Ursula K. Le Guin Is Publishing a New Earthsea Tale

A Rare Story Will Appear in the Omnibus Edition of Le Guin’s Epic Fantasy Series

All along, Ursula K. Le Guin has thought of Earthsea as simply “a single story from beginning to end.” And that’s what she will have published in the fall of 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of A Wizard of Earthsea: an omnibus edition of the Earthsea fantasy series, entitled The Books of Earthsea. The book will also be illustrated by one of the world’s foremost fantasy artists, Charles Vess. Even more exciting for fans, the omnibus edition will feature a previously obscure Earthsea story.

According to The Guardian, the enormous volume will include the sequence’s first novel (originally published in 1968) A Wizard of Earthsea in addition to the novels The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, and The Other Wind, as well as the stories, “The Word of Unbinding,” “The Rule of Names,” and the newest addition “The Daughter of Odren.”

Readers may be unacquainted with “The Daughter of Odren” considering it was published two years ago and only as an ebook. The story is set in the familiar world of Earthsea, and in an Odyssean key, focuses on a daughter — Weed — awaiting the return of her father, Lord Garnet. According to a blurb on fantasticfiction.com, “Odren” is “a hauntingly beautiful tale of betrayal and revenge.” With the publication of the all-in-one Earthsea, it will be the first time “Odren” appears in print.

The project is set to be published in the US by Saga Press, which is an imprint of Simon & Schuster. If we need a reminder of the masterpieces that Le Guin has churned out in this fantasy series for just about 50 years now, we can turn to David Mitchell. Writing for The Guardian, the Cloud Atlas author spoke of the magic and inspiration he’d found in reading Ged’s, or Sparrowhawk’s (the eponymous wizard of A Wizard of Earthsea), tale: “Other magicians and witches also lived on my boyhood bookshelf, but even at 10 years old I sensed that these belonged to a lesser order…I yearned to do to other people what A Wizard of Earthsea had just done to me — even if I couldn’t articulate exactly what that was.”

All things considered, it seems the only downside of this wonderful undertaking is that we will have to wait two years and change for its release. Ample time for the series to once again be read and reread and reread and reread…

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