I’ve just finished re-re-re….reading Ursula LeGuin’s great Earthsea Trilogy: A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore. They may be fantasy, but they are as rich and deep, though lighter, than what are considered her “meatier” works like “The Left Hand of Darkness” (which won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards), or “The Dispossessed” (which won the Nebula award),
The Earthsea Trilogy (written from 1968 to 1972, with a fourth book, Tehanu, written in 1990), though it deals with magic and wizardry, also deals with the themes of life and death, human nature, how people fit into the world of plants and animals, and the true nature of reality. These are weighty subjects; setting them at one remove, in the realm of fantasy, makes them easier to come to grips with. Still, in these books, which detail events in the life of a wizard called Sparrowhawk, what LeGuin has to say is as deep and fraught as anything else she says in any of her other books and as worthy of saying.
It is from the Earthsea books that the LeGuin quote on my side panel comes from:
Only in silence the word,
Only in dark the light,
Only in dying life:
Bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky.
– The Creation of Ea
Also, from The Farthest Shore, comes the quote from which the title of this post was taken. One of the main characters, Arren, upon seeing the sight, thinks, “I do not care what comes after; I have seen the dragons on the wind of morning.” If that phrase resonates with you, then you will enjoy these books from an author whose work garnered five Locus, four Nebula, two Hugo, and one World Fantasy Award.