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The Earthsea Quartet (Puffin Books) Paperback – May 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
The quartet consists of the following novels: "A Wizard of Earthsea," "The Tombs of Atuan," "The Farthest Shore," and "Tehanu." Each book follows the life of the Wizard Ged, as he embarks on numerous quests during a period when magic is dying out in Earthsea and evil is replacing it. Although this novel, and the entire quartet, have been classified as children's books, I do not totally agree with the label or classification. The tales may well be appreciated by children and adults alike, but the sophisticated prose, the very language used to form the riveting narratives, is as rich and flavorful as dark Belgian chocolate. And apart from the obvious storylines, there are subtexts, subplots and subtleties. One could say that Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," or "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift, are delightful children's books, however, these same novels are usually appreciated by adults on an entirely different level.
"A Wizard of Earthsea" introduces the main character of the series, Ged, a little boy who discovers he has magical ability. He studies under Ogion the Silent, the great mage of Re Albi, learning to read and write the Six Hundred Runes of Hardic. Ged discovers he has developed the power to call animals.Read more ›
Accessible to the young, yet still entertaining for the old, the Earthsea trilogy is a timeless classic. Le Guin writes from a Daoist perspective, and the root message in this series, that too much of something is never a good idea, is readily apparent. I read this series in high school (due largely in part to a very open minded and liberal english teacher), and continue to enjoy it today some 15 years later.
The fourth book is set after the original trilogy, and is geared mainly for adult readers. In my assessment it detracts from the original series in that it should not have been included as a "quartet" as it has a very different tone. Good nonetheless, but different. Enjoy all.
Ged apprentices to the local Wizard on God, and is eventually sent to the school for wizards on Havnor. There in anger during a fight with other youths he releases a dark shadow, an evil. The Masters of the school appear and banish it from the island. However this shadow and Ged are now tied together in a very unique way.
After leaving the school Ged becomes haunted by the shadow he has released. He tries to return to the protection of Havnor but cannot return to the island the magic protecting the island will not let him approach. So he decides to head south.
The shadow is getting closer and closer to him, and he must discern it's true name or else he will not be able to defeat it. Can he solve the puzzle, will he wrestle with his shadow and win or will he succumb to the evil he has let loose.
This is a book I first read back in highschool. Then a few years back had to read it for an English literature course at the University of Waterloo I was about a third of the way through it when I realized I had read it before and that is when I found our that the story continued. Since then the two collections of short stories have been published in this world.
Le Guin deals with some big questions of life in this book. Such questions as:
Who am I?
Do I have a role or purpose in life?
Can I defeat the darkness within me?Read more ›
In some ways the elder Sparrowhawk reminds me old Kvoth, in the world of the brilliant author Patrick Rothfuss, but Sparrowhawk would never have spent three hours, much less three days, telling his story. I'm so glad Ursula LeGuin did!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
* A Wizard of Earthsea
Read some time ago. Meh. Improved my appreciation for J.K. Rowling.
* The Tombs of Atuan
Wonderful, the best of the quartet. Read more
I've tried many times to read this book and I cant get through it. After 100 pages I get bored.Published 1 month ago by yokanyabuta
This is a great edition for Earthsea. I would love to see a companion volume for tales and other windPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
These stories are wonderful - I've loved them since I was a girl and I'm so glad to own the set!Published 7 months ago by Hannah
Awesome book series, glad to finally own them all. And that the shipping was prompt :)Published 11 months ago by Eric Allen
The first book is fracking amazing the whole way through. It's epic. The second is meh. The third is pretty good but drags at the end. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Give It To Mikey
The four Earthsea books that come in this set vary widely in quality, from the fascinating first two books, an okay third book, and a completely unreadable fourth book. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Surferofromantica