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sologdin

sologdin

Currently reading

Middlemarch: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews and Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Bert G. Hornback, George Eliot
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez
The Farthest Shore  - Ursula K. Le Guin After enjoying the first volumes, not so sure about this one. The narrative involves what Clute & Grant would designate as thinning of the setting. The infliction of wrongness on the setting is caused, it seems, by an evil sorcerer. Guess I'm not digging that.

Whereas the first two volumes had meatier important human themes and more moral celery, this one reads more like pulp adventure, with gratuitous mythic creatures and a bizarre mechanism revolving around interpenetration of a life/death dichotomy, which is much discussed, but never really explained, except that supernatual abilities are traded away for some kind of dicked up immortality. That the principal objective of this narrative is to end the free trade in supernatural abilities by destroying the market for same is damned interesting, but the narrative is sufficiently YA to avoid getting into specifics. Nifty bits about the Rune of This and Rune of That, but they're not particularly developed--there's a kernel of coolness in there, nevertheless. Like the previous installments, the setting gets a bit of development by some small disclosure of historical events that also are cloaked in coolness, but not much is done with them. (The Children of the Sea, who are also awesomely enough cetotheologists, are fairly plainly the basic inspiration for the primary setting of The Scar, incidentally.)

And then the protagonist gets nerfed for no obvious reason at the denouement. So no good deed goes unpunished, I guess? Otherwise, episodic at times, until the unexplained arrival of the mythic creatures aforesaid, who are basically Plot Couriers. The most annoying thng appeared to be slippage in point-of-view discipline, which did not track the primary juvenile protagonist completely, but expressly jumped to some other folks and impliedly shifted to Mssr. Ged a couple of times.

Recommended for those who discern gaps in the order of events, those who do not punish, and those who sail off the map.