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As long ago as forever and as far away as Selidor, there lived the dragonlord and Archmage, Sparrowhawk, the greatest of the great wizards he who, when still a youth, met with the evil shadow beast he who later brought back the Ring of Erreth Akbe from the Tombs of Atuan and he who, as an old man, rode the mighty dragon Kalessin back from the land of the dead And then, the legends say, Sparrowhawk entered his boat, Lookfar, turned his back on land, and without wind or sail or oar moved westward over the sea and out of sightWizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore Ursula Le Guin s brilliant and magical trilogyCover Illustration Jonathan Field Unlike the Lord of the Rings, which is three volumes of one book, this consists of three books which are each quite distinct entities to themselves I was just too lazy to find all three books and review them separately They go together because they share a common protagonist, the erstwhile goatherd known as Sparrowhawk, whose true name is Ged.The first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, deals with Ged as boy and young man, struggling to come to grips with his power The second book, The Tombs of At Unlike the Lord of the Rings, which is three volumes of one book, this consists of three books which are each quite distinct entities to themselves I was just too lazy to find all three books and review them separately They go together because they share a common protagonist, the erstwhile goatherd known as Sparrowhawk, whose true name is Ged.The first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, deals with Ged as boy and young man, struggling to come to grips with his power The second book, The Tombs of Atuan, finds Ged some years later on a search to reclaim stolen treasure in a hostile land, where he encounters a young priestess, Arha Arha must help him or hinder him, but not even she knows which path she will choose The last book, The Farthest Shore, follows Ged on his most dangerous quest of all, with only the young prince Arren to help him, the fate of the world resting in the balance.Ged is one of my favorite characters, from any book, ever I read these for the first time maybe when I was 12 or 13, and I still read them every so often now I think the brilliance in these stories is that they have come to mean much different things to me now then they did when I was a teenager or even in my early twenties A Wizard of Earthsea was my favorite when I was younger, but now I prefer The Tombs of Atuan I mentioned something along these lines to my dad some while back, and he told me his favorite was The Farthest Shore When I asked him why, he told me I d understand when I was fifty.Other than those who are adamantly opposed to the fantasy genre, I can t imagine anyone not enjoying these stories The books are short, the stories well crafted and the prose is wonderful Most definitely in my Top 5, and right up any teenager or young adult s alley Ursula LeGuin s Earthsea Trilogy remains one of thememorable books I read as a schoolboy The claustrophobic atmosphere of The Tombs of Atuan, the dry, draining, feeling that pervades The Farthest Shore, the psychological sophistication of A Wizard of Earthsea.The series as a whole strikes me as being a lotphilosophical than most children s books while at the same time they remain traditional Bildungsroman with their theme of growing into adult estate.In contrast to much of the fanta Ursula LeGuin s Earthsea Trilogy remains one of thememorable books I read as a schoolboy The claustrophobic atmosphere of The Tombs of Atuan, the dry, draining, feeling that pervades The Farthest Shore, the psychological sophistication of A Wizard of Earthsea.The series as a whole strikes me as being a lotphilosophical than most children s books while at the same time they remain traditional Bildungsroman with their theme of growing into adult estate.In contrast to much of the fantasy that I don t remember as well, there is not much here about swords, or bravery in combat, or the power of magic to destroy medium sized cities, rather the emphasis is on avoiding the need to do those things and on the principal characters coming to terms with themselves It seems to me that there is some influence of Taoism and Jungian psychology in these stories, which would have been in line with the spirit of the times when they were written view spoiler and indeed of Le Guin who has produced a translation of the Tao Te Ching hide spoiler The setting is also unconventional, it is not a magical version of medieval or Arthurian Europe but rather is pervaded by the fresh salty sea breezes of its archipelago landscape and its theme of life and death as yin and yang still feels very right and proper even across all the years since I read it in childhood.One of the remarkable things about it is the skin colour of the characters, here Le Guin as in other issues was working hard to create a future society that was rather cleverer andsensible that it was at the time of writing, the road however is long and many of us walk far slower than she Ursula K Le Guin s Earthsea Trilogy is one of my favorites Her style is so unique and the underlying themes in her books are powerful She has this way of saying a lot without saying muchif that makes any sense If you love wizardry this is the book for you Ged is the name of the Archmage in this series and unlike Gandalf, who is presented as incorruptible, Ged must battle his own demons to gain redemption The story is from Ged s point of view so he seemshuman than the classical rep Ursula K Le Guin s Earthsea Trilogy is one of my favorites Her style is so unique and the underlying themes in her books are powerful She has this way of saying a lot without saying muchif that makes any sense If you love wizardry this is the book for you Ged is the name of the Archmage in this series and unlike Gandalf, who is presented as incorruptible, Ged must battle his own demons to gain redemption The story is from Ged s point of view so he seemshuman than the classical representation of the wizard seen from afar as a powerful figure cloaked in mystery The second book changes the point of view from Ged to Tenar The Eaten One The story goes on to describe a tale of suffering, mercy, and the love that can be felt for strangers even in the the darkest of places This trilogy is so full of imagery and meaning that I would recommend it to anyone that loves a truly fine fantasy I would also recommend you read the accompanying Tales from Earthsea and the final book in the series The Other Wind These are three beautifully written novels that make up a trilogy that is both highly influential in the modern fantasy trilogy and also highly unlike any trilogy out there The first book A Wizard of Earthsea follows the story of a young boy named Ged he has a bunch of other names, but he s Ged and his adventures as he discovers he is a wizard, goes off to a wizard academy to train, discovers he will be the most powerful wizard ever, and is inextricably linked to a diabolical evil that will These are three beautifully written novels that make up a trilogy that is both highly influential in the modern fantasy trilogy and also highly unlike any trilogy out there The first book A Wizard of Earthsea follows the story of a young boy named Ged he has a bunch of other names, but he s Ged and his adventures as he discovers he is a wizard, goes off to a wizard academy to train, discovers he will be the most powerful wizard ever, and is inextricably linked to a diabolical evil that will one day plague the world of Earthsea sound like anything The second book, The Tombs of Atuan, follows Ged into his middle ages as he journeys into the underground catacombs of Atuan to retrieve something of great importance The tombs are guarded by a religious order of women much like nuns , and one particular one is sent to investigate Ged s infiltration What ensues is a realization of oneself and how we are not what we are taught to be, but what we have always been The ingenuity of this novel is that all the action takes place in the pitch black catacombs The reader sees what the characters see, which is nothing.The last book, The Farthest Shore, finds Ged in the dusk of his life and career as a wizard, leaving behind him the legacy of the greatest wizard that ever lived He is on what seems his final voyage, and he and his young companion travel to the ends of Earthsea and the world of the dead.These books, while in many ways as fantasy as fiction can get, are beautifully written and with even the smallest suspension of disbelief can be enjoyed by just about anyone If you have read those Harry Potter books, you owe it to yourself and Ms Leguin to read this trilogy which, over thirty years after their first publication, are still responsible for so much of the fantastic literature that exists today These are great little stories written by a fantasy scifi writer who is arguably one of the best in the genres