MMGM (1/30/2017): A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

For MMGM, I am recommending the classic A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Here's the publisher's description:

Originally published in 1968, Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea marks the first of the six now beloved Earthsea titles. Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous 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.

This book is 48 years old, but it seems both easy to read, unlike other classics, and completely different from every other fantasy book today (which is not a bad thing). It tells the story of a boy named Ged who, in his youth, accidentally released what is referred to as the shadow into the world as a result of trying to prove his power by summoning a spirit. In trying to fix the mess, Ged, who is an adult for most of the book, ends up becoming much more likable, as he quickly realizes his mistake.The book's writing is amazing, sounding very poetic and great for reading aloud or to one's self. One interesting aspect of the book is true names, which are the names of people or things in an old language known as the Old Speech. Wizards use these names to gain power over what they are naming, but Ged does not know the name of the shadow. The end of the book is both genius and foreshadowed throughout the book. Although the book is short, with few characters, it only makes those words and characters who are there matter more. This book is an amazing classic of literature that should be read by everyone.


  1. An oldie but a goodie! This is a great book and perfect sci fi for tbis age group! Thanks for remembering it!

  2. Thanks for the reminder I need to read this one. I'll look for it next time I'm through the library.

  3. I read this one and I enjoyed it! I've read some of the books in the series, but I need to catch up. Thanks for the review!
    - Vi

  4. I have never heard about this series. Sounds like its stood the test of time. Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. It always surprises me that there are people who haven't read this, since for me it's such an important series, up there with Narnia, the Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time. I read it over and over again as a youth, and I still return to it sometimes. I love the world and the magic, and the hero's journey is pretty iconic.

    It's also an excellent example of fantasy books not needing to be ridiculously long!


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