read_warbler (read_warbler) wrote,

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This one was a bit of a marathon read for me. I reckon I've been reading it for the best part of ten days but then it is four books in one with a page count of 690. (And thus book three of my Chunkster Challenge.)

The Earthsea Quartet, by Ursula K. Le Guin, comprises The Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore - all written in the 1970s - and Tehanu, the sequel to The Farthest Shore, written in 1990. Basically, they are the life and adventures of a wizard named Ged, from the day he was found to have magical powers as a boy until... well... until whatever it was that happened to him at the end of The Farthest Shore. I'm not saying. ;-) We also meet Tenar who is High Priestess to the Nameless Ones in my favourite of the four, The Tombs of Atuan, (my fav. because it was so creepy) and Arren, the teenage Prince of Enlad, who accompanies Ged on his voyage in The Farthest Shore. Those two have large parts to play in the series and in a way you get to know them better than the enigmatic Ged because three of the four books are written mainly from their pov.

As with other good books it's hard for me to do this one justice. I thought it was superb. Le Guin's world building is mind boggling and I fell in love with the Earthsea archipeligo which consists of hundreds of islands and is thus a maritime world. You want to go somewhere... you go by boat or you don't go. There are wizards and ordinary mortals, dragons, priestesses, dead people galore, witches, royalty - the cast is endless. Best of all, I've discovered that there are two more books that I didn't know about, one a short story collection based in the Earthsea world and the second an actual sequel to Tehanu. I'm delighted and can't recommend this one enough to any fantasy fans out there.
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