Customer Reviews for

A Wizard of Earthsea

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Ged vs. Potter? I choose Ged.

It's interesting, in these days of Harry Potter, to read what people think of LeGuin's Earthsea books and in particular 'A Wizard of Earthsea'. I think that people forget that this book was first published in 1968, about 30 years before the US publication of 'Harry Pott...
It's interesting, in these days of Harry Potter, to read what people think of LeGuin's Earthsea books and in particular 'A Wizard of Earthsea'. I think that people forget that this book was first published in 1968, about 30 years before the US publication of 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's [Philosopher's] Stone'. While, in my opinion, J.K. Rowling is an extremely creative writer, her characters are all fairly simplistic, with virtually one-track minds. Adults in Rowling's magical world are as immature and petty as the children at Hogwarts. Her characters are driven by rather simple, predictable emotions and goals. Characters in Rowling's books continuously repeat the same character flaws and don't seem to learn from them over the course of seven books. Rowling paints with so thick a brush that the reader becomes duped into accepting that a plot twist equates to character development. LeGuin's Ged, on the other hand, does learn. He exists in a world where children act like children and adults act like adults. He grows immensely during this coming of age tale. His character development leads the plot, rather than the other way around, therefore, creating a much richer read, in my opinion, than any of Rowling's beloved books. LeGuin packs so much imagery, action and character development into a book less than 200 pages long. Compare that to the endless chapters in the Harry Potter books where you spend over 200 pages finding out, for example, who's taking who to the Yule Ball, or how many times Harry will serve detention. LeGuin's book is probably written for younger readers who like to think about the meaning of what they are reading, rather than simply follow a story line laid out before them. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed J.K. Rowling's books and I greatly appreciate them for what they are...I've bought the last few books the day they were released, just like almsot everybody else. But I absolutely love LeGuin's work and I feel that she has written amongst the finest fantasy writing I have read, to date, and I've been reading fantasy for over 25 years. For people who have enjoyed reading Harry Potter, you may also enjoy the original three books of this series 'A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore'. The Farthest Shore is also a masterpiece. As I have grown older, with maturation of my understanding of the way things work in life, my perspective and understanding of that story has evolved and so I consider that book to be a rare literary equivalent to a fine wine whose flavors change as it ages.

posted by Anonymous on July 26, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

15 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Whaaaaat?

Not even the first sentance. Some sample. How do I know if this book is right for me? GIVE AT LEAST THE FIRST CHAPTER!!!!!!!! Click yes if you agree!

posted by Anonymous on August 14, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Great book

    Fun to read! Couldn't put it down. Would and have read it time and time again

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    A real gem!

    Though it got off to a slow start, this one turned out to be quite an enjoyable read. It has a small cast of characters that are well developed but not overly complex, and the narration is beautifully written. It was written for teens, but a grown up looking for a light read will love this one, and it's appropriate for a more advanced "tween" reader, as well. I highly recommend it to any fantasy lover.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I came back to this book after a long bout of urban fantasy and

    I came back to this book after a long bout of urban fantasy and dystopian novels in my read pile, and I must admit it was a bit jarring. I read this book for the first time as a young girl, so to be fair to the book, I feel like my review is a combination of my feelings from both times I read the book.

    A Wizard of Earthsea is a true fantasy book distilled to its purest form. LeGuin does not use many words, and does not waste time with fluff. The me now found this a jarring transition because I find that most of the modern books I read are very descriptive, and focus more on the showing of events and worlds than the telling of the story. At some times, the lack of pronounced downtime and character development felt a tad tedious. Younger me, I felt, had more of an imagination to feel in the gaps. I really do enjoy the story itself. I like that in the Earthsea novels, magic doesn’t come from the elements, or pseudo-Latin words, but from holding the power of a things true name. I think that is one of the things I find appealing about faerie mythology, so I enjoy seeing the theme here in a different light. One of the things I like most about this novel, both now and in the past, is it a parable that warns of the consequences of having power and of abusing that power.

    I’d recommend it if you have a good imagination (or don’t mind terser books) and like true fantasy books (wizards, magic, dragons).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2011

    Highly Reccomended This rocks

    Wizard of Earth Sea is a magical adventure book by Ursula Guin about a young wizard. The story is placed in an undisclosed time period in a place known as Earth Sea. The book is about the wizard Ged and his magical adventure through Earth Sea. Ged went to a school for wizards after he left his village home. During his time there Ged is scared by the darkness which he released and becomes a wizard. From There Ged is traveling to gain magical ability and to destroy the darkness.
    Ursula K, Guin did a good job on Wizard of Earth Sea I enjoyed this book very much. I would recommend this book for kids those ages between the ages of 11 and infinity. I believe some of the words are complicated to people who don't understand them. This book is a good read for before and after school. I give these book 3 wands out of 4.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    I am an adult mom who loves high fantasy and science fiction, but I had never read the EarthSea Series. So I have begun with the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea. It was not at all what I expected. I thought their would be more of a character development of our hero, Ged, like there was in Harry Potter. But the book is told as a tale and the reader feels very distant from Ged. Still, I found the story rather enjoyable and the literature itself was impeccable. I am looking forward to seeing what Ged is up to in Volume 2.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2005

    Good but not great

    This isn't a bad book, but with the mini-series on SciFi and everything I've heard, I guess I was expecting too much. Good, but not great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2004

    Good but

    Not nearly as good as recent reads like Kingdoms and the Elves by Robert Stanek but a well done story nonetheless. A Wizard of Earthsea is about Get a gifted boy who has magic and is the greatest wizard in all Earthsea. But he accidentally releases a terrible shadow into the world and that is how it all starts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2004

    Good

    I thought this book was great when I read it, but I was a fool and followed it up with Logan Robert Bingham's 'Hunter Rising: Book One of the Webspinner Succession' and the latter blew the former right out of the metaphorical water. Where 'Earthsea' was more or less straightforward, 'Hunter Rising' tricks you into thinking its a more SF-oriented work until you get to the end and things start to change, hints of deeper battles. It leaves you hungering for the next book and makes you forget totally about good old 'Earthsea' Sorry. I think I've rambled a bit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2003

    This book rocks!

    A young boy would once save a small town from the most fearsome warriors with a simple magic spell was heard of throughout the tallest mountains . When when he casts that spell he uses up all of his magic and almost dies, until an great wizard (an heal-all)comes, and saves him. The boy asked if he could become his apprentence, and the wizard accepts. Later on,the boy (now named ged)unleashed an unbelievable force, and he is the only one who can stop it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2002

    Fantasic read for any fantasy lover

    This book was fabulous! I am in junior high and i am a pretty experienced fantasy reader, and this book was breath taking! The elegant simplicity of power by simply knowing somethings name is perfect! As i said, i am quite young, and this wasnt hard to read at all. i would recommend this to any fantasy reader or anybody who is looking to start on a new series to read.

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