The first time I picked up this book to read I couldn't get past the third or fourth chapter - I was bored out of my mind by the text. Months later, after finishing another book, I decided to force myself to plow through the rest of this book. It's a shame, really, because the story is actually good, but the writing just drones on and on, it was too wordy for me to enjoy it. I appreciate rich descriptions, but when 95% of a book is drawn out with them, it gets a bit dull and tedious. Needless to say, I don't think I'll read the next book in this series.
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.
I balked at this one; I've never held much interest in dragon stories; but Ursula Le Guin's name is everywhere, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. What a surprise! Very simply told, yet it draws you in immediately. The story is ageless. I've requested Book 2, so I can read more of Le Guin's work. And in actuality, the dragon bit is pretty minimal.
Before there was Harry Potter, there was Ged, also known as Sparrowhawk. He has the potential to become the greatest wizard of Earthsea, but his youthful arrogance keeps getting him in trouble��and may get him killed. A Wizard of Earthsea is the first in this series by Ursula K. LeGuin.
I enjoyed this book even though Le Guin uses less narrative than exposition (more "tell" than "show). It's almost like reading something in the style of the Old Testament. After I thought about it, I decided it was not a bad way to present this story. It would have been too drawn out otherwise.
I'm sorry I waited so long to discover Le Guin's Earthsea. This first book is a fast, deceptively simple read, and the story is not entirely original (but then, most wizard/dragon/quest stories aren't) but it has characters and settings that are carefully crafted, and that really rang true for me.