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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Ursula K. Le Guin's 1968 classic fantasy A Wizard of Earthsea, a coming-of-age tale about a boy destined to become the greatest sorcerer in the world, has been heralded as one of the most pedagogical and beautifully written children's novels ever penned. Born in the realm of Earthsea, a much-storied world dominated by an extensive archipelago, Ged is a poor blacksmith's son born with an innate understanding of magic. But after he is sent to Roke Island to study the craft, he lets his arrogance and antipathy for another student lead him into a disastrous mistake -- unleashing an evil spirit bent on devouring Ged's essence!
A Wizard of Earthsea -- and the other novels in Le Guin's Earthsea sequence (The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, et al.) -- has been called "one of the most deeply influential of all 20th-century fantasy texts" by The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Enchanting, lyrical, and almost subliminally profound ("Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life…"), this novel is a must-read for fantasy fans of all ages. Long before Harry Potter and the Hogwarts School were ever conceived by J. K. Rowling, there was Le Guin's Ged and the school for wizards on Roke Island. In a word: archetypal. Paul Goat Allen