This is a great book about a young girl who is taken by priestesses when she is a tiny child because they believe her to be a reincarnation of the Eaten One, a priestess who serves scary old gods. It scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid when I first read it, but now I love it and would like to share it with someone else who likes Le Guin's style of writing.
I liked this book - it was neat to see a completely different part of Earthsea. However, it was a very odd feeling to see Ged from someone else's point of view. Even so, I can see how it was the right POV. From Ged's POV, it would have been a much different story.
In this second book of Le Guin's Earthsea series, readers will meet Tenar, a priestess to the "Nameless Ones" who guard the catacombs of the Tombs of Atuan. Only Tenar knows the passageways of this dark labyrinth, and only she can lead the young wizard Sparrowhawk, who stumbles into its maze, to the greatest treasure of all. Will she? --
Delightful easy read in the category of fantasy. It really is a parable of sorts for all sorts of issues that affect our lives. The series (I've read the first two) is par with Chronicles of Narnia & the L.O.T.R. trilogy by Tolkien.
A lot of female protagonists in fantasy novels are too perfect. The point of view character here was imperfect without being unsympathetic, and I loved how dynamic she was as she discovered that the religion for which she was a priestess was built on a terrible lie.
Imagine being taken away from your family, being told you are the reborn priestess and must spend out your life guarding the tombs of the nameless.
Being led into a life of servitude to Gods you are told exist, but never really get to see actual evidence of.
Then one day you find a stranger in your catacombs. He doesn't belong there, but you're intrigued and choose not to sacrifice him to your Gods, but keep him a live. From him you learn many things about lands you've never seen, and the truth behind the lies you've been told your whole life.
I liked this story better than the first. Our primary character, through legends she's been taught, teach young Sparrowhawk about a mystery from the first book, and he teaches her more about the tombs and God's she serves. It seems a few years at least have passed between the first book and this. He's grown even wiser, and has learned more about the world in general. Becoming wiser and more gentle, giving him great patience and strength.
Loved this book as a kid, enjoyed it even more now. I didn't get the themes of the book back then, such as politics and secular power replacing religion, people doing horrid things and being fearful of others in the name of religion, and guilt/shame being powerful motivators in religion. It's a fantasy/sci fi book, but so much more.
Picking up where Wizard of Earthsea left off, Ursula Le Guin continues to explore the complexities of human character. Ged, a powerful and respected wizard now still feels the urges of personal greed that were the crux of the first book in this delightful series. In his pursuit of treasure and knowledge, he becomes wrapped up in the plight of Tenar, a young girl held by a religious cult against her will. As Ged discovers Tenar and takes her with him on his escape from the temple, Le Guin continues to explore issues of human responsibility to each other, the duality of our actions, and the idea of free will for every human being.