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A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 11, 2012
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In this first book, A Wizard of Earthsea readers will witness Sparrowhawk's moving rite of passage--when he discovers his true name and becomes a young man. Great challenges await Sparrowhawk, including an almost deadly battle with a sinister creature, a monster that may be his own shadow. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"New and longtime Earthsea fans will be drawn to these impressive new editions."—Horn Book
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Top Customer Reviews
But the book isn't a treatise. It's a wonderful, well-told story of a young man, Ged, coming of age in a world where words can have the power of magic and dragons are as real as earthquakes. There is nothing didactic about this story; Le Guin's writing is compelling and her characters are vivid: Ogion, the Mage of Silence, whose word had stilled an earthquake; Vetch, who helps Ged on a deadly quest for no reason but friendship; Murre, Vetch's sister; Yevaud, the dragon of Pendor; and Skiorh, possessed by a gebbeth.
Earthsea doesn't exist in a vacuum. Le Guin constructs a deep and textured history, and her characters act in ways that are consistent with that world. She manages the trick of writing a mythic tale without falling into the traps and foibles of sounding like you are trying.
The climax is straight from Carl Jung, but you don't need to know Carl Jung from Steve Young to appreciate it.
From time to time, religious groups call for this book to be banned from school libraries, claiming it promotes witchcraft. Nonsense. This is a book every teenager should read. It speaks to self-understanding, nothing more.
And some feminists criticize Le Guin because Ged is a male character. Again, nonsense, Ged is an archetype, and his gender matters not at all.
This is an important book. It's also terrific fun. Highly recommended.
It's not a light-hearted fairy tale, though it is "high fantasy." It's the story of Ged, from his childhood discovery of his wonderful yet terrible magical powers; to his education at the School of Wizardry on Roke Knoll. There he makes a misstep; overstepping his powers, he accidentally lets loose an evil creature from a shadow world. His self-imposed exile, journeys, and eventual maturation and triumph are written with a deft flair for the beauty and wonder of magic; yet Ms. LeGuin is even more masterful in depicting Ged's character: the young high achiever who must finally make his peace with his inner demons.
As a child, I loved it for the idea of a school of magic. I grew older, reread it during a dark teenage time, and cried when Ged finally confronted his inner shadow creature. Later, studying anatomy in medical school, I recalled Ged's long days in the Namer's high tower, learning the true names of things; and bent cheerfully to my task.
It still bears re-reading to this day. Readers who enjoy Tolkien, JK Rowling, or Alice Miller's "Drama of the Gifted Child" ought particularly to read it; and readers who didn't like "The Left Hand of Darkness" or "The Dispossessed" should give Ms. LeGuin another try, in this, her finest work. . It is one of my favorite novels and I recommend it to you wholeheartedly.
The story concerns the Wizard Sparrowhawk and his education. Sparrowhawk comes from a desperately poor village in the mountains, from among illiterate peasants (compare to the world of the hobbits, where, though illiterate, there is no squalor) who live with their goats. His home island, Gont, is the birthplace of Goatherds, Pirates, and Wizards, and from an early age Sparrowhawk shows his powers. After saving his village from an invading army, Sparrowhawk is apprenticed to Ogion, the great Mage. There Sparrowhawk begins to learn what Wizards know: the names of all things. He also is drawn to showing off, including calling up the dead.
Too powerful and curious for Ogion, Sparrowhawk goes to the isle of Roke to attend the school there ( Rowling only stole from the best) and finds he's not only the best pupil, but he can make enemies. In a boast, he calls up a spirit and brings out a sort of un-him. The un-him scars Sparrowhawk and kills the school's Archmage who uses his power to try and undo what Sparrowhawk has done.
Ged, Sparrowhawk's true name, must now pursue this unhim while fighting dragons, evil stones, and gibbeths, people the unhim have entered and destroyed.
Finally, Ged turns on his pursuer to fight an epic battle on the unsea and reunite himself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love these books. I have read the whole series before but continue to enjoy all the books. I don't want to come back to reality after being immersed in the world of Earthsea and... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Jude T.
Good story is a bit shallow for my tastes. I like more depth in the description of the world..Published 15 days ago by Texan in STL
The whole series is wonderful. Her writing is elegant and lovely.Published 18 days ago by David Stone
Refreshingly simple, powerful storytelling. Few writers could tell such a story in as few pages and still bring it to a satisfying close. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Ryan Sprague
I may be oversimplifying by saying there is no violence or sexual content, as there are marriages and earthquakes and a warring people in some of this series, but there is nothing... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Therin
It was a nice book but I was waiting for the epic story, and didn't really get one. Great story and world building but no super exciting page turning momentsPublished 2 months ago by Matt W