The Earthsea Quartet Paperback – 23 Feb 2012
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Rowling can type, but Le Guin can write (Guardian)
Composed sparely, shaped by narratives so basic they must be inscribed upon our cells, they read as if they were not written but found, dug out like jewels from rock (Village Voice)
A writer of phenomenal power (Observer)
About the Author
Ursula Le Guin was born in Berkley, California, in 1929, daughter of the writer Theodora Krober and the anthropologist Alfred Krober. Her published work includes twenty-one novels, eleven volumes of short stories, three collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation. The Earthsea books have been translated into many languages around the world and are global bestsellers.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unknown stories are still too vague to hold me so A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula le Guin is a book I've read many times before, each time for a different reason, and each time it has a different relevance.
I find it funny that the first time I came across it, in my very first week of teaching back in 1984, I dismissed it as a dull children's book (a poor Puffin cover - yes, I do judge books that way!) and put off reading it with the first years. At various points since I finally gave in a couple of years later, it's appeared in my hand again (each time with a different cover, ironically), and I've re-read it, and each time it's been the right thing to read. So when I saw a copy of the whole quartet with a nice feeling cover in a bookshop a couple of weekends ago, I knew it was time again.
The journey either to or from the shadows in our lives is one we all recognise, however fantastical the setting, and our own attitudes to readying our boat, recognising the sincerity of genuine help, and how we set our sail to face what we need to face is all enormous stuff embedded in an apparently simple archetypal tale of hubris and humility.
I've not picked up the next instalment for a couple of days; perhaps I've have hit the sand again, but since Tombs of Atuan is usually my favourite of the now 5 books in the 'trilogy', I'm expecting the tide to come back in and lift me off. I'm hopeful that at last I might have set sail in my own personal Lookfar, and shadows can be met.
Whatever the outcome, A Wizard of Earthsea is one of those books I'm grateful to, one of those books I want on the bookshelf at the end.
There is a quote on the cover of this new edition of the book; "Rowling can type, but Le Guin can write." How true it is! Undoubtedly this masterwork, first published in the late 60s, sets the precedent for all children's (and indeed a great deal of adult's) fantasy. It's written with the most gorgeous narrative, and does not come across as naïve or simplistic given that they are children's tales - The Tombs of Atuan in particular features some of the most suspenseful and atmospheric writing I have ever read in any genre.
For those wondering about the cover of this re-vamped edition, it's the size of a standard novel - having originally read the quartet as ebooks I was surprised by how compact the collection is. It's regular matte finish and is as pictured. Unfortunately, despite being a new print of a classic collection, they did not slot "The Other Wind" in as well despite it being the most recent addition to the series and, in my opinion, one of the best. "Tales from Earthsea", the collection of short stories also remains a separate volume, sadly.
None of these books should be approached as "kid's books", they are absolutely wonderful tales for any age, masterfully written with rich characters who do not conform to any pre-set ideals of heroes and villains or of power and magic. A gorgeous collection which must be owned!
"Ursula K. Le Guin's New Book
Releasing on February 23, 2012
The Earthsea Quartet"
I thought, 'I'm sure that title's not new', clicked on the link, and found that indeed it was a dearly beloved favourite. I was somewhat disappointed that there wasn't a new book, but thanks in part to Amazon, as the facilitator, I do have plenty still to read!
'The Earthsea Quartet' is really an original trilogy from the early 1970s with a sequel, 'Tehanu', published in 1990. The Puffin, New Edition that I have was, under the same title of 'The Earthsea Quartet: "A Wizard Of Earthsea"; "The Tombs of Atuan"; "The Farthest Shore"; "Tehanu" (Puffin Books)' published in June 1993, and if you haven't read it already, I would truly recommend it to you. It is beautifully written and will take you on some wonderful journeys in the course of the four stories. I won't give away any of the plot, that is part of the joy of discovery.
One of my favourite authors, Ursula Le Guin has written novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, most notably in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. First published in the 1960s, her works explore Taoist, anarchist, ethnographic, feminist, psychological and sociological themes, Ms Le Guin has received many prestigious literary awards down the years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful, dense, rich and totally engrossing. Beautiful cover too, worth every penny.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
After reading the glowing reviews, I was slightly disappointed by this. A little formulaic at times (spend 80% of the story travelling by sea towards a destination for a final... Read morePublished 7 months ago by David Button
beautifully written - remember reading it when I was younger, and reading it to my daughter (9) now and its still magic. Read morePublished 15 months ago by alasdair Pentland
I first read Wizard of Earthsea as a child and its impact on me was profound, unfolding in new insights into how the world might work as I grew up. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Hiatus
And just coudelnt put the book Down. I love the story and its so well written. One of the best books Iv ever read.Published on 28 April 2014 by Helene
I am fun of fantasy novels and I have enjoyed The Earthsea Quartet immensely. Wizards, dragons, and dark forces ... Read morePublished on 3 Nov. 2013 by Ana Stanic