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Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #5)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,692 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
"The Finder," a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, presents a dark and troubled Archipelago and shows how some of its customs and institutions came to be. "The Bones of the Earth" features the wizards who taught the wizard who first taught Ged and demonstrates how humility, if great enough, can contend with an earthquake. "Darkrose and Diamond" is ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 4th 2001 by Hmh Books for Young Readers (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa
Jul 17, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this as a gift, from a friend who knew I'd read the Earthsea books (the first four) more than once.

These tales are based on the world of Earthsea, and the author reports that they are best read 'after' reading the first four novels of the Earthsea collection. I would concur, as it adds the necessary depth and context for entering the world of these tales.

The first 'tale' in this book is called "The Finder"... and I found myself quietly weeping near the end of it. Stunning, to be moved so.
...more
Inés Izal
Jun 04, 2016 Inés Izal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
-3.5-
Laila
Jan 02, 2016 Laila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, fantasy
Muhtesemdi! Serinin onceki kurgulariyla paralel hikayelerden olusuyordu. Ne ara sonuna geldin anlamadim. Ozellikle "Iriali"...

Bu serinin her kitabindan ayri bir keyif aldim. Her ne kadar Ged'in kendine has oykusunu cok ozlemis olsam da yeni karakterlerle tanismak guzeldi.

Nasil bir hayal dunyasidir Le Guin'inki bilmiyorum... Ama cok derin oldugu hissettigim tek sey.

Satir aralarinda dusunduren cumleler vardi. Dikkatimi cekenlerden bazilari sunlar:

"Eğer kendimizden başka herkes köle olacaksa, b
...more
Nikki
Jul 03, 2016 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read nothing else from this collection, you should grab this to read ‘Dragonfly’. The other stories fill in bits and pieces of the background, or use the world to tell a new story that is small in scope compared to Ged’s. ‘Dragonfly’, on the other hand, is necessary (to my mind) to really understanding The Other Wind, and should definitely be read first. It introduces a character who becomes important, and events which are referred to throughout the novel.

As for the writing of the stories
...more
Kristen
Oct 05, 2008 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
These stories were not nearly as compelling as the first four Earthsea books, either in the plot or the writing. Also, several stories seem overly concerned with demonstrating that women have more importance in Earthsea than the fist three books indicate, especially the last story, "Dragonfly." This story and the first one, "The Finder," read as though the author is trying to re-write women into the Earthsea stories as an afterthought. I didn't mind their near absence in the first three books, s ...more
Tatiana
Aug 17, 2009 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
UKL is one of my favorite authors of all time, one of two authors (along with Tolkien) whose fantasy I love because it feels real to me down to the deepest level. This book is five stories set in the same world as her Earthsea novels. All five are just jewels. They flesh out that universe a bit more, in quite interesting ways, and all are delightful in their own right, as well. One is from the time that Ged is Archmage. Another is from after his time. One is from long ago, telling something of h ...more
Kyle
Jan 09, 2013 Kyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Earthsea experience was a long time ago--it's been at least 10 years since I read any of them. Back then, I plowed through the original trilogy and was sort of surprised by Tehanu, which I found kind of slow. I told myself, "Newer Le Guin just isn't my thing."

But it turns out that I was wrong, not Le Guin; clearly I just needed to grow up a bit. These 5 stories showed me that sometimes thoughtful, strong, tree-like characters are more interesting than ACTION-PACKED ACTION. They're beautiful a
...more
Derek
Overall Rating: 3.5*

It's cool how Ursula tried to show some cohesion between all the stories and the different events and histories that preceded them. The effort is very laudable, but the results weren't all that. I mean, yes, in regards to giving us a broader feel of Earthsea, she did a remarkable job, but as for reeling us in, getting us to feel for the characters, capture empathy and all that, it wasn't really working. Most of these stories were disjointed, or I never really got into them un
...more
Sarah Joy
Oct 23, 2009 Sarah Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
On the whole, a pretty interesting collection of stories. I'm still uneasy about the fact that LeGuin felt the need to go back and change Earthsea, make it more "politically correct"- but, if you can get over that, her writing is still quite good. "The Bones of the Earth" was probably my favorite story of five, brief and heart-wrenching. "The Finder" dragged on for a bit too long, I felt; "Darkrose and Diamond" had a bitter ending, not what I was expecting at all. All along, I cherished a foolis ...more
M.J. Johnson
Apr 12, 2015 M.J. Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ursula Le Guin is a very good writer and the 'Earthsea' series of books are worthwhile reading. I'm not a natural target when it comes to fantasy/sci-fi but I do appreciate and greatly admire the quality of Le Guin's writing. These short stories which are set at various times throughout the history of her invented world often relate to an event sometimes only touched on in the other books. We also meet some of the characters from the five main books in these tales. It also includes the story 'Dr ...more
R.Scot Johns
Jun 01, 2012 R.Scot Johns rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
The more I read Le Guin the less I like her writing. She has no sense of pacing or plotting whatsoever, leaving the single "event" of each book or story until the last few pages, reached only after a slow and tedious preamble in which the characters sit around doing nothing (as if that's a plot point or an action of its own), and somehow we're supposed to identify with them in their non-quest for nothing. Some of her characters show promise, but we never see it come to true fruition.

I appreciate
...more
Sandra Visser
While some of these stories were beautiful little gems in themselves, especially Dragonfly, On the High Marsh and The Bones of the Earth, some of Le Guin’s earlier ease in creating magic effortlessly is lost. While some of her lyrical imagery and simple way with words remain, the effort of going back to enlighten us about the past by inserting women into the founding of Roke and women’s role in magic feels forced and mechanical, a conscious effort to right perceived wrongs in the earlier novels. ...more
Sparrowlicious
Since I'm one of those people who have the luxury of reading these books one after another in a short period of time (as in, the first book of this cycle is older than me! There are no years in between reading them.) I enjoy how Le Guin builds her world more and more through the stories in this book. I enjoyed the story about the founding of Roke, the run-away wizard - Diamond, Ogion's past and how his master found his end when they stilled the earthquake, the episode about Sparrowhak's past as ...more
Vilijus
Mar 24, 2015 Vilijus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again, 5 stars. The more I read of Earthsea, the more fond of it I become; it's already up to the point where while reading stories from Tales from Earthsea my heart was warming with each sentence. Le Guin certainly has her brilliant, base-knowledge kind of way of telling stories. Although two of these stories might qualify as short novels, this was one of the best short story-oriented books that I've read in my life. Loved every bit of it. The Description of Earthsea is an interesting idea, des ...more
Alexandra
The joy of being able to read a new (for me) Ursula le Guin is hard to describe. It's like reading a new Tolkien...

Although this is a set of short stories (and maybe a novella?), it's described as the fifth book of the Earthsea set. This is certainly appropriate; the first four stories give more context for Earthsea as a whole, and the last story - which I think I'd read before? - is definitely a bridge between Tehanu and The Other Wind. And I loved it.

"The Finder" deals with the setting up of t
...more
Casey
Tales from Earthsea is one novella, four short stories, and a background section on the world of Earthsea. Considering I have read all the Earthsea books right after one another, I think this installment is very consistent with the writing style and themes that are in the previous books.

The depth and breadth of worldbuilding is wonderful. It's all done with great subtlety, which I really commend. This collection gives more information about many of the people and events that have been alluded to
...more
Vicky
Jul 20, 2014 Vicky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some of this was ok other parts were torture to read so boring I found myself skimming. I had already bought this whole series or there is no way I would finish reading it but just one more to go.
Peter Heisler
This collection of tales was enjoyable to read. The writing is simple and elegant, giving the work an air of storytelling in the oral tradition. The plots and themes become a bit repetitive, though: a young person with magical powers is discovered, develops his or her abilities, and then finds that true strength lies in home, the natural world, and basic human goodness. The universe itself is quite interesting, and the magic marvelous and creative. What I found most interesting was just how much ...more
Jesse Lehrer
Jan 24, 2014 Jesse Lehrer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing style for this series works really well in short story form. It was great to read about events that led to where Earthsea is in the present of the series, development on certain aspects of history and the world and cultures, etc.

I saw several reviews critiquing the focus on women and claiming that Leguin just threw women into the history just cuz she wanted to make a point and that it doesn't fit the series and all I have to say is....are you actually that sexist or insane that you
...more
Robert
This followed Tehanu after another long break and so I've only read it twice and don't have the same relationship to it as I do with the older Earthsea books.

Somehow this book is more than the sum of its parts; the individual stories are good but not excellent. The essay on Earthsea is interesting but because it is a set of working notes instead of a story it lacks lustre. Yet at the end of the book I felt that I knew Earthsea much better than at the start. It is a place of magic and epic advent
...more
Cyndy Aleo
Technically, Tales from Earthsea was the fifth book written as part of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea Cycle, but it doesn't follow the story that began with A Wizard of Earthsea chronologically. It does, however, provide some fascinating background information and "history" for the world of Earthsea.

::: Tales? :::

Tales from Earthsea contains several different tales: a novella, four short stories, and a "history" of the world of Earthsea. The novella is called The Finder, and tells the story of Otter/T
...more
Davis
Aug 13, 2012 Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fifth book in Le Guin's Earthsea series is a collection of short stories instead of a novel. This change provides a different lens to see her world in, and is very welcome. However, this book starts off a bit more darker and mature, something that was started at the end of "Tehanu." While not detrimental, the series does feel a bit more adult, and some may dislike that shift. This is most likely because 30 real-time years have passed since Le Guin started the series. The five stories are org ...more
L.
Sep 05, 2012 L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her foreword, Urusula K. Le Guin pokes fun at herself for subtitling Tehanu "The Last Book of Earthsea." She has revealed in interiews elsewhere that she meant this to stave off thoughts of another series involving Ged and in her foreward explains that on finishing Tehanu, she felt she'd reached the "present" of Earthsea. There was no more to tell.
For fans of her work, it was a happy error. this collection of longish short stories delves into the corners of Earthsea's history. We have learned
...more
Simon
It's been a few years since I read anything by Ursula Le Guin, especially the Earthsea trilogy (never got around to reading Tehanu) so I approached this book with mixed feelings. But I shouldn't have worried, Ursula proved once again she can write great stories.

This set of tales, as well as all being set in Earthsea, also share the theme of magic. All the stories concentrate on characters who are (or are about to become) wizards or witches. Additionally there are feminist concerns here as we see
...more
Benjamin
I should state up front that I love Le Guin as an author and as a person (whom I've never met). She's a clear and honest thinker, and she's always been a model in her struggles with her fiction as experiments in politics and social morality. For instance, although The Left Hand of Darkness is a gigantic triumph in terms of rethinking gender, it has a few holes which she is very honest about in her later essays.

Which is why it's so interesting to see her revisit her straight-up fantasy world of E
...more
Nikki
Tales from Earthsea is a collection of short stories, rather than one whole new novel. It adds quite a lot to the world of Earthsea, consequently -- more breadth, certainly, and some more depth. I preferred it over Tehanu: it seemed as if it fit better until the world we already know. Only one story features Ged, and only one of them is set after Tehanu.

The first story, The Finder, is set quite a long time before the books begin, before Ged is even born. It begins following one boy, Medra, and y
...more
Óli Sóleyjarson
Ég var ákaflega hrifinn af þessum sögum. Þær voru margar hverjar feminískari en þær sem á undan komu sem mér fannst ekkert verra. Endirinn á einni sögu var þannig að mér þótti hann minna aðeins of mikið á aðra sögu en það var ekkert alvarlegt.

Þó það tengist ekki beint þessu safni heldur almennt Earthsea þá held ég að sá höfundur sem ég þekki sem sé undir mestum áhrifum frá Le Guin sé Terry Pratchett.
Kevin
Sep 15, 2015 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is all over the place, but combines into some sensible sembling.

A collections of short stories from different parts of Earthsea, which I thought would all be interconnected.

I found the tethers of a few, but many seem unconnected to the others.

Did Dragonfly (view spoiler)

It has been months(at least a year), since I read the last Eart
...more
Katie
Oct 21, 2012 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great addition to the Earthsea universe. Le Guin manages to tell short stories advancing the larger narrative that really give you the feeling this is a rich and full world that you're peeking into here and there, and beyond the edges of the books it is complete and living. I also enjoyed her foreword, maybe more than the stories themselves, because of her articulate thoughts on the relationship between fiction and history and fictional histories and mythologies. The Earthsea books are successfu ...more
Bbsting120
Sep 29, 2015 Bbsting120 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think Le Guin is capable of writing anything worthy of less than at least 4 stars
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As of 2013, Ursula K. Le Guin has published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. Forthcoming ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin...

Other Books in the Series

Earthsea Cycle (6 books)
  • A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)
  • The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2)
  • The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3)
  • Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle, #4)
  • The Other Wind (Earthsea Cycle, #6)

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“It's a rare gift, to know where you need to be, before you've been to all the places you don't need to be.” 41 likes
“We have inhabited both the actual and the imaginary realms for a long time. But we don't live in either place the way our parents or ancestors did. Enchantment alters with age, and with the age.
We know a dozen Arthurs now, all of them true. The Shire changed irrevocably even in Bilbo's lifetime. Don Quixote went riding out to Argentina and met Jorge Luis Borges there. Plus c'est la même chose, plus ça change.”
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