Rating: 3.5 / 5
I last read Ursula K. Le Guin back in high school which was more than a few years ago. I do remember enjoying what I read back then, so when I saw the #LeGuinAlong was happening over the next several months to read through the Earthsea series, I decided to add the first book to my April schedule.
A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA is the first book in the series. The novel follows Ged as he comes into his power and attempts to learn to control it. Ged begins to learn magic from his aunt, but soon his great power is recognized and he is sent away to learn to harness his great power. As his power grows, his willingness to exercise patience fails and he dabbles in darkness in ways he shouldn’t and there are lasting impacts on himself and others around him. We are told that he will become the great Sparrowhawk, but there is a long journey that he must go through to come back from the darkness.
I had mixed feelings with this one and I’m not entirely sure how to say why. I struggled a bit with maintaining focus and actually went back and restarted the novel at one point because I was worried that I had missed important plot points. I had two different versions of the audio (and did find that switching to a different narrator helped quite a bit) and the ebook version and the combination kept me more focused, but at times it was still a struggle.
That said, I did enjoy the overall story. Ged’s struggles to navigate the magical world were interesting, if not entirely unexpected. I’ve seen it labeled as middle grade and young adult and I read it more as middle grade which isn’t something I read often. It is also over fifty years old, so it is perhaps a bit outdated for my particular tastes. I am curious to see where the series goes from here, but I am not positive I’ll get to the sequel this month to keep up with the readalong.