A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Fantasy, 183 pages, published in 1968

A tale of Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all of Earthsea, as a youth.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I have not read anything this old in a long time, so I knew I was going to need some time to adjust, since I definitely appreciate and understand modern writing much more than anything older. I think I started off on the wrong foot with this book because of that, but my opinion never really recovered.

This very much felt like a prequel or a novella to me, not the first book in a series. The book follows Ged from childhood through to his late teens (possibly even a little older). It just kind of felt like a backstory to me, not an actual story.

Because it is quite a short book and we get to see the first 20 or so years of Ged’s life in this book, I had absolutely no connection to him whatsoever. Every time I thought a certain time was when we’d really get to know him, the story would jump ahead years at a time. He also didn’t really interact with other people that much, or at least not the same people. I enjoy relationships and dialogue a lot and I think it’s a good way to get to know characters, but since Ged was constantly around different people, there wasn’t any building of relationships or character, in my opinion.

I definitely feel like this could have to with the style of writing. I think a more classic writing style, like this book has, just isn’t necessarily the best for telling stories with a focus on character building.

I do think that this world is SO COOL. The idea of having a ton of different islands and seeing how different cultures evolve when isolated in that way is very interesting to me, especially when magic is involved.

I do think I am going to continue on to the second book because it seems more focused on specific characters doing a specific thing, rather than a meandering story. I have heard that if I don’t enjoy the second one though, that this series just isn’t for me.

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