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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.
It was a great way to better understand Earthsea. I could a better connection on why the different books flowed the way it did.Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
I got this for my boyfriend, I read them in grade school as a kid and liked them and I think He really does!Published 25 days ago by Mallory
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 1 month ago by Ronald A. Taylor
It was nice reading some tales from past and present to open my understanding of EarthSea.Published 1 month 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 3 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 4 months ago by Surferofromantica
Heady explanation at the end of those wonderful tales, but well worth the read.Published 7 months ago by brainhoney