A Wizard of Earthsea Paperback – 28 Nov 1991
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Often compared to Tolkien's Middle-Earth or Lewis's Narnia, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea is a stunning fantasy world that grabs quickly at our hearts, pulling us deeply into its imaginary realms. Four books (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore and Tehanu) tell the whole Earthsea cycle--a tale about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard's apprentice after the wizard reveals Sparrowhawk's true name. The boy comes to realize that his fate may be far more important than he ever dreamed possible. Le Guin challenges her readers to think about the power of language, how in the act of naming the world around us we actually create that world. Teens, especially, will be inspired by the way Le Guin allows her characters to evolve and grow into their own powers.
In this first book, A Wizard of Earthsea readers will witness Sparrowhawk's moving rite of passage--when he discovers his true name and becomes a young man. Great challenges await Sparrowhawk, including an almost deadly battle with a sinister creature, a monster that may be his own shadow. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The magic of Earthsea is primal; the lessons of Earthsea remain as potent, as wise, and as necessary as anyone could dream." Neil Gaiman, author of "The Sandman
""New and longtime Earthsea fans will be drawn to these impressive new editions." "Horn Book"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in a world far more detailed and fully realised than Philip Pullman's or JK Rowling's, this is a powerful tale of a child - Ged - growing up to be a wizard and having to meet the consequences of a single catastrophic failure in adolescence.
The scope is enormous. It wakes feelings of majesty, power, compassion, fear, terror, joy, frustration and freedom. Dragons' lair, the sea, countless islands, twisting streets, tiny villages, the weather and the world of the dead are some of the settings.
The story, the imagination and the author's voice never falter. This is in many respects a perfect work - the same thing that Tolkien achieved in the Hobbit but failed to achieve in the Lord of the Rings, and Lewis achieved with the first six Narnia books but failed in the Last Battle.
A must read - even if you don't like fantasy.
Being such an old story, I did not expect to enjoy this story too much. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the story was entertaining and quite absorbing. I was fascinated to see what the nature of the shadow was, and what Ged needed to do to overcome it. I have not read any of Ursula Le Guin’s books before, but I intend to now. I recommend this book to any fantasy reader.
The story essentially develops from a horrific blunder that Ged makes through his own arrogance and pride, and his subsequent travels and trials are his attempt to atone for the wrong he has done. Le Guin is an incredibly talented writer and her descriptions of the places in the book enable you to visualise them perfectly. She also conjurs up a very real feeling of evil in the dark forces that Ged must deal with in order to heal himself. There are enough dragons and magic to keep me happy too! I love her idea that magic is not something to be used whenever you fancy, that a balance must be maintained and again this is something Ged must learn to become fully mature.
Comparisons with Tolkien are erroneous. Le Guin can stand on her own and is incomparable.
This is not just a book for kids - I suggest you read this and every other book Le Guin has ever written!
I enjoyed this novel as an adult; I doubt I would have as a child. Ursula Le Guin's style is beautiful but quite old-fashioned and sophisticated for children. The author herself said it was not meant to be specifially for children or any genre; personally I feel it would suit adult readers who like Pullman or Potter.
It is not entirely original. The dark force that follows Ged that he has a mission to destroy reminded me very much of Lord of the Rings. But the book contains some amazing passages that filled with awe for the power of the imagination - the scene where Ged first sets the dark spirit free into his world is awesome. These passages elevate this novel to the level of a childrens' classic.
Into this world the young rustic boy Ged is born with exceptional powers which after their initial wonder and excitement prove more of a burden to him and serve instead to separate him from his family and people. LeGuin writes an intriguing tale of the loneliness of power and the terrible consequences of our actions, even if it is unintentional or well-meaning.
LeGuin demonstrates clearly that she is one of the few writers who appreciates that power even of the magical kind has its own rules and limitations which may set us on a path which taxes us to our limits and may deprive of us of life's simpler pleasures and the gift of peace of mind. And so Ged discovers that simple pranks when dabbling in magic have fateful consequences which pursue him to the ends of his world and that a wizard is not the master of his world but very much its servant with his hands not only full but tied.
Why and how is explained carefully and ingeniously through the course of the three novels, teaching us why magicians deserve our respect and our pity.
But LeGuin can be merciful and Ged's lonely life finds unexpected peace and comfort in the concluding novel Tehanu.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Its quite a short and simple book, almost a child's book, but its a good premise, well writtenPublished 3 months ago by Mrs. Nicola Fusco
The driving force of 'Wizard' is that the young Ged is too fiercely proud of his undeniably great magical power; his could be said to be an imbalance on the side of too much light. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sue Bridgwater
One of the greats and this hardback lends it gravitas, making me enter even more keenly into the Earthsea worldPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Arrived just as promised - excellent. Not as gripped by the story as I'd expected but that says more about me than the book.Published 7 months ago by dqm
I couldn't get into this book; in honesty, I've only read the first few chapters so can't comment as to whether it gets better. Read morePublished 7 months ago by JMP
Very misleading. This is only the first book in the trilogy. It doesn't include the tombs of atun or the other novel.Published 10 months ago by Nicole Rowley