The Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle #1-4)
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I was so looking forward to this being a fabulous book, but the archaic wording sometimes annoyed me. Book One still showed a lot of promise, but half way Book Two i just got bored.
I figured life is too short to read books that bore both pants ànd shirts off you.
As for reading the first three books again over thirty years after my first outing to Earthsea, the experience was quite simply better than I’d imagined. I was both entranced and delighted by the books, not only by the clarity and drive of Le Guin’s narrative but also by the richness and depth of her always economic prose. I love The Lord of the Rings for its wealth and genius as an epic narrative, however ...more
The Wizard of Earthsea: First of all the pace of this book is so refreshing. In the first chapter it establishes a young boy who has a hint of a gift, suddenly he defends his village and is wished away to apprentice with a wizard. One chapter. So great. The world created is so full, and the lore is beautiful; magic is in the understanding of the true names - magnificent.
The Tombs of Atuan: a hu ...more
#1 'A Wizard of Earthsea'
Ursula Le Guin immerses us into a world full of magic, dragons, and unknown dark powers, an Archipelago of islands. I was thoroughly enchanted by the story of Ged growing up, and his mission to correct his wrongs and restore the balance.
Ged has humble beginnings in a village on the island of Gon ...more
It was the first real fantasy book I'd ever read, with the exception of fairy tales. It did for me what Harry Potter must have done for many children some decades later. Afterwards, I went through every fantasy and sci ...more
A teacher forced the first book on me when I was about 11 and, at the time, I hated it. I think a fair few parts of it creeped me out and I stopped reading it way before the end. I was probably 17 or 18 when I picked it up again and I’ve re-read the original trilogy on a yearly basis, each summer, ever since because for me they’re the template of how to write intelligent, thought-provoking fantasy. LeGuin’s world is fully realized and wholly recognisable ...more
Read some time ago. Meh. Improved my appreciation for J.K. Rowling.
* The Tombs of Atuan
Wonderful, the best of the quartet. Unfortunately it's a single gem. I wish it was the last one. The characters are very well portrayed, the conflicts, internal and external just make sense. The storytelling feels effortless. The one book I recommend. And it can be read independently, it's mostly context free.
* The Farthest Shore
Nice wrapping up of the story but it just wasn't enough. On ...more
Le Guin is a master of writing, or so to say. The first time I read "A Wizard of Earthsea" I didn't like it. Only some years later I could see why that was: Back then I read the german translation instead of reading the english original. Language is important in the world of Earthsea. If it wasn't, all the spells wouldn't work. Le Guin takes you on an adventure of the Archipelago in th ...more
I really enjoyed the first book, A Wizard Of Earthsea, and would class it as a five star book. However it was the only one I really enjoyed. The other three books felt very minor and somehow insignificant compared to it. The story, characters and especially the world were so vivid and well done in the first that the other three couldn't live up to this. This was a shame as I wanted something more from them and didn't get it.
This w ...more
A wizard of Earthsea - I think this is my favourite out of the trilogy (the first 3 books) I liked how Ged was a flawed hero and how he needed to learn the ways of magic, and humility, in the hard way. I wish that Vetch came back in the other books though - I liked him. I also like how the events in the first book are referenced through the second and third.
Tombs of Atuan - probably my second favourite. It's a change from the Ged-focused story, with it shifting to Tena ...more
I read the first of these novels in High school, back in the 1980's and all that I could remember, this time around was that it was about a guy called Sparrowhawk and that, back then, I absolutely loved it. I had no idea that there were five more! Now having read the whole quartet I have to say that my memory serves me well. Three of the four are excellent, well crafted stories, at times lyrical, beautifully, poetically descriptive and yet, at other times leaving details unsaid; written with an ...more
Going into the books I was already aquainted with the character Sparrowhawk and really enjoyed reading the progression of his personality through them. I think my favorite of the four was 'The Farthest Shore'. In that one you really get to see Sparrowhawk as a person and a mage. It's s ...more
Individually, I would have given A Wizard of Earthsea 3/5 , The Tombs of Atuan 4/5, The Farthest Shore 4/5 and Tehanu 2/5. I was in two minds whether to continue reading after finishing the first of the four, since I felt that what was ultimately a good story in a well-establ ...more
Since it is a quartet, one should mention that the whole Earthsea world and particular stories consisting this book was a very bright fantasy conception from the author, as the background created was unique and well-detailed (as regards the maps and the use of more that simply 1 or 2 isles in the stories). I really enjoyed the fact that Ged travelled almost all around the Earthsea map, unveiling the differences and the marvels of every land :)
I r ...more
The Tombs of Atuan - Finished 16th January 2010 (5*)
The Farthest Shore - Finished 5th February 2010 (5*)
Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea - Finished 24th February 2010 (4*)
Ah, Ursula! A well-praised author indeed; but one whose works seem not to my fancy, alas. For although the Earthsea Quartet is not without its merits—not least of which includes the author’s propensity for phantasmagoria—it is nevertheless a sore disappointment. Why? Well, read on...
The Quartet in Short
First off, let’s be clear with what exactly the Earthsea Quartet really is. You may be able to guess that it is, in fact, a Quartet; but to elucidate further: it is a collection of four short nove
What Le Guin achieves i ...more