21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Superb, timeless and mesmerising,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Earthsea Quartet (Roc) (Paperback)
This is simply some of the best fantasy writing I have ever encountered. I first read A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA when I was about ten years old. It's a marvellous and timeless story of good versus evil - the dark flipside of Harry Potter - and should be read by everyone, especially those who think children's books are the poor relations of adult fiction.
As for the complaints I've seen here from other reviewers about TEHANU, the last book in the series (though there is a fifth book now, called THE OTHER WIND, which is another must-read novel in the story of Earthsea), I have to say in Le Guin's defence that although I did think TEHANU a difficult and painful book when I was younger, as I have got older I've found it the more rewarding of the four books, and certainly the most superbly written. The prose in TEHANU and THE OTHER WIND is just ... creamy; it flows so beautifully and is thick with layered nuances and resonance and imagery so intense it makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. The characters are powerfully realised across the series of novels, staying with you forever. And the storylines are gripping - yes, often painful too, even heartrending, especially in TEHANU, but life is painful and there's little point pretending otherwise - and they take you on a journey to a world you can never forget, the world of Earthsea.
But whatever you do, don't watch the film based on A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA. It's embarrassingly bad and the plot has almost nothing to do with this series of books, oddly enough. Read the Earthsea books instead. If you have even an ounce of sensitivity to language and beautiful storytelling, you will never regret it.