Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin: A Book Review

"Even foolery is dangerous," said Jasper, "in the hands of a fool."

This first installment in the amazing Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin chronicles the life of the great wizard Ged, from the time he was just a young boy to his young adulthood. He shows the potential to become a great sorcerer at a very young age, when he is living in a village on the mountainous island of Gont. His witch aunt takes him under her wing and teaches him basic spells of healing and the like, but he hungers to learn more. When he manages to save his village from invaders, his power is realized by the great mage Ogion, who lives in a neighboring village, and Ged is offered an apprenticeship. Eagerly, he accepts, only to find that he wishes to learn more than even Ogion will teach him. And so he is sent off to the prestigious wizard school at Roke. There he makes both friends and enemies, and proves himself a good, skilled student. But Ged is proud, and his pride will lead him to accidentally unleash a horrible evil upon all Earthsea...

I really liked this book, even more than I thought I would. Ged was a very likeable protagonist, and very real also--he had many faults, but that just made him more likeable in my opinion. The other characters were very likeable also, although it seemed to me that some of them were a bit one-sided. Then again, this may be because they didn't play a large-enough part in the book for us to really get to know them as we did Ged. The setting was very interesting; I liked the concept of an "earthsea", a world that is predominantly ocean, with only small islands scattered across it. I also liked how Taoism was slightly incorporated into it, with the yin and yang idea of Equilibrium. Anyway, I'd definitely like to read more of the Earthsea books.

This book was read for the Once Upon A Time Challenge.


  1. Gah I really really have to read this series!! It sounds so good. And I think that Ana will kick me or cut my head off with her scimitar if I don't read it soon :/ *hugs Annie*

  2. My son just read this book for the first time and I think he really liked it. I've not yet read LeGuin, but I imagine this will be the book I try when I do.