A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

View from this book:

Ursula Le Guin is from this part of the world (the Pacific NW), so it’s pretty much obligatory to read her.  After an extremely stressful quarter in grad school last year, going on a sci-fi & fantasy binge was the perfect way to chill out over the first day of Christmas break, and  I dove into the Earthsea Quartet:

Christmastime escapist fantasy

The book:

In college, I read one of Le Guin’s fabulous short stories that is very serious social-commentary sci-fi (“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” – sooooo creepily amazing), and I was a little disappointed that A Wizard of Earthsea (one of her most famous full-length novels, and the first in the Earthsea Quartet) contains so few overt references to modern-day societal ills.  However, it is a very nice romp through a fantasy world, as are the other books in the series.

A Wizard of Earthsea is a coming-of-age novel about a young boy who (guess what?) becomes a wizard and goes through all sorts of adventures.  He chases the worst demon of them all throughout the beautifully realized land of Earthsea.  Finally, he corners the demon to do battle, only to realize that he’s been chasing his inner demon all along.  Instead of pounding it into submission, he must come to terms with it.  Which is, of course, teenagerhood in a nutshell!  With magic!  Go forth and read it.  7 out of 10.

A Wizard of Earthsea


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