[Ursula K. Le Guin] Tales From Earthsea

The Earthsea Cycle

  • Title: Tales From Earthsea
  • Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Published: 2001
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • ISBN: 978-0-547-72204-7

The way one does research into nonexistent history is to tell the story and find out what happened. I believe this isn’t very different from what historians of the so-called real world do.

from the forward

Historians construct the world of the past by researching what is written and what has been spoken. Scientists construct the unchanging underlying reality based on observation and testing.

It is the privilege of writers to construct alternative worlds. Some are close to the real world, and others might exist only in imagination. When an author starts to write stories in a different world, it is natural to think over the whole picture of the world – the history of it.

The 5th book of the Earthsea Cycle is the “Tales From Earthsea.” It is different from the previous four books: the chronological storytelling of the protagonists, Ged, Tenar, and others surrounding them. Five short stories and an encyclopedic chapter of the book outline the history of the Earthsea.

One noticeable difference from the previous tales is the role of women. Written after 30 years from the first book, each tale of the fifth book conveys the very strong message of how women played a role in making the world of Earthsea as it is. Fantasy might cherish the changelessness; ever stable home-sweet-home where you are going back eventually. But the history is about change, and the history of Earthsea is no exception. Immortality is the main theme of the Earthsea saga, but mortality, which guarantees ever going changes, is our destiny.

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