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The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Earthsea Quartet (1990)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Earthsea Cycle (Omnibus 1-4)

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1,599234,544 (4.1)42

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
How on earth had I not read these books before? Simply wonderful fantasy from start to finish, and I don't know quite how it escaped my notice for so long. "The Tombs of Atuan" was probably my favorite, but all four tales are so different that it's difficult to judge them as a group. Lovely. ( )
2 vote JBD1 | Dec 10, 2016 |
Rating broken down:

A Wizard of Earthsea - ★★★★☆
The Tombs of Atuan - ★★★★★
The Farthest Shore - ★★★☆☆
Tehanu - ★★★★☆ ( )
  tinncan | Jan 10, 2016 |
This edition includes the first 4 books of the Earthsea cycle, as well as the map illustrations from each book.
Le Guin is a master of writing, or so to say. The first time I read "A Wizard of Earthsea" I didn't like it. Only some years later I could see why that was: Back then I read the german translation instead of reading the english original. Language is important in the world of Earthsea. If it wasn't, all the spells wouldn't work. Le Guin takes you on an adventure of the Archipelago in the first book, into the world of the Kargard Lands in the second book, to mend the world in the third and then gives you more insight about magic and Ged's healing in the fourth.
If you like magic, dragons and witty wizards whose power comes from words, then this is a book for you. The author shows how words can be magic, just as a story inspires the reader's mind and paints a picture inside. ( )
1 vote Sparrowlicious | Apr 13, 2015 |
I love this book - and it has stayed with me - I often come back to Ged's journey to himself and consider my own inner journey. A very powerful look at individuation told through fantasy. ( )
  StephBradley | Dec 11, 2014 |
My overall score is an average of my opinion on each individual book, which I will summarise:

Sadly, I found A Wizard of Earthsea a largely disappointing (2.5 stars), very stiff, dry and unexciting tale for the most part, and I must admit to feeling rather excluded given the scarcity of female characters (those that do appear do so briefly and are with just one or perhaps two exceptions nasty/evil.) The great Ged struck me as an arrogant twerp much of the time. Perhaps I'm of an age where immense wizardly power alone does not impress! I need more: I need personality, I need insight, I need (or at least appreciate) entertainment in a work of fantasy, even one aimed at a young adult readership.

I was greatly surprised at the dullness of the writing as I've read a lot of le Guin in the past and know how brilliant she can be, but this was terribly laboured apart from a period near the end where things started to flow. My reaction was so negative overall that I felt as though I couldn't be bothered to continue with the rest of the omnibus, but luckily I had a glance at other reviews and noted that people who had started with the same poor reaction felt that things improved afterwards.

As indeed they did. The Tombs of Atuan is psychologically interesting, has strong female characterisation (and a much more fascinating and likeable Ged!) and an adventure plot that is well-paced and constantly interesting. It also introduces intriguing new possibilities, making me want to keep on reading. (3.5 stars)

The Farthest Shore is probably more like the story I wish the first novel had been, although it also wanders into becalmed, uninspired waters at times. Overall, however, it advances the history and is quite enjoyable (3 stars).

The best, in my opinion, was the last: Tehanu (which I have just reread after finishing Tales From Earthsea, so I can remember how things ended before I start on The Other Wind.) Perhaps I prefer this because I'm reading it for the first time in my early 40s. It's much more adult than any of the preceding tales, and much more satisfying. The plot and the secrets contained therein are complex and well-managed: there are none of the periods of "dead air" that I experienced in some of the other books. When no great exciting, magic-y stuff is happening intricate, beautiful, moving and thoughtful observation of relationships and personal journeys kept me enthralled. Along with some of the characters (no spoilers!), I fell in love. (4.5 stars)

As a result of that wonderful finish, I sat me down and ordered Tales From Earthsea immediately, and was not disappointed. ( )
1 vote Vivl | Sep 22, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bergen, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The four books of the legendary Earthsea saga together for the first time in a single volume: A wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu. Ursula Le Guins creation, Earthsea - an ancient world of wizards, magic, darkness and light, and an ever - shifting balance of power - is an acknowledged masterpiece.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140154272, 0140348034, 0241956870

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