- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Series: The Earthsea Cycle (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 11, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547773749
- ISBN-13: 978-0547773742
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 785 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle) Mass Market Paperback – September 11, 2012
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Often compared to Tolkien's Middle-earth or Lewis's Narnia, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea is a stunning fantasy world that grabs quickly at our hearts, pulling us deeply into its imaginary realms. Four books (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu) tell the whole Earthsea cycle--a tale about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard's apprentice after the wizard reveals Sparrowhawk's true name. The boy comes to realize that his fate may be far more important than he ever dreamed possible. Le Guin challenges her readers to think about the power of language, how in the act of naming the world around us we actually create that world. Teens, especially, will be inspired by the way Le Guin allows her characters to evolve and grow into their own powers.
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
I really appreciated the deeper meaning underlying the tale (first in series), which was psychological/New Age in nature, and was personally relevant for me.
The writing was engaging and gentle, with likable characters and delightfully unpredictable.
Good for fastasy-wizard-Middle-Earth -type-fiction -lovers.
This is my third favorite Le Guin, close behind The Tombs of Atuan.
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
What I love about a Wizard of earthsea, is that by the third book the main character Ged/Sparrowhawk is on par with some of the great literary wizards such as Dumbledore from Harry Potter or Gandolf from LOTR. however at the beginning he is a little child, and almost the same as any boy or girl, with a similar view of it.
In the beginning you have an archetypal child who is free and wild, want so play and wants to have fun, and when he learns about magic he takes it as any boy or child would, he views it as something powerful, he think that if he has all the power in the world, no force can oppose him. However when he releases evil in the world, the power he reveled in becomes a source of great fear.
As he grows up, he faces many forces, but the fear of "the shadow" lingers on him, and eats away at his soul, and terrifies him as does his own inadequacy.
However his journey and experiences lead him to great wisdom and understanding, and in time lead him to understand and see the world for all it is and face that darkness.
The reason this story is so great is because it is my story as well, I am currently living in this novel.
As a child, I viewed adulthood, wealth and other such things with the same lightheartedness, that as an Adult, I would be in control with nothing to fear. and when the responsibility of adulthood hit, I was left weak, and now I find myself facing the world as Ged does after he receives his wizard staff, scarred, and even when he speaks to Dragons, a feat only the greatest of wizards accomplish, he is still left scarred, and inadequate, thinking knowing there is a force out there that would devour him, looking and focusing only at the threat in front of him. It is not till he gets his head straight that he finally faces this threat and realizes, that the darkness is part of him, and by facing it, he makes it a part of himself to overcome it. The last part of which I have not completed, but in reading the book I felt like my life may come to a point where I may conquer my inner demons, so in a large part the story gives me hope.
The reason this book is great is because it does not deal with large human issues, it deals with the everyday ones, it deals with a human similar to many of us, not a galavant hero, with no fear or evil, or someone overburdened by tragedy or death, it deals with a character that in many ways is ordinary just like us and how he comes to terms with the vast world he lives in.
The story is good, not terribly deep, but this was written for younger readers.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm glad I read this book because it is a touchstone of Fantasy and a classic.Read more