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Merle

Merle

A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin I had a hard time deciding how many stars to give A Wizard of Earthsea--on the one hand, it is certainly well-written, and Earthsea is among the most realistic of all the fantasy worlds I've encountered. On the other, I just didn't find this book engaging, particularly in the second half. When I take an entire week to get through a 200-page book, it tends to be bad news.

My conclusion: This book just isn't for everyone. A lot of reviewers seem to have been referred to it because of their enjoyment of Tolkein or Rowling, and were understandably disappointed. Stylistically, reading A Wizard of Earthsea is akin to reading a myth or fable, rather than a popular novel. Anthropology, worldbuilding and thematics are its strong points; heart-pounding action nowhere to be found; and bits of dialogue few and far between. Characterization is solid, although we see little of anyone other than Ged.

No, I didn't really enjoy reading this book, but then I tire of reading Greek myths, biographies, and history texts as well. A Wizard of Earthsea is a well-written book, and if any of the above appeal to you, you'll probably like it better than I did. If you're looking for the next Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, though... best keep looking.