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Three Hainish Novels (Hainish Cycle, #1-3)
Three Hainish Novels - Hainish Cycle, #1-3 Author:Ursula K. Le Guin Rocannon’s World: This is the earliest and the least satisfying of the three. Rocannon is an ethnologist of the League of All Worlds (what would become the precursor of the Ekumen of later novels when Le Guin’s Hainish Cycle actually took shape) who’s intrigued by the natives of Fomalhaut II when one of its representatives visits the nearest Lea... more »gue outpost. Coupled with his interest is the League’s in recruiting allies in a coming war with a vaguely defined enemy so an expedition is eventually dispatched. Said expedition is destroyed by the enemy and the only survivor is Rocannon. He enlists the aid of one of the native species (the Angyar) to reach the enemy’s base and use their ansible to contact the League.
Planet of Exile: The second novel takes place at a later time on the world of Werel, γ Draconis (about 150 LYs from Earth). The planetary year lasts for about 60 Earth years with correspondingly longer seasons. When the story opens, Autumn is ending, and the natives are preparing for the coming Winter. The southern cultures have traditionally holed up in largely subterranean fortresses. In part, this is to survive the Winter; in part, this is to survive the depredations of their northern cousins, who are fleeing the cold. In this cycle, however, the northerners have been united under a Genghis Khan-like figure who is destroying the Winter refuges, slaughtering the men and enslaving the women and children.
City of Illusions: The most polished of the three novels, City takes place over a thousand years later. The League has been destroyed by the “enemy,” who finally receive a name – the Shing. Their ability to lie (view spoiler) with mindspeech has allowed them to shatter the League and isolate its worlds, which they rule over, strictly controlling technology and not allowing the emergence of any large center of power. The book opens on Earth, where a nameless amnesiac is discovered by a human settlement. Eventually, this man – named Falk by his discoverers – decides to set out for the Shing city of Es Toch and tries to recover his identity.« less