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If you have never read an Earthsea book, this collection isn't the place to start, as the author points out in her thoughtful foreword; begin with A Wizard of Earthsea. If you insist on starting with Tales of Earthsea, read the foreword and the appended "Description of Earthsea" before proceeding to the five stories (three of which are original to this book).
The opening story, "The Finder," occupies a third of the volume and has the strength and insight of a novel. This novella describes the youth of Otter, a powerful but half-trained sorcerer, and reveals how Otter came to an isle that cannot be found, and played a role in the founding of the great Roke School. "Darkrose and Diamond" tells of two lovers who would turn their backs on magic. In "The Bones of the Earth," an aging wizard and his distant pupil must somehow join forces to oppose an earthquake. Ged, the Archmage of Earthsea, appears in "On the High Marsh" to find the mad and dangerous mage he had driven from Roke Island. And in "Dragonfly," the closing story, a mysterious woman comes to the Roke School to challenge the rule that only men may be mages. "Dragonfly" takes place a few years after Tehanu and is the bridge between that novel and the next novel, The Other Wind (fall 2001). --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Ursula Le Guin is one of the best fantasy writters out there!
It took me a little longer to complete this book in the Earthsea series because it isn't one continuous story, but rather, a collection of short stories.
Le Guin's Earthsea is a compelling, well thought out world; quite different from most fantasy realms but intimately familiar and welcoming.
For those who have loved Le Guin's works over the years, this is a delightful contribution to an old story, and the beginning of the completion of that series of tales.Published 12 days ago by Ronald A. Taylor
It was nice reading some tales from past and present to open my understanding of EarthSea.Published 15 days ago by Brett A. Filczer
This is the best book in the Earthsea Cycle. It's pace is quicker than that of the other books and things actually
Le Guin is at her finest when writing short stories. I found this book to be no exception.Published 2 months ago by Tyler
The four Earthsea books that come before this collection of long-ish short stories vary widely in quality, from the fascinating first two books, an okay third book, and a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Surferofromantica
Heady explanation at the end of those wonderful tales, but well worth the read.Published 6 months ago by brainhoney
First things first: I adore Ursula Le Guin's work. I've enjoyed every book I've read of hers so far, and I usually read them shortly after purchasing because I can't wait to find... Read morePublished 8 months ago by ViolettePen
I'm a late-comer to the world of Earthsea. I noticed many average reviews from fans of that series, so perhaps I am missing something really amazing (and I do intend to read as... Read morePublished 9 months ago by RL