Ted Child's Reviews > The Farthest Shore

The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Jan 19, 2010

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Read from January 19 to 20, 2010

In these days of Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, the Earthsea books are under-appreciated and might seem dated but I think that is a historical anomaly that will eventually rectify itself for no other reason than the uniqueness and subtle strength of these books. Le Guin writes her ideas into stories that are patient and calm. High fantasy might not seem like the best place to write about Taoism but Le Guin does it in her usual comfortable and confident fashion.
The Farthest Shore, along with the first two books in this series, might seem like simple bildungsroman or coming of age stories but there is much more, especially if you’re familiar with Jung. Margaret P. Esmonde wrote, “ [The:] psychological journey toward wholeness through acceptance of personal mortality is the main pattern of The Farthest Shore.” Le Guin is also making a comment on the Christian and religious Taoist desire for immortality or eternal life and how dangerous this desire and trying to achieve it can be.
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