I had to read the whole of “The Other Wind” in one day. It is such a beautiful book and ties up all of the threads of the “Earthsea saga” very nicely indeed. And, you know that hackneyed thing that most authors do, where the antagonist who has been killed off twitches in the epilogue – that type of thing? She doesn’t do it!
I think, what I love most about these books and Ursula Le Guin’s writing is the stories’ climaxes. Most authors and Hollywood blockbuster films would set off the proverbial pyrotechnics. There would be ultra violent explosions, CG overdose, detailed descriptions or depictions of mutilation and death. But not UKLG. Oh no. Long plot build ups and then at the peak… the most gentle parts of the story. And often, the noble self sacrifice of a character to save everybody and everything else.
Personally, I don’t need to read books that are gritty and realistic and negative or nihilistic. There’s too much of that about already, in the media and the arts and the news. I don’t mean to sound pompous or high-brow (that I am certainly not) but I want to read tales of noble deeds and this series of books does it for me.
I hope they do it for others too.
I found this quote from UKLG on her website after I initially posted this post. It concerns assumptions that writers and publishers make about the fantasy genre:
“Assumption 3: Fantasy by definition concerns a Battle Between Good and Evil. This is the one where the cover copywriters shine. There are lots of fantasies about the Battle Between Good and Evil, the BBGE, sure. In them, you can tell the good guys from the evil guys by their white hats, or their white teeth, but not by what they do. They all behave exactly alike, with mindless and incessant violence, until the Problem of Evil is solved in a final orgy of savagery and a win for the good team.”
Here’s the page for reference;