The Farthest Shore - Earthsea 3 Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Farthest Shore - Earthsea 3

The great finale of the Earthsea trilogy is set in a Tolkien-time of wizards and dragons, and has a similar theme to Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time' series. Sparrowhawk, the goat-boy from the remote island of Gont, is now the Archmage of Roke Island, the heartland of the wizards. He has survived a lifetime of wild adventure.
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Yet the greatest of his achievements, to find the amulet of Erreth-Akbe graved with the lost rune-symbol of unity, has only brought improvement and not oneness to his world. The missing key is that there is no king on the high throne of Earthsea, one to whom every tribe and nation would own allegiance. And now an old adversary, far from being defeated, has returned to wreak vengeance on them all. A magic that is unmagic, that spares no-one, that drains the will and meaning from thought and speech, that makes all plans--plans magical, plans ordinary--go astray, is seeping through the world. Magicians lose their spells, singers their songs, weavers and dyers of cloth their knowledge and skill. Even on Roke the more sensitive of the wizards feel a tremor in the force. And the oldest of all creatures the dragons, for whom magic is as breathing and being, are returning to a dumb and witless state: they are in terror. So it is to the archmage, last of the Dragonlords who alone speaks with them in the tongue of the ancients, that the dragons too turn for help.

No one comprehends the attack as it is a not-attack; it is a draining of reality from reality, universal negation and emptying. Some retreat into a haze of drug dependence, some end their own lives, most stumble on like blind men. His will holds firm but Sparrowhawk must defeat the enemy before all is undone. So, true-hearted and deep in hard-won wisdom and skill he goes out to seek the enemy. His helper is a young prince who knows no magic or life outside the privilege of court, last of the line of the house of Morred. Not knowing their foe or their chance of success they sail into a great unknown.

The review of this Book prepared by Michael JR Jose

Something is going terribly wrong on Earthsea: magic is leeching out of the world, and wizards and witches are forgetting their spells. Young prince Arren of Enland goes to the Isle of Roke to consult the great school of wizardry, and soon finds himself sailing south and west with the Archmage, Ged. At the island of Lorbanery, the dyemakers have lost their art and spark; our heroes spend some time with the Children of the Open Sea, who live 95 percent of their lives aboard rafts; and eventually Ged (aka Sparrowhawk) and Arren reach the far western islands of the dragons, who help the Archmage in his ultimate battle with Cob, a wizard gone bad who claims to have defeated death and found the secret of immortality.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

This is the third volume in the Earthsea quartet (following A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, and followed by Tehanu).

The Farthest Shore, set some fifteen or twenty years after the events of The Tombs of Atuan, tells the story of Ged, now an Archmage, and Arren, a young prince, and their voyage around the world of Earthsea in search of the Unmaker, who is responsible for the disappearence of magic and of the balance of the world.

Compared to The Tombs of Atuan, I found this third part rather disapointing and lacking in action. Ged and Arren are just travelling from one island to the next, and nothing really happens. The evolution of their friendship is interesting, though, and that's what kept me reading. But as a whole, I found the series rather boring, although well written if you like old-fashioned style, and will only read Tehanu for the sake of it.
The review of this Book prepared by crooty

Ged, the character of all Earthsea books, and a young king search for the cause of draining of the magic from Earthsea. They travel far until find the cause in the land of the dead. A wizard Kob wants to find immortality and he oppened a hole between the two worlds. Ged has to close that hole and it drains his magical powers.
The review of this Book prepared by irina

Chapter Analysis of The Farthest Shore - Earthsea 3

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 17.5%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 25%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 27.5% Tone of book    -   sensitive (sigh....) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Magical Beings/Mental/Magical/Powers    -   Yes magical powers:    -   magical powers (general) Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   coping with mental/magical powers Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   mage/magician Age:    -   40's-50's If magical mental powers:    -   can change shapes    -   can fly    -   can cast many different spells    -   is very quick    -   healing


Terrain    -   Desert    -   Water    -   Mountains    -   Domed/Underground City Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a primitive/fantasy society Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Ursula K. Le Guin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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