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A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle,…
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A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1) (original 1968; edition 2004)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,960177334 (4.01)1 / 581
Member:aaronius
Title:A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1)
Authors:Ursula K. Le Guin
Info:Spectra (2004), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:epic fantasy, coming of age, magic, responsibility, nautical, map

Work details

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (1968)

Recently added byframberg, Vladimir_Petrov, private library, readitallww, mlomba2, LopiCake, alo1224
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English (173)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Japanese (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
After reading (and loving) The Left Hand of Darkness, I decided to give LeGuin's work in fantasy a go. While I wasn't as much of a fan this book as I was of the other, I still really enjoyed reading this book. While I was reading, I couldn't help but think about Tolkien and how his books very much read like someone was telling me a story out loud. This is how I felt when I was reading this book and it actually added to my enjoyment. While it's awesome to read fantasy that completely immerses you in the world, it was refreshing to read something that had this feeling of storytelling while still being able to paint a picture in your mind of the world that LeGuin has created.

Despite the size of the book (it's only about 200 pages long) we get to experience this whole new world, watch the main character, Ged, grow from an impulsive young boy to a humble man trying to fix the wrongs of his youth. All of this while going on an exciting adventure chock full of magic and dragons. What more could one ask for in a fantasy series?

One would think that a book this size with this much adventure crammed into it would leave no room for character development, however, LeGuin manages to attach us to Ged, not from long winded descriptions of his behavior or even long dialogue with the people he encounters, but through his actions. Everything Ged does in this book is important to his character so no superfluous details are there to distract from what we really need to know about Ged. Ged's tale of a young boy who, in his youthful arrogance, makes a regrettable mistake that he must live with for the rest of his life is one that many people know. Who hasn't made mistakes in their lives that they kind of regret when they get older.

While Ged's situation is a little more severe than what most of us would go through in our lives, we can still relate to the feeling of indestructibility that often got us into trouble. It's a growing up story, and one that many readers can relate to. By pinpointing these common emotions, LeGuin was able to write a character that, while in a whole other world and a wizard, we can see ourselves in, and that it was really makes this book work. Sure, I did want a little more from Ged's character at times, but overall, I believe that LeGuin did a good job.

A Wizard of Earthsea is a great addition to any fantasy collection, and one that fans of fantasy should definitely read. I would also recommend it to those who have been thinking about getting into the fantasy genre or even readers who are not normally into the whole magic and dragons thing. The story is engrossing, the book is short (the following books are just as short as the first) and is a great example of storytelling at its finest. ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
On a whim I decided to reread this series, which I haven't picked up in many, many years. This one is surprisingly weak. While the premise and characters are interesting, if formulaic, the reader is never given a chance to fully engage.

I do hope the rest of the series is as good as I remember. Really, I should have learned by now that when it comes to fantasy novels, you should never revisit your childhood favorites. ( )
  CherieDooryard | Jan 20, 2015 |
There’s a pure power about this story. It’s a short book, conforms to the most basic of story stereotypes and isn’t overly complicated in terms of style or structure. An ingénue with more power than wisdom makes a grave error which haunts him for much of the book and, in classic mythic style, there end up being only one way he can atone and save his own life. It’s almost a writing textbook, and perhaps as the book’s power depends on the story archetype even the central character Ged isn’t especially engaging or memorable. But where Le Guin excels is in creating a number of vividly realised societies across the world simply by sketching the right sensory details in and developing a sense of how the environment affects the people living there. Proof that the best storytellers can find new resonances in even the oldest songs. ( )
  JonArnold | Jan 19, 2015 |
It was quite a lovely bildungsroman encased in a fantasy world. I enjoyed the characters, but I felt like, often, the plot was a bit skippy and jumped a lot from one place to the other (often skipping months or years in only a few sentences), however, I also think that it worked for what Le Guin was trying to accomplish with her novel. I am not a huge fan of the fantasy genre, bu I really rather enjoyed this novel and am interested in looking at other books that Le Guin has written. ( )
  CSTaylor24 | Dec 5, 2014 |
A Wizard of Earthsea tells the tale of a young mage named Ged who was training as an apprentice wizard. It’s the first book in a series of five novels and quite a number of short stories. The story follows a fairly traditional Hero’s Journey, complete with a quest and the fight against evil.
I loved the world of Earthsea as a kid.
Read the full review here: www.ravenoak.net ( )
  kaonevar | Nov 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
The most thrilling, wise and beautiful children's novel ever, it is written in prose as taut and clean as a ship's sail. Every word is perfect, like the spells Ged has to master. It poses the deep questions about life, death, power and responsibility that children need answering.
added by melmore | editThe Guardian, Amanda Craig (Sep 24, 2003)
 

» Add other authors (54 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellison, HarlanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rambelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rambelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robbins, RuthIllustratorsecondary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:24 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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