Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin Review

Title: A Wizard of Earthsea
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Series: The Earthsea Cycle, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

My husband received a recommendation to read this book and begin this series, so he read it before I did it. He enjoyed the story, but the prose seemed a little long-winded to him. I was finally able to get to it in my library stack, and I finished it in a day and a half. Reading this start to The Earthsea Cycle, I can see why the late Ursula K. Le Guin was a legend in the science fiction and fantasy genre. A Wizard of Earthsea is unlike any other fantasy book that I’ve ever read, and honestly, I’m kicking myself for being so late to the party! She was a titan in her genres and I’m awed by her storytelling skills! Despite some slight flaws, I was blown away by the first entry in one of her most famous works. I can’t wait to continue this intriguing, poetic series!

A Wizard of Earthsea tells the story of Ged, who went on to be the most powerful wizard in Earthsea. But this story tells of his youth and rise to power, when he was called Sparrowhawk. Hungry for power, knowledge, and dominion over all, he tampered with the forces of the world without knowing that there was a steep price to pay: In his arrogance, he released an evil shadow upon the world and upset the natural balance of the world. This is the tale of his youth and his quest to right his grave mistake, how he mastered the dangerous and mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and risked death itself to restore the balance of everything.

I really enjoyed this book! It’s essentially a classic in the fantasy/science fiction genre, and I’m really upset that I’m getting to The Earthsea Cycle just now. It was unlike any fantasy book I’ve ever read, and it was really refreshing to be reading about a magical world that’s not in the midst of a vicious, bloodthirsty war. I really liked Ged, a boy whose ambition and pride often gets the best of him; his character development was one of my favorite parts of the novel. The writing was gorgeous, poetic, punchy, and purposeful; I could see what my husband was talking about, with the prose being a bit long-winded, but I didn’t mind it much; it kind of gave the whole book a fairy-tale type of feel. The pacing was really nice; there were lots of action-filled moments, but there was plenty of exciting worldbuilding moments and less tense scenes to nicely contrast with that; it had a really good balance. I really liked the ending, too; it wrapped up a lot of loose ends, but it was still enough to keep me guessing. Unfortunately, there were so many different characters that at times, it was hard to keep up. Nonetheless, this book is definitely a favorite, and I can’t wait to continue this wonderful classic fantasy series! The bottom line: The first book in the bestselling Earthsea Cycle series, I loved A Wizard of Earthsea, and I can’t wait to read the next volume! Next on deck: Furyborn by Claire LeGrand!

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