Ursula Le Guin – A Wizard of Earthsea

  Author: Ursula Le Guin

Title: A Wizard of Earthsea
Published: 1968
Publisher: Parnassus Press
Length: 183 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Why I picked it up: On my TBR list
Rating: 3.5 stars
Challenges: 2011 TBR Pile | 100+
Buy: Barnes and Noble | Chapters | Check your local bookstore!

[Apologies for this rushed review, busy this week. It’s tough to blog properly without regular internet access :/]

This is the first ‘traditional fantasy’ book I have read in quite awhile. I got frustrated with the genre a few years ago and kind of gave up on it, but I’ve heard so much about this book I added it to my 2011 TBR Pile. I was not pleasantly pleased with it, but at least pleasantly not disappointed.

What I liked best about this book was that it was just about Ged, and the problem he created. It wasn’t the whole world at stake, nobody was depending on him. There was a hinted at risk if Ged wasn’t able to beat his demon, but that wasn’t the point. The purpose of the story was that Ged had to save himself. In that way, it was a nice, simple, small story, not a sprawling epic. A fun read, a good bed time story. I wouldn’t say it rivals LotR, but perhaps more so Narnia. It’ll be interesting to see what the next two books in the trilogy will be about.

Random notes I made while reading: The words dark/darkness were used awkwardly. Sentences like ‘Since the darkness of that night he had only experienced darkness’ should not be allowed to exist. Also, what’s up with women only being common witches, who can’t do much? And the only ‘powerful’ female is cunning and evil. There’s no commentary on that, it’s just how things are. I hope that comes up in later books. The place names and the maps were kind of ridiculous. I didn’t really pay attention to them, and that didn’t really matter. Too many, too many. I like the compact cast of characters. They all seemed solid and believable and pretty likeable or ‘enjoyable to read’ (I don’t know what I’m saying…). I’m sure we’ll Jasper again…I liked most of the dialogue, though there were some strangely awkward bits. There were also passages of description I liked, but nothing too spectacular.

Overall, a solid story, a fun and light read, but it didn’t impress me as much as the hype lead me to expect.