Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wizard of Earthsea

According to, Wizard of Earthsea was published in 1968. The fact that it's still on the table in fantasy discussion, I think, is pretty impressive.

The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker actually kind of reminds me of this book. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was playing Zelda while I read it. Or maybe the similarities caused me to pick up the game again while I was reading. I don't know the chronology so I'll just shut up about that.

Sparrowhawk, or Ged, or THE "Wizard of Earthsea" (y'know, the one the whole story's about) learns a little magic from his aunt, saves his village with tricks, becomes a master's disciple and leaves him to go to the Magic Academy on Roke. (This whole story centres around a group of islands Ged refers to as the Archipelago -- I love that word) While in school, he calls up a dark spell he discovered earlier and unleashes his evil shadow. This destroys his confidence in his gift and himself, and he becomes a timid practitioner of the arts.

Unfortunately, the story takes forward-jumps through time that, when I realized they had happened, put me off a little. After one such jump, he has finished school and goes off to meet his destiny.

Along the way, he learns a little something about his powers, his enemy and himself. He meets people who work very well to set up a sequel, and all ends in goodness and happy thoughts.

I'm glad I read this book - as I've said before, I like books on boats, and this one also had a dragon or nine. I don't have any of the other Earthsea books but if they cross my path, I'll definitely pick them up and flip through their pages.

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