A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1984
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
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.
From the Publisher
- ASIN : 0553262505
- Publisher : Bantam; Reprint edition (May 1, 1984)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 183 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780553262506
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553262506
- Reading age : 12 - 15 years
- Lexile measure : 1150L
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 3.67 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.17 x 0.59 x 6.87 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,020,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Ged is a flawed hero. Fueled by a rivalry with a fellow student, Ged's pride leads him to show off his power by practicing dark and forbidden magic. He ends up unleashing a shadow, and Ged's quest to ultimately hunt down this demon drives the rest of the novel. In this sense, the story is deeply personal. Even though it covers years of Ged's life, there is nothing epic about this tale. The story concerns Ged, and Ged alone.
In 1968, this story would have seemed vastly different than Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" or the sword and sorcery tales of Poul Anderson and Michael Moorcock. For one, there is nothing European about Earthsea. Rather, the people of its archipelago appear more like one might imagine hailing off the coasts of Africa, India, or Asia. Also, there's nary a sword to be found in "A Wizard of Earthsea." Instead, it's all about wizards, and wizards carry staves.
A story about wizards is naturally all about magic, and Le Guin creates one of the most interesting magic systems ever made, all based on the true name of things. A wizard who knows a thing's true name has power over it, and Le Guin harkens back to that theme throughout her tale. Reading it, I can't help but think it inspired modern fantasy like "The Name of the Wind," which employs a similar magic system.
Despite a few bouts of lengthy exposition, and conflict that waxes and wanes maybe more than it should, I was drawn into a story as if I was reading it for the first time. I wish it had not taken news of Le Guin's passing remind me of these tales, but I'm fortunate it did. "A Wizard of Earthsea" is a true classic, unique in its day and far ahead of its time. For anyone, particularly those who want to explore one of the roots from which modern fantasy was born, I highly recommend it.
I’m disappointed only in myself for waiting so long to read this swift, engaging book.
Le Guin’s world building is nearly as deep as Tolkien’s and leaves the reader wanting to know so much more about Earthsea and its histories, cultures and dragons. I look forward to continuing my journey into this compelling, mysterious world.
The book follows the young boy, Ged, also known as Sparrowhawk. Ged has all the qualities you’d wish in a fantasy lead: he is powerful and brave and good. But he’s also young, at times immature, brash, arrogant, and reckless.
This recklessness inadvertently causes Ged to unleash an evil upon the world, and in true fantasy fashion, he has to be the one to vanquish the evil and make things right again.
There’s not a ton of action in the book. The wizarding school is not as elaborately imagined as that in Harry Potter (though it predates that series by decades), but is interesting nonetheless. What the book does have is strong character growth, and a philosophical edge not usually present in fantasy. It will make you think as well as feel.
I could not fault the writing, but as the book approached its 50th anniversary, it does feel mildly dated. Still, if you want a fantasy that is more introspective than action packed, this is a good choice, and an interesting opening to the series. I will be picking up the second novel to see how it unfolds.
4 out of 5 stars
Top reviews from other countries
In general the writing manages to be very evocative while being extremely sparing with words.
I read it as an adult but wouldn't hesitate to recommend it for children and young adults as well.