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Il mago  (La saga di Terramare, #1)
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Il mago (Earthsea Cycle #1)

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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  127,009 ratings  ·  3,684 reviews
Nel mondo incantato di Terramare, fatto di arcipelaghi e di acque sconfinate, un ragazzo si mette in viaggio verso l'isola di Roke e la sua Scuola di maghi, dove apprenderà le parole per sconfiggere creature favolose, guarire i malati, governare gli elementi, piegare gli uomini e la natura al proprio volere. La madre l'ha chiamato Duny, Sparviere è il soprannome con cui lo ...more
Paperback, Oscar Bestsellers, 245 pages
Published 2005 by Mondadori (first published 1968)
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David Leow This is a beautifully written book but it is not Harry Potter. Rowling's books are plot driven team based struggles while Le Guin's tales are woven…moreThis is a beautifully written book but it is not Harry Potter. Rowling's books are plot driven team based struggles while Le Guin's tales are woven around the metaphysical. If you have any interest in morality or spirituality you may find these books profound and deeply affecting. If not, Le Guin's books could well leave you feeling a bit bored.

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)
Daniel Pschaida This book does move from challenge to challenge of the protagonist in a steady way but it also has a ponderous feel to it, brought about by the…moreThis book does move from challenge to challenge of the protagonist in a steady way but it also has a ponderous feel to it, brought about by the author's great use of words to describe and to reflect about and "name" the reality of what was happening. It is also really a story about one young man's challenges in coming to terms with his own demons (pride, sense of superiority, mortality), and although friends and mentors come into play in important ways in journey, it really misses that dynamism of the friendship element to which so many nine to eleven year olds are drawn. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya

"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 da

...more
Kat Kennedy
If there were ever a time I'd curse my constant reading of Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance or YA lit, it would be now.

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
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Ben Babcock
This what A Wizard of Earthsea taught me:
* 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
J.G. Keely
As a reader of Fantasy, this book felt like a return home, even though I had never read it before. The tale of this young wizard and his hardships and coming to terms with his own darkness is one that has been redone again and again, from Rowling to Jordan to Goodkind, and so far, despite adding gobs of length and endless details, no one has managed to improve upon it.

Though she isn't the first to explore the Bildungsroman-as-Fantasy (Mervyn Peake precedes her), he was an author who eschewed sym
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Ian
I couldn’t have chosen a better time to experience LeGuin’s reimagining of the story—pardon me, I mean The Story—which we weave into our lives and the lives of those around us. At 35, I’m not really old but I don’t often feel young anymore, and it’s only now that I feel like I am finally confronting my shadow and embracing who I am.

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
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Sparrow
I have been reflecting a lot lately on the hugeness of my own limitations. This story represents one of my most obvious limitations when it comes to appreciating books. I don’t understand world building. I think this is my limitation when it comes to historical fiction as well. I don’t understand why an author would want to make a story more complicated than just what it takes to tell what happens to characters. That’s how I experience world building in both sci fi/fantasy and historical fiction ...more
Brad
When I was in grade seven I had a Language Arts teacher named Mr. Hore (you can imagine the fun we had with that in junior high school). He noticed that I was a voracious reader, and that I was devouring fantasy books at the time, so he nudged me in the direction of his favourites: Ursula K LeGuin and Anne McCaffrey.

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
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j
I wish I'd read this one as a kid. It's one of those books that crams an epic story in under 200 pages, sketching the world and the details and the action rather than spelling everything out. As a kid, you get lost inside of a book like that, and it seems the better for it (the closest comparison I can think of is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - I was shocked to re-read that and discover the "epic battle" at the end is about two pages long).

I can tell that's what UKLG was going for with t
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Manny

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.
Tracy
Feb 09, 2008 Tracy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults and adults
The fantasy classic A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin was first published in 1968 and this fantasy book deserves the praise it has often received. The fantasy world, Earthsea, created by the author is rich in detail. The fishy odor at the dock of every village and the salty tang of the sea literally wafted off the pages. The magical system revealed by Le Guin is convincingly real as well, and the way in which the wizards, witches, and sorcerers fit into the society felt natural and logic ...more
Anne
Nov 18, 2007 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: sff, fiction
The thing to remember about Earthsea, like all of LeGuin's writing, is that it is less fiction that it is Taoist parable. LeGuin is a philosopher cleverly disguised as a sci-fi/fantasy writer. Her writing is beautiful and languid; her characterization and plotting range from excellent to mediocre. But character and plot serve as a vehicle for the themes of balance, simplicity and serenity that infuse all of her works.

Earthsea is, on its face, a fantasy saga along the lines of Tolkien or Rowling.
...more
Tatiana
Dec 29, 2010 Tatiana rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Ashley Waldron
Shelves: 2010, fantasy
I can't believe I am giving a Le Guin book 2 stars, I have nothing but respect for this writer and her work, but alas, A Wizard of Earthsea was a chore to get through.

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
Apatt
I remember reading this book as a child and loving it, and that is all I can remember, the reading and the loving. Anything about the contents have slipped through the old grey cells somehow. As it turned out my brain knew what it was doing when it jettisoned all the details of the book so yesterday I was able to read it as if for the first time. Like A Virgin.

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
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Like so many fantasy books, this one started out promising. My first impression was excitement at a well written book, particularly the verse - I mean how often is it that one reads fantasy with alliteration and a sense of rhythm?

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
Brad
Feb 03, 2012 Brad rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Milos & Bronte
Pa: Which book did you like better, Loš? The Hobbit or A Wizard of Earthsea?

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
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Ged, aka "Sparrowhawk," goes to wizard school on the Isle of Roke. In rivalry with another student, he abuses his new powers, unintentionally unleashing a dark force. He pays dearly for his foolish dabbling and is scarred for life. He feels great remorse and wants to make things right, vowing to use his powers only for good, but he can't seem to outrun the shadow spirit he awakened. Finally, Ged comes to understand that he'll have to pursue the shadow and conquer it, or it will plague him and Ea ...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

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
Callum
Many may have often wondered where the wise old wizard originated - the common character archetype (think Merlin the senex and any other who resemble him). Ursula K. Le Guin masterfully weaves an intricate tale on how and where that strange, mystical old man came from. A Wizard of Earthsea is an intriguingly magical, intelligent take on an old fantasy trope. She deconstructs that dull enigma, revealing his weaknesses, flaws, emotional vulnerabilities and callowness. Her story is all the more enr ...more
Stephen
3.5 stars. A good book and an enjoyable read, but I must admit I was a little disappointed. I love Ursula K. Le Guin and I was expecting to really love it. Maybe it is a case of having my expectations too high. That said, there were parts of the story that were classic such as the "wizard's school" and the magical system employed. All and all, a good book and I am glad I read it.
Cindy
I dropped one star because of one major flaw, discussed after my nostalgia trip discovering this book…

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
Evan
One of the first aphorisms of a creative writing class is "Show, not tell." Not that I don't believe in turning aphorisms on their heads, but this one is there for a reason. Le Guin, for the greater part of the book, just tells. It makes for a painful reading experience. Children's literature in the 21st century is not limited in its range of boy in fantasy realm turns amazing magic user, and so the dull setting, plotting and characterization of "A Wizard of Earthsea" is best left unread. In 196 ...more
Laila
Bazı kitaplar vardır nasıl bittiğini anlamazsınız, Yerdeniz Büyücüsü'de o kitaplardan işte. Le Guin okumaya Mülksüzler'den başladığım için, Yerdeniz Büyücüsü'ne başlamadan önce yazım tarzı ile ilgili kaygılarım vardı. Hikayenin içine girmekte zorlanır mıyım gibi endişelere sahiptim.

Okumaya başladıkça fark ettim ki kurgu sizi içine çekiyor, sayfaların nasıl geçtiğini anlamıyorsunuz. Basit bir "fantastik" kitap değil bence. İçinde ustaların derinliğinden gelen bir mistisizm de var. Son sayfayı ka
...more
Scribble Orca
I woke up this morning with the most shiveringly awful sense of having committed GR harakiri 腹切り. It was a dream in which I metamorphosed into, horror of horrors, a cyber stalker
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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 thei
...more
Grey
Le Guin is quite possibly my favourite female author, and this book is the prime reason why. This book, like Zelazny's Lord Of Light never fell from my Top 5 Fantasy/Sci-Fi books. It reads easy, with a language everyone can understand, and a style that flows well.

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
Eric Lin
Dude. What can I say?

I love wizards, and I love the sea.
Clouds

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my LOCUS FANTASY list.

As the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners list treated me so kindly, I figure I’ll trust those same good folk to pick me some stars in their sister-list, the Locus Fantasy Award winners.
Yes, it's beautiful.
Yes, it's kind of boring too.
That goes f
...more
Sesana
Words are magic. That's true in general, in a metaphorical sense. In Earthsea, it's literally true. Magic is done by knowing the true name of things, and by having the power to command them. A Wizard of Earthsea revolves around these true names, carefully guarded, and learning them and knowing how to use them. It's when Le Guin writes about magic that this book is at its strongest.

There's wonderful, memorable characters, especially Vetch and his sister Yarrow. Ged is believable in his arrogance
...more
Robert
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
вełłαтяıχ  ¤¤ "αℓωαуѕ."
Nov 02, 2013 вełłαтяıχ ¤¤ "αℓωαуѕ." rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one looking for a good story
Recommended to вełłαтяıχ by: My English teacher
Well, this ranks as one of the most undeserving fantasy works that have received critical acclaim, on my list. Even though I haven't read this for a while, and my comments may seem unfair because of this, I honestly just detested this book. It was baffling to me how such great potential for a story could be so brutally asphyxiated. LeGuin could have written an internationally-known bestseller, but, instead, she chose to pen a singularly uninteresting account of a wizard named Ged who happens to ...more
Jane
So-I know that I will probably be stoned to death for saying this but…What the heck is all the fuss about over this book?

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
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Is this book epic fantasy? 12 84 Jul 27, 2015 12:49AM  
Turkish Reading C...: Ursula Le Guin - "Yerdeniz Büyücüsü" ile ilgili tartışma 6 41 May 09, 2015 05:00PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book needs #1 series information adding 5 23 Jan 08, 2015 03:46PM  
about 1 46 Sep 02, 2014 01:21AM  
Doge Books: A Wizard of Earthsea - Considerações 2 5 Jun 13, 2014 05:23AM  
  • Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master, #3)
  • Tigana
  • Tales of the Dying Earth
  • The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1)
  • Taran Wanderer (The Chronicles of Prydain #4)
  • The Broken Sword
  • Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1)
  • The Blue Sword (Damar, #2)
  • The Moon of Gomrath (Tales of Alderley, #2)
  • The Hand of Oberon
  • Dogsbody
  • Swords in the Mist (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, #3)
  • The Bone Doll's Twin (The Tamír Triad, #1)
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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)
  • The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2)
  • The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3)
  • Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle, #4)
  • Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #5)
  • The Other Wind (Earthsea Cycle, #6)
The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2) The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3) The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4) The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #5) The Lathe of Heaven

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“But it is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.” 209 likes
“It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.” 190 likes
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