But I can see how some people are put off by it. It mixes typical quest/fantasy tropes (...moreRecently re-read this for the umpteenth time.
I love this book!
But I can see how some people are put off by it. It mixes typical quest/fantasy tropes (the low-born hero who discovers his powers and triumphs over evil), a sometimes arcane style, and a hero that is often unlikeable and foolish.
To me, though, it has always been about power and wisdom and finding one's way in the world. It is about choices and actions and consequences. It is about daring and ambition and the costs of those.
This time through, I also felt that this had an amazingly epic feel for such a short book. With modern fantasy tomes taking 150 pages just to get started and 100s more to finish—I'm looking at you Game of Thrones—this is a model of control and pacing.
LeGuin tells her tale with economy. This may be jarring to some who are used to fantasy world-building where every excruciating detail—rock, leaf, cup, politics, economy, etc.—is dealt with in volume, after volume, after volume.
I like a sprawling epic too, but this just goes to show that you can have a powerful effect with a precisely focused tale as well.(less)