Leguin was an important giant in the final years of Ancient Skye. She is believed to have been either a ruler or an important member of the elite.


Leguin The Butcher, by Theo Palzi.

What is known is that Leguin led the response to the slave revolt of 1003 in Skye. While the slaves hid under the leadership of Sinhus the Mage and prior to their voyage across the ice, Leguin carried out a ruthless and violent hunt for the hidden slaves which is typically referred to as The Harvest of Blood, in which hundreds and possibly thousands of humans were slaughtered and devoured.

The Harvest carried out by Leguin is considered to have been instrumental in causing the downfall of Ancient Skye, though the lack of sources on Skye makes this viewpoint controversial. Some revisionists find Leguin’s apparently suicidal description by Sinhus extremely implausible, and suggest instead that she was a more merciful ruler than we are lead to believe.


The anonymously-penned novel Motherland portrays Leguin as a tragic figure motivated by compassion and ultimately consumed by love. In this version of the story, Leguin is a champion of rights for slaves, and even becomes enamoured with the talents of human beings. She is described in Motherland as being captivated by the commitment humans instinctively possess to subsequent generations, which is a rare feeling among longer-lived giants, who frequently grow too bored and exhausted with the world to care about their legacy. In one oft-quoted passage, Leguin proclaims that humans do not only provide sustenance to Skye, but they also give it its vitality and colour. Leguin is presented in the novel as dispatching Sinhus as a negotiator, not as an enforcer.

The author of Motherland does not, however, portray Leguin as distant from her crimes during the Harvest of Blood. On the contrary, she is portrayed as actively participating in the cull. The novel portrays this frenzied act of violence not as an act of malice, but one of desperation. The author explains Leguin’s crimes as a based on a fear of being rejected by a people she considered beautiful, and turning instead to madness rather than confront her grief. The novel ends with Leguin stepping onto the ice knowing full well the fate that awaits her, overcome with guilt for her crimes, and knowing that both she and her homeland have lost that which made them worth sustaining.


Trellech Ciniselli