Earthsea Readalong

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Ursula Le Guin is a famous author, especially in the world of fantasy literature, but I'm sorry to say that until now I'd only ever read a collection of her poetry. Care, from Care's Books & Pie, and I decided to host a laid back readalong of the first book in her Earthsea series to remedy that. 

The bad news is that I'm a slacker and didn't post about it here until now... and I've already finished the book. The good news is that there are more books and I enjoyed the first one so much that I want to keep going! I'm mainly posting about it on Litsy (@avidreader25) and I'm using the hashtag #Earthsea2018. 

If you'd like to join in and readalong, awesome! If you've got thoughts about this book or any others in the series (no spoilers please!) feel free to share here or on Litsy with the group! After finishing the first book I checked a few local bookstores for the second book in the series. I couldn't find it, so I ended up buying this copy, which contains the first four books. 

Now on to my thoughts on the first book. 

A Wizard of Earthsea 

A young boy named Duny shows indications that he might have special powers. In his small town it's unusual, but as his skills develop he attracts the notice of a more talented wizard. He becomes known as Sparrowhawk and is sent off to a wizarding school to learn his craft. His true name, Ged, is known only to the wizard who gave it to him. 

Ged is selfish and short sighted. He believes too much in his own school and ignores warnings from those with more wisdom than he possesses. They continually remind him that the world they live in must remain balanced and every action he takes will have consequences. His hubris is his downfall. 

I couldn't believe how familiar the world of Earthsea felt. It particularly reminded me of The Name of the Wind, one of my favorites! Obviously this book came first and you can definitely see it's influence in the King Killer Chronicles, the Harry Potter series (there's a wizard school!) and Game of Thrones. 

BOTTOM LINE: I was definitely left wanting more. The book is short and I wished I had more time with the characters (especially Ged's sweet pet and his best friend Vetch). I can't wait to dive into the rest of the series. 

“Need alone is not enough to set power free: there must be knowledge.”

 “Yet a greater, and learned skill he possessed, which was the art of kindness.”

“This was Duny’s first step on the way he was to follow all his life, the way of magery, the way that led him at last to hunt a shadow over land and sea to the lightless coasts of death’s kingdom. But in those first steps along the way, it seemed a broad, bright road.”