A Wizard of Earthsea
Why I Like It
Author Ursula K. Le Guin offers another interesting look into what it means to be human (as most sci-fi/fantasy tend to be), but more importantly a look into the meaning of power and its ability to corrupt. The story is well paced, and the character development believable. The sacrifices are meaningful and the lessons seem truly learned, as is demonstrated by the later books in the series. What’s more is that she is able to craft this story in her own, “world,” with a different history and different culture from our own, but continues along with the abstract notion that humanity anywhere is still humanity, all that differs are the circumstances we face.
What a One-Star Review Thought
After falling in love with Middle-Earth in Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”, I heard that Ursula LeGuin’s Earthsea books were of the same caliber. Nothing could be further from the truth. This book was full of sullen, unsympathetic characters and the silliest dragons in the history of fantasy literature- dragons that you can defeat merely by calling their name. Moreover the book is obsessively concerned with the balance of magic- an interesting concept, but one which the author handles badly. The magic of Tolkien’s Middle-earth is inherent in the characters- it’s not what they do, but what they are. Compared to this the conflicting petty spells and name-calling in Earthsea are pretty disappointing