In the third of the Earthsea volumes Sparrowhawk-Ged, now archmage at Roke, undertakes a long sea odyssey in search of the vague evil that is drying up true magic throughout the islands. Accompanied by a young prince named Arren (predestined King of a united Earthsea), he finds town after town destroyed by fear, greed and the false comfort of drugs. Finally, guided by dragons to the land of the dead (the "farthest shore") Ged and Arren find the source of evil -- a non-dead, nonliving shadow of a mage named Cob, whose greed for power and immortality has upset the vital equilibrium of life and death. With magnificent effort Ged closes the door Cob has opened between the worlds, restoring Cob to easeful death and thereby restoring a healing balance to the world: As adventure narrative this lacks the concrete tensions of its predecessors, but once more the themes -- centering here on the "unmeasured desire for life" and its misapplications -- are deeply embedded in the action (though far from peculiar to the imagined kingdom of Earthsea). Further, although each of the two previous volumes was complete in itself there is an organic relationship among the three that cannot be realized without Ged's final, mighty "Be thou made whole" and his drawing of the Rune of Ending.