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Earthsea? (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Ok, so I'm debating whether to buy the Earthsea books. I've heard a mix of opinions, but most of the reviews on Barnes and Noble's website aren't descriptive enough or are by young readers. I would like to know if this book is worth reading. I am a lover of fantasy, especially Terry Brooks. Will this series appeal to me?


I've only read about a quarter of the first Earthsea book, and I didn't enjoy it very much. It wasn't horrible, but it was written in a top-down manner, as in, told and not shown. "Ged is a boy. He lives on an island. He is poor. But he is magical." etc. That's an exaggerration, obviously, but that's the impression I have from over a year ago.

But as stated, I didn't read but a quarter of the way into the book, so it might be the best thing ever after that point. The plot was certainly up-to-par up to that point. I was just looking for a story, and not a story synopsis.

Spherical Time

Senior Member
I had a difficult time with it as well. Which is odd because some of the things that she writes are beautiful.

It's a fantasy classic though. Maybe you should get it from your library instead of buying it.


Senior Member
I'm studying fantasy in a few weeks and this is on myh reading list, not got to it yet but if my lectureres are recommending it, it can't be comletely awful.

try the library before a buy.


Senior Member
People, Ursula le Guin is only one of the most respected authors of all time... She's like the Robert Heinlein of fantasy.
Truly. Although the novels themselves didn't particularly appeal to my taste in the way they were written, the plot and the idea itself were incredible.

Spherical Time

Senior Member
Hodge said:
People, Ursula le Guin is only one of the most respected authors of all time... She's like the Robert Heinlein of fantasy.
Stranger in a Strange land sucked, in my opinion anyway. I might have read it when I was too young though. Someone said that it's better if you take it as a satire of religion, but I prefer Good Omens.

The Door Into Summer, on the other hand, was a phenomenal work of science-fiction, and the Puppeteers is masterful.

I'm not a Tolkien fan either. Or Gaiman, for that matter.

It's possible to respect the masters without liking the things that they've written. These five writers have great imaginations, and really came up with some truly amazing ideas. Some parts of what they've crafted are the true pinacles of writing, but sometimes those jewels are set in rough stone.

Of all of these, only Terry Pratchett makes the list of my favorite writers. The others are classics (or instant classics, in the case of Gaiman), but not my favorites.

Then again, Michelle West, whom I love, is a writer that most people can't stomach.


Senior Member
Have not taken the time to read the books yet, but saw the made for TV movie on the Sci-fi channel not too long ago. It's a pretty good flick. I would like to read them, some day.


Senior Member
Excellent fantasy. Ged's shadow is one of the few things in fantasy books that actually made me afraid and captivated, as opposed to rolling my eyes. Too bad the market's overrun with dripping, shallow shit like Jordan or Goodkind.

The earthsea books have depth.


Senior Member
There was a telemovie made of it a few years ago, but before anyone goes out adn gets the DVD, this is what Miss le guin thinks of it:

I've tried very hard to keep from saying anything at all about this production, being well aware that movies must differ in many ways from the books they're based on, and feeling that I really had no business talking about it, since I was not included in planning it and was given no part in discussions or decisions.

That makes it particularly galling of the director to put words in my mouth.
Mr Lieberman has every right to say what his intentions were in making the film he directed, called "Earthsea." He has no right at all to state what I intended in writing the Earthsea books.

Had "Miss Le Guin" been honestly asked to be involved in the planning of the film, she might have discussed with the film-makers what the books are about.

When I tried to suggest the unwisdom of making radical changes to characters, events, and relationships which have been familiar to hundreds of thousands of readers all over the world for over thirty years, I was sent a copy of the script and informed that production was already under way.
So, for the record: there is no statement in the books, nor did I ever intend to make a statement, about "the union of two belief systems." There's nothing at all about the "duality of spirituality and paganism," whatever that means, either.

Earlier in the article, Robert Halmi is quoted as saying that Earthsea "has people who believe and people who do not believe." I can only admire Mr Halmi's imagination, but I wish he'd left mine alone.

In the books, the wizardry of the Archipelago and the ritualism of the Kargs are opposed and united, like the yang and yin. The rejoining of the broken arm-ring is a symbol of the restoration of an unresting, active balance, offering a risky chance of peace.

This has absolutely nothing to do with "people who believe and people who do not believe." That terrible division into Believers and Unbelievers (itself a matter not of reason but of belief) is one which bedevils Christianity and Islam and drives their wars.

But the wizards of Earthsea would look on such wars as madness, and the dragons of Earthsea would laugh at them and fly away...

Toto, something tells me Earthsea isn't Iraq.
I wonder if the people who made the film of The Lord of the Rings had ended it with Frodo putting on the Ring and ruling happily ever after, and then claimed that that was what Tolkien "intended..." would people think they'd been "very, very honest to the books"?