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The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Tombs of Atuan (original 1971; edition 1975)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

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5,61187763 (3.99)176
Title:The Tombs of Atuan
Authors:Ursula K. Le Guin
Info:Bantam Books (1975), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Earthsea Cycle, Fantasy, Newbery, Newbery Challenge, Young Adult

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The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin (1971)


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English (81)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Japanese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (86)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
I liked this one better than the first Earthsea book (A Wizard of Earthsea). Still doesn't live up to Tolkien, Lewis, or Jordan, but worth the lazy Sunday afternoon read. :-) ( )
  JenW1 | May 19, 2015 |
I've heard the second and third book in the Earthsea trilogy were better than the first book, which I gave a three star. And in regards to the way the story is told, I do think I liked it better. However I did not like the character that this second book focused on and that killed it for me. Sometimes I dislike a character and then they start to grow on me, but Tenar never grew on me. Thus the low rating. I am determined to read the next book in the series as that will cross it off my list and these books aren't very long, and because the third book moves it's focus back to Ged, but this second middle book is a lost cause for me. Too bad. ( )
  Kassilem | Feb 27, 2015 |
I first read this book in a college course, separate from the rest of the Earthsea Trilogy and loved it. I decided to reread the whole trilogy just to see if this held up...and it has, moreso than the other books. The character of Tenar is unique in voice and growth and it turns out that Ged is much better as a secondary character than a primary one. I think this book is brilliant, and clearly the best of the series. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
Tenar was chosen from birth to be the Priestess for the Nameless Ones. Only she may walk through the perpetually dark labyrinths that hold great treasure. But when she finds a wizard stumbling around in the dark, her very beliefs are tested.

I didn't like this as much as the first book because I was expecting more of Ged. Tenar was an okay character, but we never really got to know her. Not really. The first half of the book was mostly just exposing us to Tenar and this part of the world. But it wasn't that interesting.... I kept waiting for some action or for some plot.

Finally, after Ged appears things get a little more interesting. Their conversation and interaction revealed more about the world and showed us more about Ged and how he knows true names now.

It was an okay book. Just... not much plot, y'know? I didn't really like the resolution with how Tenar dealt with the other priestess. It was not climactic enough.

2.5 stars rounded up. It was decent, but not great. I would call this a sagging second book.
Recommended only for those who already read the first book. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
I wasn’t going to keep reading this series but this one is also required for class. Tenar being the protagonist made things a bit better. Still, then Ged shows up and kinda steals the show. I spent all my critical energies for this on an essay but overall, it was just ok.
( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Carol Reich (KLIATT Review, March 1995 (Vol. 29, No. 2))
Le Guin's 1970 fantasy for YAs (part two of the Earthsea Trilogy) has held up well over the decades and remains engaging. Narrative predominates throughout, but during the dialogue Inglis' voiced characters are never confusing to the listener. The three main female voices are acceptably done, the two main male voices are well done, the recording is clear, and Inglis is skilled enough to drop out of character for phrases such as "she said." Between the two of them, Le Guin and Inglis paint a vivid picture of the devious, threatening labyrinth that exists both underneath the temple and within the heart of the High Priestess whom the Wizard Ged rescues from service to the Nameless Ones. This book can stand alone. Category: Fiction Audiobooks. KLIATT Codes: JS*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1994, Recorded Books, 4 tapes, 5.5 hrs.
added by kthomp25 | editKLIATT, Carol Reich (Mar 1, 1995)

» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garraty, GailIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689845367, Mass Market Paperback)

Often compared to Tolkien's Middle-earth or Lewis's Narnia, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea is a stunning fantasy world that grabs quickly at our hearts, pulling us deeply into its imaginary realms. Four books (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu) tell the whole Earthsea cycle--a tale about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard's apprentice after the wizard reveals Sparrowhawk's true name. The boy comes to realize that his fate may be far more important than he ever dreamed possible. Le Guin challenges her readers to think about the power of language, how in the act of naming the world around us we actually create that world. Teens, especially, will be inspired by the way Le Guin allows her characters to evolve and grow into their own powers.

In this second book of Le Guin's Earthsea series, readers will meet Tenar, a priestess to the "Nameless Ones" who guard the catacombs of the Tombs of Atuan. Only Tenar knows the passageways of this dark labyrinth, and only she can lead the young wizard Sparrowhawk, who stumbles into its maze, to the greatest treasure of all. Will she?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:43 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Arha's isolated existence as high priestess in the tombs of Atuan is jarred by a thief who seeks a special treasure.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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