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.
Great book. Very good for YA readers who like slightly dark fantasy. I love to read this book when I want something moody. You know fall rains or stuck inside winter reading.
I read this book when I was a teen and at 46 will still pick it up and read it.
One of the great fantasy classics. Ged goes to the island of wisards to apprentice himself. The school is very other-worldly. Ged meets very strange and powerful wizards and finds he must undergo a journey to death itself. The book has a terrific mystical feel and is very enthralling.
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.
This book is the first of the Wizard of Earthsea series. Although some consider this series for teens and young readers, I enjoyed this book very much. If you like The Lord of The Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia, wil may like this one as well.
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.
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'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.
I found this a good fantasy beginning book but I really don't see what all the hype is about. It is the story of a young wizard coming of age. The characters and landscape are not fluffed out enough to get a good feel for them. Since this is a series I hope that the descriptions solidify in the next books.
I can honestly say "this was terrible". This may have been the best stuff available in 1968 when it was written but I don't understand the hype.
The protagonist is a young boy, Ged, with the potential for great magical power but very impatient for it to arrive. He is supremely jealous of the other boys (especially Jasper who is slightly older and more magically experienced). Showing off Ged does some dark magic which he isn't prepared to handle endangering the entire village and himself. His situation goes downhill from there. Now he has evil forces following him and endangering everyone he comes in contact with. Ged comes off as a spoiled brat and his thoughts are proof that he thinks he's better than everyone else even though it is obvious that he may some day be a great wizard but he certainly isn't one now.
IMHO the world building leaves much to be desired. Too many islands that (as of this book) have nothing to do with the story. There are maps throughout the book but they have so much unnecessary detail that you can't even figure out where Ged is or where he is going. They are more a hindrance than a help. I found the travels from one location to another boring and kept thinking "get on with it already." Even the scene with the 9 dragons was lame. Ged basically tells the big bad dragon, who has terrorized local villages, you will not do...blah blah blah (no secrets here) and low and behold, the dragon agrees. Huh? Granted this is only a 198 page book but the greater details were in the wrong place. I think the focus should have been on Ged's training (very little of this) after all he is a wizard's apprentice. And the dragon scene could and should have been more of a challenge for a young boy (12 or 13). It just was not a believable outcome of an apprentice with such a fearsome dragon.
Definitely not an author I would read again and I'd assume any sequels would be just as bad or worse. If you're interested in a great coming-of-age tale, try The Bridei Chronicles, the first book is The Blade of Fortriu by Juliet Marillier. This is a spectacular series.
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.
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.
Fantastic fantasy book about a young boy's journey of self-discovery. "Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea cycle has become one of the best-loved fantasies of our time. The windswept world of Earthsea is one of the greatest creations in all of fantasy literature, frequently compared with J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth or C.S. Lewis's Narnia." -Back Cover
Elissa B. reviewed A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1) on
This book is just a bit too fantasy for my taste. I did love the overall story arc and certain elements of self discovery. I liked how she dealt with balance and unpacking what it means to have 'light and dark.' However Other incidents and characters in the book just felt like this was really just a forward to a longer story to come. I just never really invested in the main character and there was an incident part way through the book which (without any spoilers) caused me to emotionally check out of the book. I will read more of her books, just not this series.
Ged, the great sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dreagon, and crossed death's threshold to resotry the balance.