June 13, 2004

Earthsea Re-visited

I recently decided to re-visit Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series, primarily because of reading an interview with her in The Third Alternative No.37. It must be 20 odd years since I read the trilogoy of a Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuain and The Farthest Shore (collected here) and it is still magical (pun intended). Le Guin's writing is superb at once conveying the 'other' worldliness of Earthsea and the hopes, thoughts and feelings of the principle characters. These are novels for a young adult audience but they lose no of the wonder for this. The story of Sparrowhawk and his transition from a goatherd on the edge of the world to Archmage on the magical island of Roke is a emotional tale, one told with great sympathy for the characters, and interestingly Ged is not the central figure in the second two books.

My joy at re-discovery the tales is now enhanced by discovering fourth, fifith and sixth books in the series. I hope to get to these soon.

An interesting comparison to Harry Potter in terms of an outsider gaining magical powers and scaring on the face caused by evil powers however different settings and styles. I mention this as I am reading The Goblet of Fire to my daughter and went to see Prisoner of Azkaban at the cinema yesterday. Also very enjoyable but in highly different ways.

Posted by Paul Goodison at June 13, 2004 03:59 PM | TrackBack


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