A Wizard Of Earthsea

Paperback | July 27, 2010

byGuin Ursula LeIllustratorRuth K Robbins

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The first book of Earthsea is a tale of wizards, dragons and terrifying shadows. The island of Gont is a land famous for wizards. Of these, some say the greatest - and surely the greatest voyager - is the man called Sparrowhawk. As a reckless, awkward boy, he discovered the great power that was in him - with terrifying consequences. Tempted by pride to try spells beyond his means, Sparrowhawk lets loose an evil shadow-beast in his land. Only he can destroy it, and the quest leads him to the farthest corner of Earthsea.

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From the Publisher

The first book of Earthsea is a tale of wizards, dragons and terrifying shadows. The island of Gont is a land famous for wizards. Of these, some say the greatest - and surely the greatest voyager - is the man called Sparrowhawk. As a reckless, awkward boy, he discovered the great power that was in him - with terrifying consequences. Te...

From the Jacket

A tale of wizards, dragons and terrifying shadows.The young wizard Sparrowhawk, tempted by pride to try spells beyond his powers, lets loose an evil shadow-beast in his land. Only he can destroy it, and this quest leads him to the farthest corner of Earthsea.

Ursula Le Guin was born in Berkley, California, in 1929, daughter of the writer Theodora Krober and the anthropologist Alfred Krober. Her published work includes twenty-one novels, eleven volumes of short stories, three collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation. Among her novels are...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 7.8 × 5.09 × 0.55 inPublished:July 27, 2010Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140304770

ISBN - 13:9780140304770

Appropriate for ages: 9 - 12

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Wizards of Earthsea Very enjoyable, however seemingly short novel. Looking forward to reading the rest of this series and more from this author.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst Book I Have Ever Read Had to read this when I was in Junior high....don't put yourself through that kind of torture.
Date published: 2015-08-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It's ok Not the best book I've read...
Date published: 2014-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Then and still...
Date published: 2014-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oustanding When I was in grade seven I had a Language Arts teacher named Mr. Hore (you can imagine the fun we had with that in junior high school). He noticed that I was a voracious reader, and that I was devouring fantasy books at the time, so he nudged me in the direction of his favourites: Ursula K LeGuin and Anne McCaffrey. The nudging began in class with a LeGuin short story. I remember sterile white homes that were pre-fab pods, I remember odd, sci-fi-ish flora and a girl as the protagonist. I also remember not liking it, but I was a 12 year old boy. I don't remember the name or anything else, but it instantly had me not taking Mr. Hore's recommendations seriously. Then he got me reading Dragonflight, and I was even less impressed Although I recently gave it another try and quite enjoyed the experience, back then I hated the idea, I hated the characters, I hated everything about the book, and I was thoroughly inoculated to the effects of McCaffrey and LeGuin for years to come. In my late twenties, however, I rediscovered Ursula LeGuin with The Left Hand of Darkness and was blown away by her unparalleled mind, and her conception of the androgynous/hermaphroditic Gethens. The Lathe of Heaven was prophetic and fascinating, but The Dispossessed was something more. It is one of the finest political sci-fi books ever written, a peer of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World (and I humbly submit that on the back of that book alone, LeGuin deservesto win the Nobel Prize for literature). Despite my rediscovery of LeGuin, though, I shied away from her fantasy literature. The damage done by Mr. Hore still hadn't healed. Until now. A Wizard of Earthsea is one of the finest pieces of fantasy literature ever written. The story of Sparrowhawk's journey from being a smithy's son to the most powerful wizard of Earthsea is a parable of equilibrium. In Ged's pride and youthful anger he conjures the dead -- a power within his grasp, but a power he cannot control -- and with it comes a gebbeth, a shadow creature that will hunt Ged until it possesses him and turns his power against the world. Heavily scarred by his folly, both emotionally and physically, Ged is shielded from the gebbeth by his Masters, and he completes his training in humility. He eventually returns to the world, leaving behind the protection of Roke, and seeks an end to the chase between himself and his gebbeth -- a return to equilibrium: "only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky." In typical LeGuin fashion, Ged's struggle for equilibrium isn't our simplistic conception of a struggle between good and evil. There is no attempt for good to sublimate evil, as we see in so many works of fantasy. Nor is it a breezy assertion that both need to exist in the world; it is a recognition that if both exist at all they exist in everything, including us. The parable of Ged tells us not only to see equilibrium in everything but to consciously strive for equilibrium in ourselves. A Wizard of Earthsea is more than its message, however. It is a story to be read aloud. It is a tale for around a campfire. It is a myth for the child in all of us, and for our children. There is a formality about LeGuin's third person omniscience that has the ring of a bard passing on an important history. But there is poetry in her formal prose, too, and I found myself slowing my reading the closer I came to the end just to make my time with LeGuin's narrative voice last longer. I am sad that so many don't feel the way I do about LeGuin's fantasy masterpiece, but for once I am confident that I don't need to search my reaction to the book more deeply, to make sure that I am seeing the work clearly. This time I know I am right. A Wizard of Earthsea is one of the greatest fantasy novels (or novellas) ever written. Period. And now LeGuin has two claims to the Nobel Prize. What a shame she'll never even be considered.
Date published: 2009-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring and well written kid lit I recently re-read this book, as an adult, remembering how much I enjoyed it as a teen. It takes the classic journey to adulthood tale, and adds a fantastical element. The prose is lovely, and the level of explaining is just right for a teen.
Date published: 2008-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Original Harry Potter I've definitely read this before, and I realized it right away. Regardless, this is a great read even the second time through because it's engaging, and exciting, and certainly well written. And I don't even like fantasy stuff... This is the first story from Gont, Ursula's imaginary wizard-filled world. Ged, your basic country bumpkin, is discovered and quickly transported to the hubub of the wizarding world, where he learns how to be one of the best wizards in the land. He also battles his personal demons (literally) leaving plenty of room for an equally exciting sequel.
Date published: 2006-07-27