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The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  72,740 Ratings  ·  2,109 Reviews
Librarian's Note: For an alternate cover edition of the same ISBN, click here.

When young Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away - home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan.

While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth,
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 180 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Saga Press (first published 1970)
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Jacob
June 2012

I want to give this five stars, but I'm afraid one of the next ones will be even better, and my attempts to rate it higher will cause Goodreads to implode. Or something.

On second thought, no. Five stars. Let's do this thing.

You've probably read or heard somewhere that you can put a frog (it's a frog, right?) in a pot of water and set it on a stove, and the frog will never notice what's happening until it's too late. So they say. Well, Ursula K. Le Guin writes like that: you open the boo
...more
Bookdragon Sean
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those that want a quick fantasy fix
The first few chapters of this were a real chore. They were confusing and dull. However, out of the darkness of those chapters, and out of the depths of the labyrinth, came a story of redemption, human suffering and a will, a will to overcome great evil when succumbing to the darkness would have been a much easier path to walk.

“You must make a choice. Either you must leave me, lock the door, go up to your alters and give me to your masters; then go to the Princess Kossil and make your peace wit
...more
Brad
Half way through reading The Tombs of Atuan, I was sitting downstairs playing my xBox late at night when I heard voices drifting down from upstairs. I sat and listened to the door muffled murmurs of Miloš & Brontë, but I couldn't make out what they were saying.

Usually I'd just call up to them and tell them it was time to shoosh and go to sleep, but I was curious to figure out what they were talking about. Even obscured I could tell it wasn't the usual joke fest or scary story, there was som
...more
Apatt
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When I first tried reading this in my teens I could not manage to go beyond 50 pages because I wanted Ged (AKA Sparrowhawk), the hero of the previous volume A Wizard of Earthsea, to show up and follow him on new adventures. What I found instead was a story of an entirely new protagonist, a young girl called Tenar who lives an oppressive life on the island of Atuan. Young fool that I was, I did not read on to the middle of the book where Ged does show up for more adventures though this time as th ...more
Bradley
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a very fine fantasy. I say fine because it evokes many great labyrinthian images, old, old traditions of sacrifice to the Dark Old Ones, and eventually, freedom from the same.

There's a lot of beauty here, and while I didn't love it on quite the same scale as Ged's original journey in the first book, it's mainly because I liked the core theme better.

Other readers will absolutely take out of this book different layers. I can say that confidently because there are some really beautiful and
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Tombs of Atuan (The Earthsea Cycle, #2), Ursula K. Le Guin
The Tombs of Atuan is a fantasy novel by the American author Ursula K. Le Guin, first published in the Winter 1970 issue of Worlds of Fantasy, and published as a book by Atheneum Books in 1971. It is the second book in the Earthsea series after A Wizard of Earthsea (1969). The Tombs of Atuan was a Newbery Honor Book in 1972.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ششم ماه ژانویه سال 2008 میلادی
عنوان: دریای زمین کتاب 2 - گورهای آتوان؛ نویسنده: ارسولا کی. ل
...more
Nikki
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This always used to be my favourite of the series, both for sheer atmosphere and because it featured a female-centred world, in complete contrast to the first book. It’s almost the opposite, in that way: Ged isn’t the POV character anymore, and instead we follow Arha/Tenar, seeing her experience in a different land, seeing Ged as an outsider. That latter is especially fun, because though he talks about not learning Ogion’s lessons, it seems that he really has. And there was always an attraction ...more
Bionic Jean
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bionic Jean by: Chris Naylor
The Tombs of Atuan by the American author Ursula K. Le Guin, was originally published in 1971. It is the second book in her “Earthsea” series of fantasy books, which began with “A Wizard of Earthsea” in 1969. Yet The Tombs of Atuan has never achieved the same popularity as its predecessor, and is often thought a lesser novel. I read each of“The Earthsea Trilogy” in turn, shortly after their first publication, but could remember little about The Tombs of Atuan now. How glad I am that I have come ...more
Deniz Balcı
Hep aynı şeyleri söylemek istemiyorum ama bazı kitaplar gerçekten ilk gençlikte okunmalı. 'Yerdeniz Serisi'nin bu ikinci kitabı o kadar güçlü bir girizgahla umutlandırdı ve merakla okumaya devam etmemi sağladı ki sonu büyük hayal kırıklığı oldu. Okuma zevki açısından bir sorun olduğunu söylemiyorum, zira elime aldım ve tek oturuşta okudum. Kendini okutturan bir anlatımı var ve bana göre birçok insanın bu seriyi, fazla sevmesinin temelinde de bu var. Ancak bana göre bir eseri kolayca okuyabilmek, ...more
Martyn Stanley
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-read, good-book
When I reviewed 'The Wizard of Earthsea' I gave it four out out of five:-

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Having read 'Tombs of Atuan' I feel like I was overgenerous. Maybe WoE was a 3.5 rounded up?

The bottom line is, I REALLY enjoyed 'Tombs of Atuan'. When I got to the point where Ged entered the story, I could hardly put it down. It's a gripping book, set in a grim and fascinating setting. It reeks of the mystery of ancient places. The whole book takes place in the sort of setting most
...more
Γκέλλυ
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5*
Nikki
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
Much as I love A Wizard of Earthsea, there isn't much feminine about it. It's a male society, it seems in that book, shaped by men and only inhabited by women. I don't know how much thought Le Guin put into that, originally, but the women in the story don't really have much of a place. There's the witch and Serret and the Kargish woman and Yarrow... but they don't have great parts in Ged's life. He's taken away from the tutelage of the witch because only a man can teach him wizardry, and there's ...more
Robert
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
I've read the first three Earthsea books a heap of times, starting when I was at my academic peak (i.e. in primary school). Through-out my childhood readings I preferred the two that sandwiched this one. Looking back it is easy for me to see why: it wasn't about Ged and it didn't have enough sailing about to far flung places (i.e. exploration) in it. In contrast, I have observed that a number of female Goodreaders who are also LeGuin fans, rate this higher than the other two. I can take a guess ...more
Kaora
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
And at the year's end she is taken to the Hall of the Throne and he name is given back to those who are her Masters, the Nameless Ones: for she is the nameless one, the Priestess Ever Reborn.

Tenar is selected as a young child as the Priestess Reborn and taken from her family at the young age of 5 to become the guardian of the Tombs of Atuan. However, one day while walking the labyrinth of her domain, she comes across a young wizard, Sparrowhawk, searching for the treasure hidden there, the Ring
...more
Max
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reread, for the first time in a long while. When I was thirteen I appreciated this book but I didn't like it as much as Wizard and Farthest Shore—there's less magic, less incident, and a lot more slow creeping dread. On this reread the dread itself became magical. And much as I love Ged, Tenar feels more... like she exists from the marrow out. I have a theory about this, but it's more of an essay-length theory than a Goodreads capsule review theory. In short, brilliant and deep.
Laila
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ekip okumalarina dahil kitaplardan biriydi...

Ursula Le Guin'i her okuyusumda buraz daha seviyor, kalemine hayran oluyorum. Ne gec kalmisim okumaya...

Bu kitapta Tenar'in hikayesini okudum, Atuanda mezarlar ve karanlikla yuzlestim. Okurken kendi yasamimdaki donemecleri ve kararlarimi sorguladigim zamanlarim oldu...

Ve Ged.. Cevik Atmacam... Onun durusunu, karakterini oyle seviyorum ki...

Defalarca okunasi bir kitap!
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is the second book in the Earthsea Cycle. Plot-wise it's not as good as A Wizard of Earthsea, but the writing is better. It has such wonderful fluidity that I read the entire book in just a few hours. For that I can give it four stars, though the story lacks the magic and adventure of the first book.

Tenar is taken from her family at the age of five and given to "the Dark Ones" (aka "the Nameless Ones") at the age of six. The belief is that they eat her soul, and thereafter she belongs to t
...more
Ben Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikki
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I think The Tombs of Atuan has always been my favourite of the Earthsea cycle. I said to someone recently that the quiet moment where Tenar watches Ged sleeping, and there's a thistle by his hand, and the world just seems so strange, was somehow a moment that perfectly defines Le Guin's work for me. That quietness, that moment of clarity, of seeing-things-anew...

If nothing else, that's the feeling I get when I read her work.

The Tombs of Atuan begins to redress the balance of the world Le Guin cr
...more
Althea Ann
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books of all time - I've probably read this one over two dozen times.
It's a deceptively simple story, simple in the way that all truths are simple, allegorical in that it can be applied to all of our lives. it's a story of growing up, of claiming freedom and independence, and all the fear and pain and joy that can accompany that. But it's also just the story of Tenar, called Arha, priestess of the Nameless Ones and mistress of the Undertomb - a girl who believes herself hard,
...more
Asiye Dilara Han
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vade-mecum
Hem surukleyici, elinden biraktirmiyor kendini, hem de kisacik. Olmaz ki boyle.
Bu kitabi da cok sevdim, ve basima bir is gelmeyecekse eger icimdeki gizli romantigi durttu bu kitaptaki guzel bag.

"Ogrenmeye basladigi sey aslinda ozgurlugun yukuydu. Ozgurluk agir bir yuktur, ruhun yuklenmesi gereken buyuk ve garip bir sorumluluk. Kolay degildir. Verilen bir armagan degil, yapilan bir secimdir; bu secim de zor bir secim olabilir. Yol, yukariya, isiga dogru cikar; ama yuklu yolcu oraya hicbir zaman v
...more
Pavle
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantastika
Možda sam iskvaren fantastikom na veliki broj strana, ali ovih sto trideset strana, ma koliko divno napisanih (a zaista jesu; retko se sreće stil kao stil Legvinove), mi ne čini puno. Ne stignem ni da upoznam likove kad ono – kraj. A i nekako mi je sve to slično prethodnom delu, samo sa „druge strane prozora“. Ali možda mi vremenom, kao što je bio slučaj sa Čarobnjakom, Grobnice Atuana postanu draže, jer slike su svakako dovoljno upečatljive, kao što je, čini mi se (a tek ću se zaista upoznati) ...more
Cavanşir Gadimov
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Le Guin'in Yerdeniz serisinin ilk satırlardan okuru fantastik dünyasına alıp götüren ve sürükleyen bir kitap ve çok etkileyici bir yapıt olabileceğini hiç tahmin edemezdim. Okurken hep şunu düşündüm, "Neden ben bu kitabı şimdiye kadar okumadım?" Fantastik edebiyat severlerin bence kaçırmaması gereken yapım.
Kitapla ilgili yorumum: http://kitapokurum.blogspot.com/2018/...
Sumant
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
The second book in Earth sea cycle centers on coming of age tale of a young woman Tenar, who is dedicated in the service of nameless ones. The book for most part was really slow for me, and started to pick up when our wizard Ged from the first book makes an appearance and manages to change the world of Tenar.

Some of the strong points of the book are

1. Simple story.
2. Narration by Ursula K Le Guin.

Some of the weak points of book are

1. The rivalry between Kossil & Tenar seems hollow.
2. The boo
...more
Martine
The second book of the Earthsea Cycle starts off in a slightly baffling way -- not with Ged, the central character of the series, but rather with Arha, a young girl who has been chosen to become the next High Priestess of the Tombs of Atuan and spends her life performing rituals in which no one really seems to believe any more. We follow Arha around her daily tasks, and just when we're wondering where the hell Ged is, he makes an appearance, and a fascinating sparring match between the wizard an ...more
Ivan Lutz
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Nevjerojatno se brzo čita.
Nastavak pustolovina iz Earthsea serijala napravio je pravi mali zaokret. Ursula odlazi u daleki Atuan, u svijet zla i gotovo cijela knjiga prati život prve svećenice Sjena, Smrti i Bezimenih zloduha. Sve izgleda savršeno za mladu Arhu dok u Grobnicama kojima ona vlada ne naiđe na vrhunskog čarobnjaka Geda koji je u potrazi za nečime što će ujediniti svjetove i donijeti mir.

Fantastičan je prikaz crnih hodnika grobnica ispod Atuana te rasporet Labirinta i njegovo znače
...more
Mladen
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Prelazak na drugog protagonistu nakon prvog dela deluje malo razočaravajuće, kao i relativno spor početak, ali Legvinova sve to brzo preokreće u zapanjujuću priču. Tokom čitanja, gotovo možete da opipate tamu, kao i junakinja romana.
Opisivanje specifičnosti društva ili zajednice koja je radikalno drugačija od svega što poznajete na takav način da na kraju imate utisak da znate sve o njima... Savršeno, kao i uvek kada je Legvinova u pitanju - ponovo uspeva da ceo svet spakuje na 160 i kusur stran
...more
Oliviu Craznic
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well, this is quite a perfect book, in every regard: the writing, the characters, the story, the setting.
A rework of the Theseus myth (proving once again originality is neither possible, nor relevant in literature), lovecraftian dark replacing the minotaur.
If Le Guin`s political views are still to be found in this novel (the good and educated „colored” people vs. the salvage, fanatic white blonde guys) , this is not the focus of the story, so the reader may very well disregard the political me
...more
Ian
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What wonderful and vivid imagery this book contains. Imagery with power for those readers who can identify with the central figure, Arha/Tenar, especially those who are faced with challenges in their own lives similar to those she confronts. I found imagery of the mystery and challenge of self-discovery; imagery of the conflict and dual-nature within humanity and within individuals; imagery of loss, dedication, loneliness, and self-denial; imagery of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; imager ...more
Joseph
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm pretty sure that when I was first reading this back in my younger days, I didn't quite know what to make of it, especially coming on the heels of A Wizard of Earthsea. The first book was, on the surface at least, a fun adventure about a boy who discovers he has magical powers and goes off to learn to be a wizard. (Although if you go even a tiny bit beneath the surface you find something much deeper and truer, and a story about the dangers of hubris and the importance of taking responsibility ...more
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13,303 followers
Ursula K. Le Guin 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. She lived in Portland, Orego ...more
More about Ursula K. Le Guin

Other books in the series

Earthsea Cycle (6 books)
  • A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)
  • The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3)
  • Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle, #4)
  • Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #5)
  • The Other Wind (Earthsea Cycle, #6)

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“Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.” 302 likes
“Living, being in the world, was a much greater and stranger thing than she had ever dreamed.” 57 likes
More quotes…