A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #1)
Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk 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.
Popular Answered Questions
For what its worth, below is the Guardian's and Le Guin's take on Harry Potter
Q: Nicholas Lezard has written 'Rowling can type, but Le Guin can write.' What do you make of this comment in the light of the phenomenal success of the Potter books? I'd like to hear your opinion of JK Rowling's writing style
UKL: I have no great opinion of it. When so many adult critics were carrying on about the "incredible originality" of the first Harry Potter book, I read it to find out what the fuss was about, and remained somewhat puzzled; it seemed a lively kid's fantasy crossed with a "school novel", good fare for its age group, but stylistically ordinary, imaginatively derivative, and ethically rather mean-spirited.(less)
"It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul."
This seemingly simple statement actually says a lot about the human nature - just as all the Ursula Le Guin's books that I've read so far seem to do.
A Wizard of Earthsea is a simple but beautiful and magical coming-of-age story of a young wizard Ged, who starts out as a brash and cocky boy who in his arrogance unwittingly releases a terrible Shadow upon the world, but who eventually grows up and succeeds in embracing the dar...more
Because clearly, CLEARLY this is a fantastic book that deserved to be finished. Ursula K Le Guin is a phenomenal writer and whilst this book (up to what I read) wasn't absolutely perfect, it was enchanting. It was different, it was QUALITY.
Yet I didn't finish it because, thanks to the aforementioned reading habits, my ability to concentrate and enjoy quality literature has slip...more
* To know a thing's true name is to know its nature.
* Don't fuck with dragons (unless you know their true names).
* Summoning the spirits of the dead is a bad idea, especially on a schoolboy dare.
* Truly changing your form is dangerous, because you can become lost in the aspect you assume.
* If you find yourself hunted, turn it around and become the hunter.
* Above all else, know yourself.
I don't know how I acquired this particular copy of A Wizard of...more
There are an infinitude of ways to reflect upon, analyze and understand our life experiences. But LeGuin provides a framework that is just right for me. Her telling o...more
Though she isn't the first to explore the Bildungsroman-as-Fantasy (Mervyn Peake precedes her), he was an author who eschewed sym...more
The nudging began in class with a LeGuin short story. I remember sterile white homes that were pre-fab pods, I remember odd, sci-fi-ish flora and a girl as the protagonist. I also r...more
Earthsea is, on its face, a fantasy saga along the lines of Tolkien or Rowling....more
I can tell that's what UKLG was going for with t...more
How come Harry Potter is the publishing sensation of the century, and this is only a moderately popular cult novel? Life seems unfair sometimes, but I suppose that in a few hundred years it will all have sorted itself out. The ending is one of the best I know in any book.
Nowadays any fantasy book that feature a school of wizardry can not help but bring up Harry Potter comparisons (I can't help it any way)....more
Frankly, I only enjoyed the very beginning and the very end of this story. What's in between is excruciatingly boring. A Wizard of Earthsea is an introspective book. What I mean is, it's all about one wizard's personal quest to overcome the dark entity - Shadow - that he unleashed during a youthful boasting about his magical power...more
Sadly though, the same technicalities that made this book special also made it frustrating. Alliteration and rhythm are what this is all about to the point where even the story takes a background. The level of detail and character development is strong early-on before a...more
Loš: Wizard of Earthsea!
Pa: How about you, Të, which did you like better? Hobbit or A Wizard of Earthsea?
Të: Wizard of Earthsea. But I really did love them both.
They're seven going on eight (for those of you who don't know or aren't sick of hearing it), and I read them Tolkien and Le Guin back to back. I read the former with deliberate performance and emotion. I read the latter in a monotous, almost plodding voice. I thi...more
Le Guin's writing is beautiful -- lyrical and powerful. I love how she makes all of her words count. They are all necessary, there's no fluff or redundancy -- it's simple, natural, alive, and vivid. Her understanding of different people and cultures (her father was an anthropologist and her mother was a psychologist) enhances her ability to create imaginative, creative, and believable characters and worlds. When you step into Earthsea, you feel like you're...more
Two weeks ago it was a beautiful warm afternoon, so I decided to walk to the library to return my latest read. I figured I should bring some cash in case I wanted to buy a drink or take the bus home afterward. I couldn’t find cash in my purse, so I filled my pocket with quarters and set off with just the addition of my library card. After the tiring walk, I figured I should sit and rest, and may...more
after having written this review - or at least, the review I will eventually write.
Two of my favourite GR people have decided to slum together in purgatory for their lukewarm readings of A Wizard of Earthsea. You can find Kat's review here, and Tatiana's review here. They're even considering downgrading their intellectua...more
There's wonderful, memorable characters, especially Vetch and his sister Yarrow. Ged is believable in his arrogance...more
Although I found some of the magickal elements to be interesting the overall plot fell flat. I was very nearly bored to tears after the first few pages but pushed on in hopes that the story would live up to all the hype that it has garnished since it’s made-for-TV debut. I finished the last page feeling the same as I had after the first. What was the point?
I suppose that I und...more
The prose aside, the story itself is original for its time. Many newer tales now also involve the journey of some boy as he rises to power, and how he eventually discovers his rightful place in the world.
The difference between most of T...more
He is not named Harry.
Published in 1968, A Wizard of Earthsea, the first in the Earthsea series by Ursula Le Guin, introduces initiates to the world of sorcery, wizardry and magery (you may insert originality somewhere, if you feel strongly about it). Starring Sparrowhawk,...more
It employs the commonplace scenario of a coming of age story, of magical schools and of a powerful hero but delivers a resolution unlike any major names and titles in the fantasy genre, perhaps this is Le Guin's riveting...more
There are some unsatisfying things about it, mostly because I just want more (some of which later books of the series provide). I want to know what happens to Jasper: he's the instigator, e...more