The Earthsea Trilogy: A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore
(32 customer reviews)
Exclusive 3-in-1 harcover book. Includes A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA: The windswept isles of Earthsea were famous for wizards, and the greatest of all was Ged, called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.THE TOMBS OF ATUAN: Chosen to serve the Ancient and Nameless Powers of the Earth, Tenar is taken away from her home and family to become Arha, the Priestess Ever Reborn, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan. While learning her way throughthe gloomy Labyrinth that is her domain, she encounters Ged, a wizard come to steal the Tombs' greatest treasure. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, a light as forbidden in the Tombs as wizards are in the Kargad Lands....THE FARTHEST SHORE: Ill-tidings have arrived on the Isle of the Wise: The springs of wizardry are drying up. Driven to seek the source of the trouble, Archmage Ged embarks on a perilous journey with the boy-prince, Arren. Their travels take them to a land cursed with a strange soul sickness, to an encounter with Orm Embar, the greatest of the world's dragons, and into the realm of death itself. For if the balance of magic is not restored, darkness will overtake the world. Jacket art by Leo and Diane Dillon. (422 pp.)
- Amazon Sales Rank: #444490 in Books
- Published on: 2005
- Ingredients: Example Ingredients
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Hardcover
- 422 pages
Most helpful customer reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful.
classic adult fantasy
Ursula LeGuin is as talented a writer as one could hope to find. She has a deft hand at science fiction and fantasy, but she also layers her work with adult themes of self-discovery and personal evolution, relationship to self and to others, isolation vs. connection, and cross-cultural communication and understanding. In the most thoughtful, interesting, and entertaining ways, she plays with race, gender, age, etc. as social constructs, creating critiques of real-world countries and cultures in the process. But none of this comes off as pedantic or condescending - just fascinating, and sometimes heartbreaking and tragic. In these ways, Ms. LeGuin transcends the genres she writes in.
If the Chronicles of Narnia is the quintessential children's fantasy series, the Lord of the Rings the quintessential contemporary heroic fantasy series, and Harry Potter the quintessential populist fantasy series, then the Earthsea Trilogy is the quintessential *adult* fantasy series. For maximum enjoyment, you will have to work a bit as you read - moreso than with LOTR. Enjoy the spare, concise language, the atmospheres packed with meaning both explicit and ethereal, the things she *doesn't* say. Savor the books slowly. Jump backwards and re-read parts that gain more portent the more you progress.
The Earthsea Trilogy isn't beyond the young adult reader, but older readers will appreciate it too - and glean more from it. When you are done with Earthsea, don't stop. Get the fourth book in the series written years later, "Tehanu." Find "The Winds Twelve Quarters" and "The Compass Rose" (short story collections) at a used bookstore/ web site. Read "The Left Hand of Darkness."
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful.
Some of the best fantasy written.
By John Diller
I can't vouch for the 3-in-1 format of this version, I own the books separately and like them that way, but the content is fabulous. LeGuin creates a compelling, mythic world that is richly layered with wisdom and significance. These are books that you can reread again and again, getting more out of them each time and enjoying them anew. And as if the wonderful storytelling on multiple levels for the first three books wasn't enough, LeGuin comes back to Earthsea and provides an even more intelligent (and a deeper, more feminist & humanist) interpretation of her world in the next three books with only increasing skill as a writer and storyteller.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Long enjoyed, still wonderful!
By Ruth A. Barrett
This is some of the greatest fiction of all time, let alone science fiction or fantasy. These are fun and exciting tales! Full of mystery and things that get you thinking, they grip the imagination. These are also tales that resonate in deep places, quietly. They can be transformative. They are about courage, values, and new ways of viewing. Perhaps to be most experienced, you must bring something of yourself to them as well? This would be true of most things, I suppose.