mar 21, 2021
rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2018
Zach Binkley
rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2019
Toni Narciso
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2021
David Taffner
rated it really liked it
Dec 13, 2020
Didn't get through it ...more
rated it really liked it
Nov 17, 2020
rated it liked it
Dec 01, 2018
rated it it was ok
Apr 30, 2018
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Ursula 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, Orego ...more

Other books in the series

Hainish Cycle (9 books)
  • Rocannon's World (Hainish Cycle, #1)
  • Planet of Exile (Hainish Cycle, #2)
  • City of Illusions (Hainish Cycle, #3)
  • The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4)
  • The Word for World is Forest (Hainish Cycle, #5)
  • The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6)
  • Four Ways to Forgiveness (Hainish Cycle, #7)
  • The Telling (Hainish Cycle, #8)
  • The Birthday of the World and Other Stories (Hainish Cycle, #9)

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