Friday, April 17, 2009

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula R. Le Guin

My aunt has been telling me for years that I need to read this trilogy, and for some reason I never have! At first I think it was because I was too silly to remember to write down the name of the author. Oops. That does make the task significantly more difficult! Lately though I've been really having a lot of fun ordering books from my local library, and making notes about what books I want to read. So I finally picked it up!

"A Wizard of Earthsea" is the first book in the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula R. Le Guin. The next two books are "The Tombs of Atuan" and "The Farthest Shore. I'm ordering both of them, so you'll receive reviews on them in due time!

The first book, "A Wizard of Earthsea," reminds me very much of the "Lord of the Rings" books in the style of writting. It's no where near as long, but it has that same formal feel to it, which I think adds to the level of majesty in the descriptions! In this book we meet Ged, a young boy who soon starts down the path towards becoming the greatest sorcerer in all of Earthsea.

One of the things I really appreciated about this book is that the author treats magic with respect. Showing that it needs to kept in balance, and that things done improperly can be dangerous. I don't really believe in magic, but I much prefer imagining this approach than the "let's wave a wand and anything can happen without consequences!" approach. It feels more realistic to me. 


Carapace said...

Yay, you're reading Earthsea!
I always admired LeGuin's economy of language. She can set up more atmosphere in fifty words than most authors can in fifty pages. And her universe is tight; I love it when the dragons come in! Eee, you're so lucky to have them to read for the first time!

Anonymous said...

Yes - it started as a trilogy - but she wrote two more books after that with Ged and Tenar: "Tehanu" and "The Other Wind." I've heard rumors floating around that there are more - Wikipedia states other titles belonging to the Earthsea-verse - but I don't know if they contain Ged.

I think I'm going to have to reread these books. When I first read them, I didn't appreciate Le Guin's prose - but I've since grown to love it in her other work...