Patrick's Reviews > A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
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Jan 29, 11

bookshelves: read-for-school, book-series, reviewed
Recommended for: Fans of Children's Fantasy such as Harry Potter or Eragon
read count: 2

This is a fantastic novel that I read when I was younger. I really enjoyed it back then, and I still do enjoy it.

Let me say that, even though it is a children's book, it can still be equally enjoyed by adults.

The book is very, very fast-paced and with very little filler moments or superfluous prose. Unlike many fantasy books I've read, there aren't any chapters which feel tacked on or unnessecary. From the first chapter, the novel begins with an exciting battle which introduces our main character, Ged.

One aspect which I really enjoyed was Le Guin's use of magic. She introduced a system of magic which was based on names and words, something that Paolini would later use in his Eragon series. Even as a legal adult, I found myself fascinated by her concept of naming something in order to control or conquer it.

It's quite easy to see how this novel may have influenced J.K. Rowling, Christopher Paolini and even Hayao Miyazaki. Some of the concepts and scenes here, such as the use of names and the school for wizards, have been re-created or re-used in other works of fantasy. Even though Le Guin is primarily a sci-fi writer, the influence which the Earthsea Cycle has in fantasy can't be denied. (Note: These are Miyazaki's favorite books.)

Le Guin is able to create a very imaginative and descriptive world which immerses the reader into her beautiful prose. For a children's book, she introduced very interesting and engaging ideas, which become even better in the third Earthsea book, The Farthest Shore.
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Quotes Patrick Liked

Ursula K. Le Guin
“But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power...It must follow knowledge, and serve need.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea


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