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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.
Heady explanation at the end of those wonderful tales, but well worth the read.Published 27 days 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 2 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 4 months ago by RL
this is the last of this series that a I read and was as wonderful as the other books. there were 2 other books that I was aware of and have since read. they are all excellent.Published 4 months ago by D from Md
I was disappointed that this was not a full novel. Instead, LeGuin constructs five tales that fill in some of the gaps in the overall history of Earthsea. Read morePublished 5 months ago by A. R. Davis
Earthsea is a good series for fans of the books like "Lord of the Rings" They were written before the Tolkien books and many believe they helped inspire them. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Cody Knows
Le Guin's Earthsea is a compelling, well thought out world; quite different from most fantasy realms but intimately familiar and welcoming. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Guillermo García Viesca
Philip K. Dick famously one said that in short stories readers care about the "what" (i.e., plot development), whereas in novels readers also care about the "who"... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Enjolras
The fourth book in the Earthsea Cycle is actually a series of short stories that provide back stories for things that happened earlier in the series. Read morePublished 9 months ago by J. M. Pineda