Tales from Earthsea: The Fifth Book of Earthsea: Short Stories Hardcover – 1 Oct 2002
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"Le Guin is like Tolkien in the depth and breadth of her imagination¿and here for all those who have admired her epic storytelling, comes five new tales, where, Le Guin writes in the forward, a mere glimpse at the place told me that things had been happening while I wasn't looking...Throughout the book there is a continued sense of the substantiality of her imagination." (Nicci Gerrard The Observer, 27 Oct 02)
"Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea tales are always a delight and her latest collection - an essay and five stories - is no exception. These thought-provoking tales¿take some telling swipes at the 'commodified fantasy' that dominates the market these days...Unlike some of the genre's former 'greats', Le Guin continues to improve with age." (Starburst)
"¿as immersive and well written as anything LeGuin has done" (SFX)
"¿the five stories here provide a varied and enjoyable introduction to the newcomer, s much as the seasoned traveller¿And in the end it's [LeGuin's] more gentle and thoughtful approach which sets the series apart from much of the fantasy mush that followed in Tolkien's wake." (Edge)
"¿vivid and finely crafted additions to the saga, all written in Le Guin's familiar beautiful prose and bound to enthrall Earthsea fans of all ages." (Good Book Guide, 1 Dec 02)
"¿a collection of stories that takes the reader back into the history of Earthsea, LeGuin's remarkable archipelago where dragons and humans are equally believeable." Erica Wagner (The Times, 7 Dec 02)
"Earthsea fans will not be disappointed with these five enchanted tales which have been yet again magically woven by the mistress of fantasy." (School Librarian, Summer 03)
The highly acclaimed first collection of Earthsea short storiesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The first story, "The Finder", is the longest, actually a novella, and for my money the best of the set. Here we find ourselves far back in the history of Earthsea, when wizard fought wizard as a matter of course, when magical knowledge was jealously guarded, when the average non-magical person lived in fear of what magic would visit them next. Otter, a half-trained wizard with a powerful skill for 'finding' whatever he looks for, falls on the receiving end of the worst of this mis-use of magic, forced to try and find mercury, the King of all materials, for a half-crazed older wizard. How he escapes from this imprisonment, and his search for a place where magic is taught freely, forms the bulk of this story, ending with his founding of the School of Wizards on Roke. In this story we find the same evocation of the magical, of balance between man and nature, of ambition tempered by internal morality, that so graced the original trilogy.
The second story, "Darkness and Diamond", has appeared elsewhere previously, but it deserves a second reading, being a beautifully told love story of a boy with conflicted desires between his wizardly talent and its concomitant requirement of chastity, and his love of music and a girl who shares his passions. A fine portrait of what is important in the business of living.Read more ›
It's interesting that Le Guin is clearly asserting a much stronger feminist slant in this book than in her previous Earthsea books, which strongly sets her books apart from many others in this genre.
My only complaint is that the book is not longer (at 296 pages?!) , as I read it at one sitting, and most of the stories could well have formed the basis of separate books in their own right.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed the Earthsea trilogy (which should definitely be read before this book).
I eagerly await her next book.
I really enjoyed these stories. As with so much of Ursula Le Guin's writings, they are enjoyable and yet compelling. In particular, though, I am sorry that I read this book after The Other Wind. The last two stories are actually referenced in that book, and it would have been nice to read them before that book. Therefore, let me recommend this book to you, and furthermore recommend that you read it *before* The Other Wind.
My fears proved unfounded, and reading Tales of Eathsea was one long delight. Although the feminist tones are unmistakable, the female focus is never at the expense of the story. The world of Earthsea is as vivid as ever, or perhaps even more so, the language is beautiful, and the stories hold many surprises yet remain faithful to the world of the original trilogy. Magic is alive and well, the great house at Roke still stands, and learning of how it was founded makes me confident that it will take more than a few female students or broken celibacies to bring it down. I think short stories are perhaps the ideal medium for ULG: Her beautiful, economic prose crafts a unique gem out of each tale, and leaves the reader wishing for more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book, having read the first four books in my early teens, it was great to revisit Earthsea again. Read morePublished 7 months ago by green15004
This book of shorts stories contains all the magic and charm of her earlier works written in that unique melodic style which characterizes Earthsea. A must read for any fan.Published on 12 July 2013 by Inkslinger
One of the best works that fantasy can give
The writing skills of Ursula le guin are unique I advice the book
Frankly I was a little surpsised at the reaction the book seems to be getting. The main thing that drew me to the earthsea stories was the impalpable sense of magic that appeared... Read morePublished on 14 Sept. 2003 by Padraig Tobin
Well 5 actually. it probably won't make all that much sense to anyone if they haven't read the Earthsea Quartet first... Read morePublished on 8 Jun. 2003 by Luke D. Billings
When Ursula le Guin created the fantasy world of Earthsea, many years ago, it was the setting for three tightly knit and cohesive stories featuring the wizard Ged. Read morePublished on 10 Mar. 2003 by Rotgut