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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
13,967334332 (3.98)1 / 781
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.… (more)
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    The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1) by Patrick Rothfuss (Konran, Jannes)
    Jannes: Rothfuss draws inspiration from many sources, but to me no influence is so evident as that from the Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin.
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    ed.pendragon: The protagonist who starts from humble beginnings to become a powerful mage may be a cliche, but in both these series beginnings there is a carefully thought-out alterative world with sympathetic characters.
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    aulsmith: Two different schools of magic
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    andomck: Magic systems based on language . One is the secret names of things, the other is secrets itself.
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1960s (90)

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» See also 781 mentions

English (327)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Japanese (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (334)
Showing 1-5 of 327 (next | show all)
Exquisite prose, Le Guin remains one of the masters of the genre. I read this as a young teenager and was forever looking for writers of her calibre. No plot spoilers, do yourself a favor, if you've never read any of Ursula K. Le Guin, start with this book. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
Really good. The writing style isn't always the most engaging, but that's pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of the story being told. ( )
  Theriq | Apr 20, 2022 |
An interesting story ( )
  Bookslesstravelled | Apr 15, 2022 |
Le Guin, Ursula K. A Wizard of Earthsea. 1968. Afterword by Ursula K. Le Guin. Earthsea Cycle No. 1. HarperCollins, 2012.
A Wizard of Earthsea is classic fantasy. Initially conceived and marketed as a children’s book, it soon found that it played just as well to an adult readership. It tells the story of how a young boy with some innate magical abilities learns to become a powerful wizard. He has plenty of flaws and must learn more than about spellcasting to succeed. It is an adventure story set in an archipelago. Le Guin tells us in her 2012 afterword that she had fewer models and less competition in constructing a fantasy narrative than came to be the case later. She had Tolkien and the Arthurian legends and was inspired to wonder what Gandalf and Merlin were like as youngsters and what it took for them to learn what it took to become wizards. What our young wizard learns is that what he thought was power was not actually power and that his capacity for harm was larger than he knew. To defeat the evil shadow he has conjured, he must face it and own it as his. 5 stars. ( )
  Tom-e | Mar 4, 2022 |
A Wizard of Earthsea is one of the most important fantasy novels in the genre, right up there with Tolkien. Reading this book, finally, for the first time, I see how other novels have stood on its shoulders (most notably the Kingkiller Chronicles), and I am glad this book exists.

That being said, it is not a book for me; possibly, Ursula K. Le Guin is not an author for me. It reads like it was written by an anthropologist (in fact, I was certain she must be until I looked it up just now), which was fine during The Left Hand of Darkness, but dry and wearing during a fantasy adventure.

As with many books I'm just getting around to, I think to myself, "If only 10, 15, 20 years ago someone handed me this book." ( )
  Azuaron | Mar 1, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 327 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (40 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
Inglis, RobNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, DavidIntroductionsecondary 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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Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.    
—The Creation of Éa
To my brothers
Clifton, Ted, Karl
First words
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.
It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.
The wise man is one who never sets himself apart from other living things, whether they have speech or not, and in later years he strove long to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (6)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Το νησί Γκοντ, ένα μοναχικό βουνό που η κορυφή του υψώνεται ένα μίλη πάνω από τη φουρτουνιασμένη Βορειοανατολική Θάλασσα, είναι ένας τόπος φημισμένος για τους μάγους του. Από τις πόλεις στα οροπέδιά του κι από τα λιμάνια στους σκοτεινούς, στενούς του κόλπους, πολλοί Γκοντιανοί έφυγαν για να υπηρετήσουν τους Άρχοντες του Αρχιπελάγους, στις πόλεις τους σαν μάγοι ή μάγιστροι, ή για ν' αναζητήσουν την περιπέτεια σαν περιπλανώμενοι γητευτές από νησί σε νησί σε όλη τη Γαιοθάλασσα.
Από αυτούς λέγεται ότι ο μεγαλύτερος, σίγουρα ο πιο πολυταξιδεμένος, ήταν ο άντρας που τον έλεγαν Κίρκο, που στις μέρες του έγινε και Άρχοντας των Δράκων και Αρχιμάγιστρος. Τη ζωή του αφηγούνται τα "Κατορθώματα του Γκεντ" και πολλά τραγούδια, αλλά τούτη εδώ δεν είναι μια ιστορία για την εποχή που δεν είχε γίνει ακόμα διάσημος, πριν γραφτούν τα τραγούδια.
Haiku summary
Sparrowhawk or Ged
A nameless shadow follows
Waiting for a name

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