What I’ve been reading – A Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Le Guin, but this isn’t a cosy anodyne fantasy with feel-good endings and a hero to root for. Hi, Harry! It’s bleak as life itself, and morally stern and sometimes frightening, even for an adult perhaps. The stuff of nightmares for a sensitive kid, if you’re not careful about choosing the right recipient in your gift-giving. Ged is a little bastard who grows into an old git, with not much interim period. Power is misused, love is broken, gifts are unfairly distributed. Some mistakes are irrevocable, others pay the price for your sins.

Welcome to the world, magical or otherwise. It sucks.

Beautiful, perfect, a monochrome wash. Unforgiving. I really love this book, did I forget to say?

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2 thoughts on “What I’ve been reading – A Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

  1. I know what you mean about this tough book, I find her books emotionally demanding, and good though they are, I find it difficult to re-read them, which I feel any good book demands. Susan Cooper’s fascinating and beautiful quartet about the struggle with evll: The Dark is Rising, I’ve read dozens of times ) apart from the first weaker one in the series, but they give you hope !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I used to love The Dark Is Rising as a kid. Less so now – and I never cared for Greenwitch – but the books do seem very white and middle-class – and largely male – to a modern eye. I know hindsight is wonderful, and those were the times we were living in, but it still leaves me a little restless and uncomfortable, with present knowledge.

      I can re-read The Left Hand of Darkness – I adore it – and Le Guin’s wonderful, intense short story Field of Vision, which re-shapes reality in a terrifying way. But there’s one of her adult novels – I’m not sure, perhaps Sea Road – that has a rape scene that’s so painfully conflicted, so real and awful in making the na├»ve, trusting victim complicit in her own abuse, that I devoutly wish never to read it again, any more than I wish to read Dworkin’s ‘Mercy’. It’s brilliant, and Le Guin is a divine artist, and it’s torture to read.

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