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A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Earthsea Cycle (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,356227278 (4.01)1 / 661
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English (221)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Japanese (1)  All (227)
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)
One of those classic fantasies I had not read before. Glad I did. This is a well written book. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
Maybe it's because so much that's of this type of genre has now been written that it didn't really grip me, but it didn't. It was fine and it wouldn't stop me reading more of the series or by the author, but not to go searching for the next one. ( )
  expatscot | Apr 29, 2017 |
Nice work. A non-white protagonist, in a non-white society. The "bad guy" is caused by the gifted main character being too prideful, and there's no big battle or war. Even though the main character is gifted, he gets better through hard work, deliberate practice, and service to others. Service to others, I may add, in exchange for no pay, but rather because he's capable of helping others!

Will definitely read the next one. ( )
1 vote adamwolf | Apr 26, 2017 |
I've read bad books by bad writers. I've read mediocre books by mediocre writers. I've read books by fantastic writers who don't know how to plot, but who do everything else really well, or some other combination of great strengths and equally great shortcomings.

This book frustrated me more than any of those, and here's why:
Le Guin is obviously a good writer. Her prose is magnificent. Her characterization isn't bad either. I like that Ged isn't cut from the same cloth as typical YA fantasy protagonists and he has an arrogant streak that mirrors real life teens. The story is now a cliché, but it's a cliché that I will easily fall for on any given day. Young men growing into their predestined powers and baddassery just does it for me. Maybe something went wrong in my own childhood, I don't know.

So why, then, am I only giving this book--a book that is a supposed "classic of fantasy literature" that everyone seems to love--only one star?

Because this book was half as long as it should have been and boring at the same time.

While Le Guin is a fantastic writer, able to write her descriptions densely and skillfully, she writes in some of the most distant third person I've ever read. She glosses over major events, and the entire book reads like a summary of a much longer work. You can literally turn page after page in some sections and never find a line of dialogue. There's no immediacy in her writing, no connection to the characters. I feel as if I'm viewing Ged's life through a cracked and foggy telescope from miles and miles away. Le Guin somehow manages to be a good writer while violating one of the most basic rules of writing. One that every seasoned writer will tell newcomers within the first five minutes of their asking for advice. Show, don't tell. All Le Guin knows how to do is show, and her work is much worse off because of it. It's a shame. I really could've loved this book if it were written differently, and I didn't at all expect to be disappointed after hearing so much about Le Guin for so long.
( )
  ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
A Wizard of Earthsea is fantasy at its best. Written for a juvenile audience, it nonetheless contains rich language and world building the likes of which is comparable to the Lord of the Rings. A Wizard of Earthsea follows our hero Sparrowhawk, a young magician-in-training that has little patience with the finer details of the art. Rather than learn as much as he can, he's more concerned with learning greater and better things. His ambition eventually leads him to recklessly call upon a soul from the dead and unleash a terrible shadow in the world. Sparrowhawk must now learn all he can in order to defeat the shadow and prevent it from wrecking havoc in Earthsea.

Read full review here: http://intersomniaindiem.blogspot.com/2016/07/book-review-wizard-of-earthsea-by....
1 vote Sheila_23 | Apr 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 221 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (45 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Le Guin, Ursula K.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Archer, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cases, MadeleineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon. DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, Anne YvonneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paronis, MargotTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rambelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robbins, RuthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saunders, Micksecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for wizards.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553383043, 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 first book, A Wizard of Earthsea readers will witness Sparrowhawk's moving rite of passage--when he discovers his true name and becomes a young man. Great challenges await Sparrowhawk, including an almost deadly battle with a sinister creature, a monster that may be his own shadow.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:23 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the Master Wizard.

» see all 6 descriptions

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