I have again finished The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin, the third book of her Earthsea Cycle.
This was the book that taught a middle-schooler about death and inner balance, philosophically, for the first time. Giving me the inner peace and acceptance of the idea death that losing my maternal grandfather a few years prior had not. Some say that J.K. Rowling was the first master Fantasy author to explore death and have a villain who will burn the world if need be to cheat it. They are wrong; for, long before Voldemort fashioned his horcruxes, the wizard Cob's reckless quest for immortality halted the words of power, tearing a rift between life and death – endangering not only the living but all that made life lovely. Long before Harry Potter the Chosen One fought Voldemort, Archmage Ged fought Cob, fulfilling with the heir of Morred, White Enchanter and beloved king, the prophecy of Maharion, the Last King of All the Isles.
"Death and life are the same thing-like the two sides of my hand, the palm and the back. And still the palm and the back are not the same...They can be neither separated, nor mixed." - Ged
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