Things I figured out less than a third of the way into each of the Earthsea books
Earthsea 1 : Yeah, the dark force he’s chasing is HIMSELF the whole time.
Earthsea 2: Ged’s gonna show up halfway through to get that fucking ring back.
Earthsea 3: He’s the king. Not a big secret. We get it.
Earthsea 4: She’s a dragon.
Earthsea Dragonfly: She’s a dragon, too. Also, guy wizards are dicks.
Earthsea 5: Haven’t gotten to it yet…but based purely on LeGuin’s inability to create any sort of surprise ending, I’m guessing a female character, who may or may not be a dragon, will end up becoming Archmage of Atuan only after proving herself to a bunch of wizards who are dicks. Possibly involving the guy who SHOCKINGLY turned out to be king.
Did I get it right? Close?
I’ve read some short story collections from Ursula K. LeGuin over the years, and generally enjoyed them (especially the freaky gender-bending sexy ones). Recently a kindly benefactor loaded Jay and me up with a METRIC SHIT TON of science fiction books, and I finally had the opportunity to read some of the longer series I’d avoided in the past. Now I love sci-fi and fantasy, but I’m also a cheap bastard who cringes in front of a bookstore shelf when I realize if I actually like the book I’m considering getting, I’ll still have to buy 20 more. So a free set of the critically acclaimed Earthsea Chronicles? Sign me up! Though I quickly found that it doesn’t take long in any of the books before you’re shouting at the characters like my mother at a murder-mystery dinner theater – “It was THAT guy! The one with the bloody knife in his hand! He’s the killer!”
Of course, I’m gonna feel like a fool if the whole Earthsea Chronicles were supposed to be a Harry Potter type thing. You know, “written for children, but adults can enjoy them too.” Or otherwise intentionally not too challenging, or involving large words and plot twists that aren’t completely apparent after reading the first 10 pages. Perhaps written for science fiction fans who have recently experienced catastrophic head trauma? Does the series come in a pop-up version as well?
But hey, for all my bitching, I obviously read the fucking things. And my petty sniping aside, I know I’ll continue reading LeGuin.
After all, I really do love those ones with the 4-way bisexual marriages and the hermaphrodite aliens that live in a sex house once a month. That’s some good shit right there.