Series: Earthsea Cycle #1
Published by Bantam on 1968
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Ged, the greatest 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 dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
5 Rambles about A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #1) by Ursula K. LeGuin
I respect this book, this author, this series…I don’t love it, but I respect it.
- Ged is incredibly annoying for the first half of the book. I know he’s supposed to be. But then I didn’t care about anything he did or any of his struggles for the second half of the book because I didn’t like him already. Before the shadow he’s obnoxious. After the shadow he’s whiny and pathetic. Only when we get to the last fourth of the book does he become SLIGHTLY bearable. I still didn’t like him though. And when I don’t like the main character of the book, I usually don’t enjoy much else about the book.
- The writing though, is fantastic. LeGuin really cuts out anything superfluous and just sticks to the main plot of Ged overcoming his literal demons as the shadow chases him around Earthsea. And the writing is crisp, concise, yet still detailed and fully imagined.
- The world building is excellent. The main reason I’m only barely interested in read the second book is because of how well LeGuin crafts the world of Earthsea. From the magic system (that I’d like to know a lot more about) to the myriad of islands that Ged visits, to all the different types of people with their own cultures and customs, LeGuin creates a memorable world.
- I wanted more Ogion (Ged’s first Master/Teacher). He seemed pretty Gandalf-like, and more Gandalf is always a good thing. But instead we were stuck with Ged.
- I listened to the audiobook of Earthsea, which I think might have been a mistake. The reader, whose name I unfortunately cannot recall at this time, forces himself to be out of breath way too much, so he reads all the dramatic passages while literally gasping, which was extremely unpleasant to listen to. I mean, please, please act on these audiobook recordings, but don’t sound like you’re dying. It just makes me want to stop listening. This probably went on for more than 50% of the book.
Like I said, I 100% respect this series because it’s obviously been influential and the writing really is excellent. The story of Good vs. Evil and Ged overcoming the shadow is powerful, but I found it terribly difficult to care, since I didn’t like Ged’s character at all.
Content: Recommended for 12+
Reading Challenges: Good Reads Reading Challenge (41 of 75), Read My Own Damn Books Challenge (16 of 25+), Reading Bingo Challenge (Listen to an Audiobook), TBR Challenge (Kicking it Old School, Publication date 10 Years or Older).