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Ged was the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea,  but once he was called Sparrowhawk, a reckless  youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered  with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow  upon the world. This is the tale of his testing,  how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an  ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to  restore the balance.
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Availability for A Wizard of Earthsea; The First Book of Earthsea
    Re-reading this trilogy I remember loving a long time ago... Le Guin is a wonderful storyteller, with a mastery of language that allows her to create complete, believable worlds you can immerse yourself in. But her tales are never cheap or easy - there is a lot of wisdom and lightly hidden truths for our hard, real world in her fantasy writing. Still love it probably 20 years later.more
    It's definitely a time for me to revisit old favourites. I felt like looking in on Earthsea again, so when I had a quiet evening to myself, I dived right in. I normally read in smallish chunks, broken up by class or crochet or sleep or whatever, but I reread this in two great gulps. Which was lovely, actually.

    There are some unsatisfying things about it, mostly because I just want more (some of which later books of the series provide). I want to know what happens to Jasper: he's the instigator, essentially, of Ged's biggest mistake. But he just fades out less than halfway through. And I wish the otak didn't have to die. And, of course, it's a world not greatly populated by women, and those who are in it are suspect. (But if that's bothering you, carry on reading the series -- Le Guin deconstructs and examines those assumptions beautifully.)

    I wanted more of Vetch and Yarrow, too. Yarrow is one of the few (perhaps the only?) "good" female character, but she has little part to play. And Vetch is just Vetch, faithful and clever, with an emotional balance that Ged doesn't have.

    I first got this series for Christmas when I was in my early teens. I reread the first two books over and over, and they've never lost their magic.more
    A very good book that I've read about a thousand times.more
    I never tire of this audio. From the sonorous introduction (which includes one of my favorite lines ever: "bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky") intoned by Le Guin herself to the over-the-top semi-hysterical narration by Harlan Ellison, this is entirely magical. Harlan inhabits Ged completely but never more than when he's a youth full of bluster and hubris.

    This story of a young wizard's schooling and maturation, which both predates and kicks the ass of Harry Potter, is pure fable. There's something here for everyone, and something new for me every time I revisit it.

    I love Le Guin, that's no secret, but I marvel anew at her economy of language and the consequent weight of each word in this one. It's got the searing sharpness of poetry but never departs from accessible narrative.

    2/2006
    Splendid! Unabridged, read with delight and intensity by the inimitable Harlan Ellison. This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I learn something new every time I revisit it. This is also the book which stands between me and the Harry Potter series.
    more
    I’m still not sure what I think of this book. My favorite fantasy books draw me right in and make a part of the story and this book never did that in such an overt way but I kept reading which really tells me what a good writer LeGuin was!more
    I picked this up from a friend's collection. They were divesting themselves of books and I had always wanted to read this.

    I really enjoyed it. I am glad I read it. I see why people are so into this series. I look forward to reading the next one.

    more
    I've heard about the Earthsea books many times and loved the Studio Ghibli movie but had never gotten around to reading any of them. I thought it high time I started and I am glad I did.

    A Wizard of Earthsea tells the story of the beginning of Ged the Wizard in a kind of prequel to his later fame and accomplishments. He starts as a brash, arrogant, impatient young man but after releasing a great evil into the world changes to become a wise wizard.

    I can see where this book may have influenced many other authors I've read and it has the makings of a great series. I can't wait to continue on with the rest of the Earthsea books.more
    Not really the style of writing I prefer to read, but a good story.more
    I'm rereading the first 2 of this series so that I can get to the last 2. I think I liked this book better in a re-read than I initially did when I read it a few years ago.

    One thing that struck me this time, is that this book is more like an impressionists painting. The scene is painted with dots here and there, broad sweeps of paint, the play of colors against each other. The details and minutia of the events don't matter nearly as much as the words and the overall story.more
    It's a world of mages and sorcerers and witches. Every village has its own sorcerer to help them in their day to day life spinning spells for small cures and blessing for their live stocks and everyday activities. Once in a while the mage need to fight dragons.In this world Ged is a natural born man of magic. He proves his power when he saves his village from invaders by weaving a spell of mist and rain. Later he is send to a school of magic. Here to show off to his friends he chants a forbidden spell which releases a shadow from the underworld. The shadow weakens him and for the rest of the story he has to chase this shadow to destroy it or it will destroy him.It a fast paced story but never pull you in. An average read.more
    A coming-of-age story, also a becoming-a-powerful-wizard story. Didn't really pull me in, felt awfully generic at times and I have to say that I expected much more from it. And it's a pity, because the setting is interesting - so I might give the series a second chance and read the next book in line.I also feel that the way the story is told (like a legend) feels too detached - you can't connect with the main character properly. He takes power for granted, makes a big mistake then goes through turmoil and peril in a story of redemption - and all I felt was "oh, ok, what next?". Maybe I expect too much from a YA novel - but hey, [Have Space Suit, Will Travel] delivered wonderfully.more
    A classic coming of age tale in which a young boy discovers his powers as a wizard and embarks on a journey into manhood. Young Ged experiences many hardships and possesses exceptional talent, but he is also a boy and prone to the failings of a young boy. It is his mishandling of his powers in a competition with another young wizard that creates a shadow which haunts him and challenges his power. While Ged's story is compelling, I simply failed to be truly pulled into the story and its world and found myself skimming portions of this book. I originally planned to read the entire series, but I may reconsider after this book.more
    This is probably the best coming-of-age classic ever written; coming to terms with your power, which means coming to terms with your capacity for evil. Add to that the extraordinary prose of Ursula LeGuin, and even those who have long since come of age and dealt with these issues will enjoy revisiting that moment in early life.more
    Ged’s amazing potential as a wizard is recognized and he is plucked from a remote village by a master wizard, destined to become one of the greatest wizards of all. And then that terrible human frailty, pride, gets the upper hand, and Ged makes a mistake that seemingly ruins his life.And Ged is off on a quest to restore the world.Le Guin writes with the rhythm of a poet and with the wisdom of a philosopher in this beautiful classic fantasy novel.more
    This was the first Le Guin I've read, and it didn't really live up to my expectations. I think part of the problem was that it was written in third person. I need connection with the characters that third person just doesn't offer.more
    I was surprised to find this book was as profound as it is; the label ‘young adult’ keeps leading me astray… all a book needs to fit the genre is a young protagonist and an uncluttered storytelling style, but I keep expecting a negative aspect, a lack of gravitas…not here, in A Wizard of Earthsea; Le Guin deftly explores such notions as balance and knowledge and power through the initially ambitious and impetuous young wizard, Ged, who, in his desire to outshine a rival school-fellow, releases a shadow upon the world for which he must claim responsibility and somehow destroy.The author creates a world that is as much seascape as landscape, being the archipelago of Earthsea… perfectly suited to fantasy-world mapping, which happens to be one of my favourite aspects of high fantasy; the geography of world-building. Ged’s quest leads him from island to island as he looks for the wisdom he instinctively knows he needs to battle his shadow. I also loved the principles of the magic of the world, the naming and balance, and the characters that Ged encounters as a boy and on his journey.That said, there’s something slightly distancing about Le Guin’s telling the story as a legend recounted; it’s as though we’re reading about Ged rather than experiencing the quest with him; not that there aren’t some wonderfully immersive parts, but I did not feel as involved in the story as I might have with a different narrative approach… that wouldn’t stop me recommending the book to anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction, especially YA fantasy, as I’m pretty sure it’s a quirk of the reader’s rather than a flaw of the writer’s.more
    After reading 'The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed I was expecting much more from this story. Given the popularity of the Earthsea trilogy I must have missed something. Maybe I should re-read it.more
    A fantasy classic.The story of how a young man known as Sparrowhawk became Ged, a master mage. He went from talented and cocky young apprentice to someone who saw what bravado could do to damage a person and did everything in his power to set things right, and find himself along the way.In the magical tradition of ancient cultures, common themes included the idea that knowing a person's name gave you power over them, as well as the idea that words themselves held power. This book is a great introduction to these ideas, along with being a wonderful story to pull you in without needing hundreds of pages to do so.more
    I came back to this book after a long bout of urban fantasy and dystopian novels in my read pile, and I must admit it was a bit jarring. I read this book for the first time as a young girl, so to be fair to the book, I feel like my review is a combination of my feelings from both times I read the book.A Wizard of Earthsea is a true fantasy book distilled to its purest form. LeGuin does not use many words, and does not waste time with fluff. The me now found this a jarring transition because I find that most of the modern books I read are very descriptive, and focus more on the showing of events and worlds than the telling of the story. At some times, the lack of pronounced downtime and character development felt a tad tedious. Younger me, I felt, had more of an imagination to feel in the gaps. I really do enjoy the story itself. I like that in the Earthsea novels, magic doesn't come from the elements, or pseudo-Latin words, but from holding the power of a things true name. I think that is one of the things I find appealing about faerie mythology, so I enjoy seeing the theme here in a different light. One of the things I like most about this novel, both now and in the past, is it a parable that warns of the consequences of having power and of abusing that power.I'd recommend it if you have a good imagination (or don't mind terser books) and like true fantasy books (wizards, magic, dragons).more
    The first book in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle should be deem as a bildungsroman style novel. Ged Sparrowhawk starts out as an immature power and fame hungry mage-prentice. As the story unfolds, Sparrowhawk faces the choices he made as a child and teenager and tries to find confidence in himself and within his power.This is a truly wonderful fantasy novel for both young adults and adults alike.more
    It's a well-written children's/young adult fantasy novel. Coming at it as an adult, it's far less impressive, but had I encountered this when I was 10 I would have certainly have devoured the book and its sequels feverishly.more
    It's taken me a long time to read any Ursula Le Guin and I've been missing out! A beautiful crafted world with it's own set of ideals and morals.A Wizard Of Earthsea - is the introduction to the world and follows the adventures of Ged as he embraces his wizarding powers and learns that all actions have a consequence. A little slow to start but once you are in the world, totally gripping.The Tombs of Atuan - is my favourite of the quartet. It's very engaging, easy to read and has a strong message of light and shade alongside the questioning of one's faith. A story I want to return too as I don't feel I managed to do it justice in my first reading.The Farthest Shore - what happens when magic begins to die? Le Guin looks at the inevitability of death and why it's necessary for the continuation of other things. I much prefer Ged as the learned mentor, somehow it seems to suit him better than when he was younger.Tehanu - the final book in the quartet continues where the previous story left off, but switches the emphasis to Tenar. There is a different kind of magic at work here as love seems to be the main thread, coinciding with Ged's loss of powers.Overall, a brilliant set of stories which suck you into a believable world of magic, philosophy and human relationships.more
    Count me among the stupid ones. Although I read and enjoyed most of Ursula K. Le Guin's science fiction in my younger days, I apparently decided to not read her fantasy. Or perhaps I had just moved on to something different. That was not a smart move. I started "A Wizard of Earthsea" thinking it would be a quick light fantasy read, something different from my usual. It turned out to be a much better book than I expected. I'm more than a little annoyed with myself for not having read this sooner. It is a coming of age story for a young boy who has a talent for magic, in a land where magic is fairly common. The book is very well written with a strong central character, the boy nicknamed Sparrowhawk. Ged is his true name given to him by a wizard who becomes his early mentor. It really turned out to be a journey of redemption and finding oneself and facing the dark side of the force long before there was Star Wars. There are lessons in this book, such as the temptations of evil, the value of true friendship and the consequences of foolishly losing one's temper, but one is not preached to at all. I can certainly recommend this to younger readers as well as all readers. I plan to read further books in the earthsea series.more
    In this young adult fantasy, a young wizard releases an unnamed evil into the world of Earthsea during a spell that goes wrong and comes of age in a quest to defeat it.Only in silence the word,only in dark the light,only in dying life:bright the hawk’s flighton the empty sky.–from the Creation of ÉaI’m sure I read A Wizard of Earthsea as a young adult, although I didn’t remember it very well. But like the best novels written for young people, it holds up excellently in this second reading as an adult.In Earthsea, Le Guin has fully realized a land of islands, where people live as much on the sea as on the land, where there are dragons and wizards and magic. As a young boy, Sparrowhawk discovers his talent for magic when he protects his village from invasion by creating an obscuring fog. He is apprenticed to a wizard on his home island, then goes to the school for wizards across the sea, where his powers become evident. But his hubris gets the better of him, and in attempting a dangerous spell, he looses a nameless shadow in the world, which is bound to him and determined to possess him.The rest of the story describes Sparrowhawk’s coming-of-age quest to learn how to defeat the shadow, and to learn who he is. Le Guin’s simple but evocative prose brings her imaginary world of Earthsea to life, and while reading this short book, I felt like I was traveling along with Sparrowhawk among the islands’ rocky cliff faces, desolate moors and heaving oceans. Whether rediscovering Earthsea or visiting it for the first time, the trip is worthwhile.more
    Just finished the last of the four novels in this compilation book.They were all good stories in themselves, though all very different. The Tombs of Atuan I found the hardest to get into and enjoyed the least. The Wizard of Earthsea is probably the best of them and the other two are on a par. Good fantasy and well written. This was my first Ursula LeGuin so I'll try a few more.more
    Feb11:Well, there's a classic I sure missed out on.Characters: Lead is amazingly solid for the age of this book. The support characters are good enough as well.Plot: A good pass at a redemption plot. Many great adventures along the way.Style: High fantasy, without being boring like Tolkein. I'd almost say action fantasy in many ways. Great stuff!more
    I've finally read Le Guin's classic tale, and found it thoroughly satisfying. However, it is true that between its initial publication date of 1968 and now, I've read what seems like a hundred other fantasy novels. I'm sure if I'd picked it up when it was new, it would have made a much stronger impression. In 1968, I hadn't even read Tolkien. Anyway, I'll probably go on to read the next installment about our hero Ged.more
    A classic in the fantasy genre, and an example of fine writing besides. Ged of Gont is a powerful young wizard, perhaps the most powerful sorcerer Gont has ever produced. Just as great as his power is his pride. Ged is taken from his childhood home to study with the mage Ogion, but when he is too impatient for Ogion's deep wisdom, his mentor sends him to study on the mage island Roke. Here Ged's skill advances in leaps and bounds. Yet his pride becomes his downfall when he is pushed by the taunts of a rival wizard, Jasper, to work a spell well beyond his mastery, and inadvertently unleashes a shadow bent on Ged's destruction. Now Ged is bound to flee or fight his created shadow, until one or both are destroyed. One of the themes of this novel is power and the responsibility it confers on the user. Ged's quest and his struggle with his shadow illustrates that power actually narrows the path one treads in life, rather than broadening it. Once he thought that with his strength he could set the balance in life however he chose, but that thinking is what led Ged to release his shadow, eventually limiting his path to only one. Le Guin's message is clear: even those who want to use their power recklessly will eventually be forced into a recognition of their responsibility, sometimes with drastic consequences. This concept of power ties in to her theory of balance: great power is balanced by great responsibility. A deep analysis, but Le Guin's masterly writing demands a close reading of the themes she incorporates in to her plot and characters.more
    Read all 92 reviews

    Reviews

    Re-reading this trilogy I remember loving a long time ago... Le Guin is a wonderful storyteller, with a mastery of language that allows her to create complete, believable worlds you can immerse yourself in. But her tales are never cheap or easy - there is a lot of wisdom and lightly hidden truths for our hard, real world in her fantasy writing. Still love it probably 20 years later.more
    It's definitely a time for me to revisit old favourites. I felt like looking in on Earthsea again, so when I had a quiet evening to myself, I dived right in. I normally read in smallish chunks, broken up by class or crochet or sleep or whatever, but I reread this in two great gulps. Which was lovely, actually.

    There are some unsatisfying things about it, mostly because I just want more (some of which later books of the series provide). I want to know what happens to Jasper: he's the instigator, essentially, of Ged's biggest mistake. But he just fades out less than halfway through. And I wish the otak didn't have to die. And, of course, it's a world not greatly populated by women, and those who are in it are suspect. (But if that's bothering you, carry on reading the series -- Le Guin deconstructs and examines those assumptions beautifully.)

    I wanted more of Vetch and Yarrow, too. Yarrow is one of the few (perhaps the only?) "good" female character, but she has little part to play. And Vetch is just Vetch, faithful and clever, with an emotional balance that Ged doesn't have.

    I first got this series for Christmas when I was in my early teens. I reread the first two books over and over, and they've never lost their magic.more
    A very good book that I've read about a thousand times.more
    I never tire of this audio. From the sonorous introduction (which includes one of my favorite lines ever: "bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky") intoned by Le Guin herself to the over-the-top semi-hysterical narration by Harlan Ellison, this is entirely magical. Harlan inhabits Ged completely but never more than when he's a youth full of bluster and hubris.

    This story of a young wizard's schooling and maturation, which both predates and kicks the ass of Harry Potter, is pure fable. There's something here for everyone, and something new for me every time I revisit it.

    I love Le Guin, that's no secret, but I marvel anew at her economy of language and the consequent weight of each word in this one. It's got the searing sharpness of poetry but never departs from accessible narrative.

    2/2006
    Splendid! Unabridged, read with delight and intensity by the inimitable Harlan Ellison. This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I learn something new every time I revisit it. This is also the book which stands between me and the Harry Potter series.
    more
    I’m still not sure what I think of this book. My favorite fantasy books draw me right in and make a part of the story and this book never did that in such an overt way but I kept reading which really tells me what a good writer LeGuin was!more
    I picked this up from a friend's collection. They were divesting themselves of books and I had always wanted to read this.

    I really enjoyed it. I am glad I read it. I see why people are so into this series. I look forward to reading the next one.

    more
    I've heard about the Earthsea books many times and loved the Studio Ghibli movie but had never gotten around to reading any of them. I thought it high time I started and I am glad I did.

    A Wizard of Earthsea tells the story of the beginning of Ged the Wizard in a kind of prequel to his later fame and accomplishments. He starts as a brash, arrogant, impatient young man but after releasing a great evil into the world changes to become a wise wizard.

    I can see where this book may have influenced many other authors I've read and it has the makings of a great series. I can't wait to continue on with the rest of the Earthsea books.more
    Not really the style of writing I prefer to read, but a good story.more
    I'm rereading the first 2 of this series so that I can get to the last 2. I think I liked this book better in a re-read than I initially did when I read it a few years ago.

    One thing that struck me this time, is that this book is more like an impressionists painting. The scene is painted with dots here and there, broad sweeps of paint, the play of colors against each other. The details and minutia of the events don't matter nearly as much as the words and the overall story.more
    It's a world of mages and sorcerers and witches. Every village has its own sorcerer to help them in their day to day life spinning spells for small cures and blessing for their live stocks and everyday activities. Once in a while the mage need to fight dragons.In this world Ged is a natural born man of magic. He proves his power when he saves his village from invaders by weaving a spell of mist and rain. Later he is send to a school of magic. Here to show off to his friends he chants a forbidden spell which releases a shadow from the underworld. The shadow weakens him and for the rest of the story he has to chase this shadow to destroy it or it will destroy him.It a fast paced story but never pull you in. An average read.more
    A coming-of-age story, also a becoming-a-powerful-wizard story. Didn't really pull me in, felt awfully generic at times and I have to say that I expected much more from it. And it's a pity, because the setting is interesting - so I might give the series a second chance and read the next book in line.I also feel that the way the story is told (like a legend) feels too detached - you can't connect with the main character properly. He takes power for granted, makes a big mistake then goes through turmoil and peril in a story of redemption - and all I felt was "oh, ok, what next?". Maybe I expect too much from a YA novel - but hey, [Have Space Suit, Will Travel] delivered wonderfully.more
    A classic coming of age tale in which a young boy discovers his powers as a wizard and embarks on a journey into manhood. Young Ged experiences many hardships and possesses exceptional talent, but he is also a boy and prone to the failings of a young boy. It is his mishandling of his powers in a competition with another young wizard that creates a shadow which haunts him and challenges his power. While Ged's story is compelling, I simply failed to be truly pulled into the story and its world and found myself skimming portions of this book. I originally planned to read the entire series, but I may reconsider after this book.more
    This is probably the best coming-of-age classic ever written; coming to terms with your power, which means coming to terms with your capacity for evil. Add to that the extraordinary prose of Ursula LeGuin, and even those who have long since come of age and dealt with these issues will enjoy revisiting that moment in early life.more
    Ged’s amazing potential as a wizard is recognized and he is plucked from a remote village by a master wizard, destined to become one of the greatest wizards of all. And then that terrible human frailty, pride, gets the upper hand, and Ged makes a mistake that seemingly ruins his life.And Ged is off on a quest to restore the world.Le Guin writes with the rhythm of a poet and with the wisdom of a philosopher in this beautiful classic fantasy novel.more
    This was the first Le Guin I've read, and it didn't really live up to my expectations. I think part of the problem was that it was written in third person. I need connection with the characters that third person just doesn't offer.more
    I was surprised to find this book was as profound as it is; the label ‘young adult’ keeps leading me astray… all a book needs to fit the genre is a young protagonist and an uncluttered storytelling style, but I keep expecting a negative aspect, a lack of gravitas…not here, in A Wizard of Earthsea; Le Guin deftly explores such notions as balance and knowledge and power through the initially ambitious and impetuous young wizard, Ged, who, in his desire to outshine a rival school-fellow, releases a shadow upon the world for which he must claim responsibility and somehow destroy.The author creates a world that is as much seascape as landscape, being the archipelago of Earthsea… perfectly suited to fantasy-world mapping, which happens to be one of my favourite aspects of high fantasy; the geography of world-building. Ged’s quest leads him from island to island as he looks for the wisdom he instinctively knows he needs to battle his shadow. I also loved the principles of the magic of the world, the naming and balance, and the characters that Ged encounters as a boy and on his journey.That said, there’s something slightly distancing about Le Guin’s telling the story as a legend recounted; it’s as though we’re reading about Ged rather than experiencing the quest with him; not that there aren’t some wonderfully immersive parts, but I did not feel as involved in the story as I might have with a different narrative approach… that wouldn’t stop me recommending the book to anyone who enjoys fantasy fiction, especially YA fantasy, as I’m pretty sure it’s a quirk of the reader’s rather than a flaw of the writer’s.more
    After reading 'The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed I was expecting much more from this story. Given the popularity of the Earthsea trilogy I must have missed something. Maybe I should re-read it.more
    A fantasy classic.The story of how a young man known as Sparrowhawk became Ged, a master mage. He went from talented and cocky young apprentice to someone who saw what bravado could do to damage a person and did everything in his power to set things right, and find himself along the way.In the magical tradition of ancient cultures, common themes included the idea that knowing a person's name gave you power over them, as well as the idea that words themselves held power. This book is a great introduction to these ideas, along with being a wonderful story to pull you in without needing hundreds of pages to do so.more
    I came back to this book after a long bout of urban fantasy and dystopian novels in my read pile, and I must admit it was a bit jarring. I read this book for the first time as a young girl, so to be fair to the book, I feel like my review is a combination of my feelings from both times I read the book.A Wizard of Earthsea is a true fantasy book distilled to its purest form. LeGuin does not use many words, and does not waste time with fluff. The me now found this a jarring transition because I find that most of the modern books I read are very descriptive, and focus more on the showing of events and worlds than the telling of the story. At some times, the lack of pronounced downtime and character development felt a tad tedious. Younger me, I felt, had more of an imagination to feel in the gaps. I really do enjoy the story itself. I like that in the Earthsea novels, magic doesn't come from the elements, or pseudo-Latin words, but from holding the power of a things true name. I think that is one of the things I find appealing about faerie mythology, so I enjoy seeing the theme here in a different light. One of the things I like most about this novel, both now and in the past, is it a parable that warns of the consequences of having power and of abusing that power.I'd recommend it if you have a good imagination (or don't mind terser books) and like true fantasy books (wizards, magic, dragons).more
    The first book in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle should be deem as a bildungsroman style novel. Ged Sparrowhawk starts out as an immature power and fame hungry mage-prentice. As the story unfolds, Sparrowhawk faces the choices he made as a child and teenager and tries to find confidence in himself and within his power.This is a truly wonderful fantasy novel for both young adults and adults alike.more
    It's a well-written children's/young adult fantasy novel. Coming at it as an adult, it's far less impressive, but had I encountered this when I was 10 I would have certainly have devoured the book and its sequels feverishly.more
    It's taken me a long time to read any Ursula Le Guin and I've been missing out! A beautiful crafted world with it's own set of ideals and morals.A Wizard Of Earthsea - is the introduction to the world and follows the adventures of Ged as he embraces his wizarding powers and learns that all actions have a consequence. A little slow to start but once you are in the world, totally gripping.The Tombs of Atuan - is my favourite of the quartet. It's very engaging, easy to read and has a strong message of light and shade alongside the questioning of one's faith. A story I want to return too as I don't feel I managed to do it justice in my first reading.The Farthest Shore - what happens when magic begins to die? Le Guin looks at the inevitability of death and why it's necessary for the continuation of other things. I much prefer Ged as the learned mentor, somehow it seems to suit him better than when he was younger.Tehanu - the final book in the quartet continues where the previous story left off, but switches the emphasis to Tenar. There is a different kind of magic at work here as love seems to be the main thread, coinciding with Ged's loss of powers.Overall, a brilliant set of stories which suck you into a believable world of magic, philosophy and human relationships.more
    Count me among the stupid ones. Although I read and enjoyed most of Ursula K. Le Guin's science fiction in my younger days, I apparently decided to not read her fantasy. Or perhaps I had just moved on to something different. That was not a smart move. I started "A Wizard of Earthsea" thinking it would be a quick light fantasy read, something different from my usual. It turned out to be a much better book than I expected. I'm more than a little annoyed with myself for not having read this sooner. It is a coming of age story for a young boy who has a talent for magic, in a land where magic is fairly common. The book is very well written with a strong central character, the boy nicknamed Sparrowhawk. Ged is his true name given to him by a wizard who becomes his early mentor. It really turned out to be a journey of redemption and finding oneself and facing the dark side of the force long before there was Star Wars. There are lessons in this book, such as the temptations of evil, the value of true friendship and the consequences of foolishly losing one's temper, but one is not preached to at all. I can certainly recommend this to younger readers as well as all readers. I plan to read further books in the earthsea series.more
    In this young adult fantasy, a young wizard releases an unnamed evil into the world of Earthsea during a spell that goes wrong and comes of age in a quest to defeat it.Only in silence the word,only in dark the light,only in dying life:bright the hawk’s flighton the empty sky.–from the Creation of ÉaI’m sure I read A Wizard of Earthsea as a young adult, although I didn’t remember it very well. But like the best novels written for young people, it holds up excellently in this second reading as an adult.In Earthsea, Le Guin has fully realized a land of islands, where people live as much on the sea as on the land, where there are dragons and wizards and magic. As a young boy, Sparrowhawk discovers his talent for magic when he protects his village from invasion by creating an obscuring fog. He is apprenticed to a wizard on his home island, then goes to the school for wizards across the sea, where his powers become evident. But his hubris gets the better of him, and in attempting a dangerous spell, he looses a nameless shadow in the world, which is bound to him and determined to possess him.The rest of the story describes Sparrowhawk’s coming-of-age quest to learn how to defeat the shadow, and to learn who he is. Le Guin’s simple but evocative prose brings her imaginary world of Earthsea to life, and while reading this short book, I felt like I was traveling along with Sparrowhawk among the islands’ rocky cliff faces, desolate moors and heaving oceans. Whether rediscovering Earthsea or visiting it for the first time, the trip is worthwhile.more
    Just finished the last of the four novels in this compilation book.They were all good stories in themselves, though all very different. The Tombs of Atuan I found the hardest to get into and enjoyed the least. The Wizard of Earthsea is probably the best of them and the other two are on a par. Good fantasy and well written. This was my first Ursula LeGuin so I'll try a few more.more
    Feb11:Well, there's a classic I sure missed out on.Characters: Lead is amazingly solid for the age of this book. The support characters are good enough as well.Plot: A good pass at a redemption plot. Many great adventures along the way.Style: High fantasy, without being boring like Tolkein. I'd almost say action fantasy in many ways. Great stuff!more
    I've finally read Le Guin's classic tale, and found it thoroughly satisfying. However, it is true that between its initial publication date of 1968 and now, I've read what seems like a hundred other fantasy novels. I'm sure if I'd picked it up when it was new, it would have made a much stronger impression. In 1968, I hadn't even read Tolkien. Anyway, I'll probably go on to read the next installment about our hero Ged.more
    A classic in the fantasy genre, and an example of fine writing besides. Ged of Gont is a powerful young wizard, perhaps the most powerful sorcerer Gont has ever produced. Just as great as his power is his pride. Ged is taken from his childhood home to study with the mage Ogion, but when he is too impatient for Ogion's deep wisdom, his mentor sends him to study on the mage island Roke. Here Ged's skill advances in leaps and bounds. Yet his pride becomes his downfall when he is pushed by the taunts of a rival wizard, Jasper, to work a spell well beyond his mastery, and inadvertently unleashes a shadow bent on Ged's destruction. Now Ged is bound to flee or fight his created shadow, until one or both are destroyed. One of the themes of this novel is power and the responsibility it confers on the user. Ged's quest and his struggle with his shadow illustrates that power actually narrows the path one treads in life, rather than broadening it. Once he thought that with his strength he could set the balance in life however he chose, but that thinking is what led Ged to release his shadow, eventually limiting his path to only one. Le Guin's message is clear: even those who want to use their power recklessly will eventually be forced into a recognition of their responsibility, sometimes with drastic consequences. This concept of power ties in to her theory of balance: great power is balanced by great responsibility. A deep analysis, but Le Guin's masterly writing demands a close reading of the themes she incorporates in to her plot and characters.more
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