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Tales from Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle) Mass Market Paperback – September 11, 2012
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In "Tehanu," a later book of Earthsea, she told us of some of the events that followed the events of "The Farthest Shore," and delved deeper into the mystery of dragons and the relationship between dragons and men. From the simple creatures fought by Sparrowhawk in "Wizard of Earthsea," they are revealed as increasingly complex and more interesting creatures by the end of "Tehanu."
In "Tales from Earthsea," LeGuin develops other themes and characters from the past and present of Earthsea. The tales are evocative, resonant and at once mythological and personal in tone. The reader will have an image of a LeGuin, with a larger volume in her lap, telling you the stories that catch her eye. You will sense there are many, many more stories to be told.
Readers new to Earthsea might do best by reading the books in order. While it's not required, you won't thoroughly understand the references to the Ring of Erreth-Akbe unless you have read the earlier books. The last short story, "Dragonfly," may bewilder you unless you have read "Tehanu.Read more ›
The first story in this book, "The Finder," describes the conditions under which the school on Roke developed. Other stories reveal trials and journies of various sorcerers through Earthsea's history. Each of the five stories is about heroism and humanity in a world that is both different than and very like our own. The stories engaged my imagination from teh beginning, and I immediately loved (most of) the characters I met. LeGuin's ability to draw sympathetic characters in situations that the reader can relate to just gets better as the years go on.
I was excited to discover that the endpapers of the book display a map of Earthsea drawn by the author. I have wanted a map of the area for years, and I know that I will use this map when I re-read the earlier novels.
And this book reveals news that will be welcome to all lovers of Earthsea: yet another novel is due out this Fall!
Intermittently I found myself staring at the page, wondering: where is the flowing prose? the masterful pacing? the lovely descriptions? The accessibility of the narrative has definitely taken a plunge.
In "Tales" LeGuin attempts to knit together her world's fractured past and present into a unified, continuous whole. She tries to accomplish this across five pieces of short story and novella length, some of them poetic, most not, generally middling quality as far as LeGuin goes.Read more ›
The first story, "The Finder", is the longest, actually a novella, and for my money the best of the set. Here we find ourselves far back in the history of Earthsea, when wizard fought wizard as a matter of course, when magical knowledge was jealously guarded, when the average non-magical person lived in fear of what magic would visit them next. Otter, a half-trained wizard with a powerful skill for 'finding' whatever he looks for, falls on the receiving end of the worst of this mis-use of magic, forced to try and find mercury, the King of all materials, for a half-crazed older wizard. How he escapes from this imprisonment, and his search for a place where magic is taught freely, forms the bulk of this story, ending with his founding of the School of Wizards on Roke. In this story we find the same evocation of the magical, of balance between man and nature, of ambition tempered by internal morality, that so graced the original trilogy.
The second story, "Darkness and Diamond", has appeared elsewhere previously, but it deserves a second reading, being a beautifully told love story of a boy with conflicted desires between his wizardly talent and its concomitant requirement of chastity, and his love of music and a girl who shares his passions. A fine portrait of what is important in the business of living.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very captivating reading, somewhat reminiscient of Andre Norton whose books I devoured many years ago. Read morePublished 12 days ago by H. Luther
Bought this as a gift for my boyfriend. He purchased the entire series and has read all of them! Easy read with a good story. Would reccommend for young adults and adults.Published 6 months ago by Pauline
Ursula Le Guin, what's not to like? This printing has an afterword by the author sharing her thoughts current day on this story written several decades ago.Published 7 months ago by Jashew