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I don't read a lot of fantasy and will be the first to admit that I'm a little out of my depth on this one (again). I'm not against fantasy, in fact there have been many Fantasy books that I've really enjoyed. I just generally find it hard to understand the rules of the universe without a sort of visual accompaniment or aid.

That being said, I found this book to be a pretty digestible read (of course it's target audience includes people half my age, so you could argue I set the bar pretty low). Le Guin builds a fascinating universe but takes the time to explain it to readers so we (okay, so *I*) know what's going on.

The writing style is engaging. It's largely driven by plot exposition, which I don't usually like, but given that the story is framed like a song or legend that's been passed through the ages, the format works. I also like that Le Guin had the courage to write a deeply flawed but relatable protagonist. The hero's flaws were self-evident but understandable, making for a satisfying character arch.

That being said, I did find the second half of the book a bit meandering. The hero's penance-journey started to feel a bit repetitive and is made worse by the fact that he doesn't seem to learn more about his predicament or how to resolve it, he just...keeps going. This compounded with a rushed finale made for an unsatisfying conclusion.

However, it's a quick, easy read with some creative world-building and neat ideas. I just think that the second half would have benefited from a little less plot and a little more character.

SLDESLIPPE's rating:
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