Review: The Word for World is Forest [Hainish Cycle #5] 5/5 (1)
All , Fantasy , Sci-Fi / June 16, 2019

Review: I don’t know if it is just me but when I am reading a series I grow to like them more and more with every next book. I’m not sure if the author is getting better or the stories, if I am just more familiar with the style and the story but it has been true for almost every series I read (where I managed to go past the second book).

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula Le Guin, the fifth book in the series, is living proof of that. And the funny part is that the books in the Hainish cycle are not even following the same storyline. In the best case scenario we have a brief mention of planets or species we know from before but other than that every book starts with new characters, new planet and new social, racial or alien issue.

Review: The Left Hand of Darkness [Hainish Cycle #4] 5/5 (1)
All , Fantasy , Sci-Fi / June 15, 2019

Review: I think the Hainish Cycle is growing on me. After I got rid of the initial expectations of what a Sci-Fi from the ’70s should be like I actually started enjoying myself. And The Left Hand of Darkness was the peak of the series.

The longest so far, I found The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin to be a fantastic tale of a man that is thrown amid different cultures and struggles to understand them and to be understood. I love the fact that both the people of Karhide and Orgoreyn are so different in their biology and way of thinking and most of all I loved the fact that Le Guin threw unfamiliar words and concepts our way and didn’t stop to overexplain them. This allowed us to understand Genli Ai, the main character, much better; to walk in his shoes, so to speak, since we were confused and learning just as he was.

Review: City of Illusions [Hainish Cycle #3] 4/5 (1)
All , Fantasy , Sci-Fi / June 9, 2019

Review: Well! Here we are already on the third book of the series and finally I am excited. City of Illusions is, no doubt, the most suspenseful and well-planned book by Ursula Le Guin (in my humble opinion). I was getting kind of scared that I would be utterly disappointed by the Hainish cycle but I can see hope at the end of the tunnel.

In City of Illusions we move back to Earth, hundreds of years in the future, where people, our people, are forced to live a simple life and are afraid of advancing in any field of technology since the Shings, the Liars of Earth, the Enemy of Mankind, the bad guys, would destroy them.

Review: Planet of Exile [Hainish Cycle #2] 4/5 (1)
All , Fantasy , Sci-Fi / June 7, 2019

Review: I started Planet of Exile by Ursula Le Guin convinced I wouldn’t like it. After all, the previous book was a great disappointment for me. Funny enough, I was surprised.

The Hainish Cycle is a series of short novels connected only by the author’s name and a few distant connections between characters and places. So essentially you don’t have to read the other books to understand this one. From one side this is awesome since every book would be expected to provide a satisfying ending and resolution of the plot. On the other side, each book is too short for me to really fall in love with the characters or the story. And I don’t get to read about them again so even if I do, I’ll be left wanting more.

Review: Rocannon’s World [Hainish Cycle #1] 2/5 (1)
All , Fantasy , Sci-Fi / June 6, 2019

Review:     It’s been a long time since I’ve read any Sci-Fi books so I feel a bit rusty in commenting. When I went through Ender’s Game and Speaker of the Death I was so hyped that I couldn’t put them down. It was strange, the jargon took some getting used to but still, it was super entertaining. Things were a bit different with Rocannon’s World by Ursula Le Guin.

    Despite being written in two different genres, this book and the Earthsea cycle’s books are strikingly familiar. Same author, eh? For some that may be a plus but I feel like I am reading the same thing with different characters and slightly different setting.

Review: The Other Wind [Earthsea cycle #6] 3/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / June 2, 2019

Review: I don’t know why but all book or series endings leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Maybe I hate endings, or maybe I don’t like how the author decided to end their story — either way, I am never happy to read the last page.

The Other Wind, the sixth book of the Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin, and so far the last one confirmed, was not what I expected as a conclusion of the story. It started promising with a bit of mystery and new, diverse characters (something that has been missing for me in the previous books) and then when they all got together their personalities more or less disappeared and it was hard to tell them apart. I don’t say that juggling a big cast of characters is easy, oh no, but I’ve read many books where it is done marvelously. And here, well, it was OK.

Review: Tales of Earthsea [Earthsea Cycle #5] 3/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 28, 2019

Review: Tales From Earthsea is a collection of short stories from the world of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin that take place before, during and after the events in the original storyline. It consists of five short stories – The Finder, Darkrose and Diamond, The bones of the Earth, On the High March and Dragonfly.

Personally, I am not a big fan of short stories. I simply do not believe they are able to convey a full, meaningful plot and allow for natural character development. But when I like series I always get excited when I get extra bits to go with the story – that being a scene from another person’s POV, a satisfying spin-off of a particular storyline that had been neglected or forgotten in the main story or simple fairy-tales/ar

Review: Tehanu [Earthsea Cycle #4] 4/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 27, 2019

Review: It’s amazing how fast I am going through books these days. I’m not sure if it is this specific series that make it so easy or I am just in my element 😀

Tehanu, the fourth book of the Earthsea cycle by Ursula Le Guin, is the last book of the original series. As such I expected it all to tie neatly together with a bow on top. I do love stories which give us more answers than questions at the end. And in a way, Tehanu did feel like an ending — but also as a beginning. I’ll explain in a minute.

Review: The Farthest Shore [Earthsea Cycle, #3] 3/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 26, 2019

Review: As you can see, I am still going strong with the Ursula Le Guin‘s wave and I even think I’ll be able to finish all her works (that I have) in no time. I did notice, however, that the more I read the more I realize that just good prose is not enough. When I started with the first two books, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, I thought that their plot would be connected in some way. It turns out that the only connection so far is the wizard Ged who features in each of them. In the third book, The Farthest Shore, the story follows the steps of Ged years after the events in book 2

Review: The Tombs of Atuan [Earthsea Cycle #2] 4/5 (1)
All , Fantasy / May 24, 2019

Review: As I expected, I dipped my toes in the pool of fantasy and now there is no power on earth to get me out of the water 😀 I’ve missed the intricate world-building and the wizards and powerful darkness lurking in the shadows.

The Tombs of Atuan is the second book of Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin and my favorite so far. It has the same melodic prose that was present in the first one, it has the taste of magic and secrets and it has new characters and a fresh story.