Monday, January 17, 2011

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin

This is the first book in a series, and I gave it a rating of three out of five. A young boy, Ged, learns some spells from his mother, but he has dreams greatness. He leaves home with a wise, old wizard who will become his mentor. The boy is impatient and doesn't feel as though he is learning anything. He leaves the wizard to attend a school of magic and becomes one of the top students. However, on a dare, Ged performs a spell that releases an evil shadow that will hunt him down throughout the rest of the book. Most of the plot is spent fleeing, and then chasing, the shadow.

I had heard of this book for years, and the book jacket gave a very interesting summary of it. The actual writing did not live up to the hype. I found the plot rather boring as Ged did not perform much meaningful magic and there were few conflicts. He wandered from place to place, trying to become a great wizard, and then regretted his misuse of power. A potentially exciting scene, where Ged battles eight dragons, falls short. "Two dragons like the first rose up from the base of the highest tower. Even as the first one they came driving straight at Ged, and even so he caught both, hurled both down, and drowned them: and he had not yet lifted up his wizard's staff." Not much of a conflict; they're just gone. Even the climax lacked suspense.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments unrelated to the books being described will be removed.