Silvio Curtis's Reviews > Tales from Earthsea

Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
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Apr 29, 09

Read in June, 2004

The Earthsea series are the fantasy universe I like best after Tolkien. Le Guin sets them in a reasonably conventional world, with wizards, dragons, and bronze-age technology. However, they are not about heroes fighting the armies of evil. Instead, there is much more focus on individuals' journeys to self-understanding than there is in Tolkien or most other fantasy literature. The first three books are normally classified as children's literature (though they are much richer than children's books often are), the other three probably wouldn't be; one of the most remarkable things about the series is how Le Guin returns to the same world from a different perspective.

This book includes five or so long short stories or novellas, and a short description of Earthsea's geography, history, and culture that mostly collects what can be gleaned from the other books but adds some historical/legendary material. The first stories look back at parts of the history that come before the other books. The last one should be read between Tehanu and The Other Wind. Most of them share the common thread of examining how sexism came about and maintains itself in Earthsea.

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