This is a really good book. It's as much about a really fun adventure as it is about the recklessness of youth and learning from your mistakes. Ursula Le Guin earns her reputation. I can't wait to read the next one.
Great series about a boy who grows up and matures, yes, both. He becomes a great wizard and takes on serious challenges in each book of the series. This is the first book, when he is still very young, and how he must face the consequences of his actions. He is clever and arrogant by turns, and a believable and likeable character. Many other characters are good in here, too, and the descriptions and mood excellent. Fantastic writing, great story, great series. For older kids, as it gets somewhat creepy and there is a certain amount of violence. Later books refer to a rape of a young girl, too.
A co-worker of mine recommended a story he remembered reading in his teen years, knowing that I enjoy tales of fantasy and magic (like Tolkien, Rowling & Pratchett). So I set out with the help of PaperBack Swap to acquire them.
This first book is short, but still took me a few days to get into it. I did have a bit of trouble getting started, because it just didn't grab me right away, but I committed myself to finish and I'm glad I did. Waiting to crack open book # 2 now.
You follow a young boy who learns very young that he has some magical powers, and follow him on his journey to learn more about it. From little charms and games to help out at home, to saving his village, and being given an opportunity to go learn from masters. While there his arrogance and pride get him into trouble and he learns very quickly why our elders tell us to do as they say and becomes quickly humbled by an unleashed danger, set forth at his own hands. Ready and willing anew to set about actual learning, he finds he becomes quite powerful among his peers, and sets off to end the trouble he brought about the world in his younger stupidity.
I must say I was underwhelmed by the end of the story. Like climbing a tall mountain to see the view from the top, only to find a step or two valley as far as you can see. Who knows, maybe walking a bit farther in this valley will lead me to the view I seek, but only time will tell.