Heidi's Reviews > A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
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's review
Jun 27, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult, reviewed, cycles, author-guin, sff-women, owned, omnibus-part, reread
Read 2 times. Last read July 20, 2017 to August 7, 2017.

The story of the young boy with extraordinary talents who strives to become a wizard is rather well known nowadays. From Harry Potter to Patrick Rothfuss's Kvothe in his Kingkiller Chronicle (and certainly more I don't know) - the 'magical' variation of the coming-of-age trope celebrates an unbowed popularity.

Ursula K. Le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea" is probably aimed at a younger readership, judging from the rather simple language compared to "The Left Hand of Darkness" or "The Lathe of Heaven". My experiences with YA literature are mostly unpleasant, but with Le Guin I was in for a surprise.

With a few literary brush strokes she establishes the archipelago of Earthsea in which powerful mages fight evil, protect and support the natives, where dragons roam and darkness threatens to destroy the hero's bright future.
Ged, a stubborn, poor, ambitious loner with a natural sense for magic, encounters friendship, competition, wisdom and frightful dangers. Hunted by an unspeakable evil, he has to face his own limits, self-doubt, pain and learn to discover who he truly is.

For a book so short, it has an astonishing amount of depth, and despite some flaws (passages which drag a bit), it deserves its place among the classics of fantasy literature.
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