2016: A Wizard of Earthsea (Ursula K. Le Guin)

A Wizard of Earthsea Book Cover A Wizard of Earthsea
Earthsea Cycle #01
Ursula K. Le Guin
Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published in 1968, Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea marks the first of the six now beloved Earthsea titles. Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.

It’s been a while since I read true fantasy! This book is one of my husband’s favorites, so I figured I should give it a read at some point. I did enjoy it. There’s a lot of great, extensive world-building, with a variety of characters. At its heart it’s a coming-of-age story, as Sparrowhawk grows from an impetuous, cocky teen to a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. I also enjoyed the way the magic worked — simple and tied to the land. And it’s clear that there’s more to Sparrowhawk’s story. If you enjoy fantasy, this is a classic worth reading.

Other reviews:

  •  “For those used to the mega-volume works of today’s fantasy, A Wizard of Earthsea comes as a breath of fresh air.”Piaw’s Blog
  • “This is a wonderful read, partly for the beautifully lyrical writing, partly for the simple but intriguing story, and partly for the underlying depth to much of it.”Pauline’s Fantasy Reviews
  • “Another aspect of the stories that I remember clearly is the moment when I figured out that Sparrowhawk was a young man of color, not a white man, as many heroes in fantasy novels are.”No Wasted Ink

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