A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin – Review

Posted July 27, 2020 by Tina in Book Review, Books / 0 Comments

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A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin –  ReviewA Wizard of Earthsea
Series: The Earth Cycle #1
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Find the Author: Website
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
on 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Animals, General, Fantasy & Magic
Amazon / Book Depository / KABO / BookShop / BAM / BWBooks / Abebooks
Source: Purchased

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin is a Classic YA fantasy. It is the first in the series of The Earth Cycle.

A Wizard of Earthsea Summary

A Wizard of Earthsea is a coming of age tale of Ged. He learns young that he has magical powers by repeating a witch’s spell and making goats do what he wants them to do. Later when he goes to magic school, Ged feels he should be considered the best. He learns faster than his peers and he feels he is more powerful. But there is a rival school peer who is not buying into it. Ged tries to show off to his rival when the spell goes wrong and he unleashes an evil shadow. The shadow threatens to possess his body and powers to use them for evil. Ged then has to eat a big fat piece of humble pie because this is a lesson his teachers have been trying to teach him but he had the learn the hard way.

The rest of the book his Ged trying to defeat the shadow because what comes with great power comes even greater screw-ups and you gotta clean up your own mess. But its Ged traveling from place to place trying to defeat it.

I know that is not the most elegant summary but this is what I got from the story of A Wizard of Earthsea.

A Wizard of Earthsea Review


There were quite a few characters for such a short book. But I fell in love with Ogion, Ged’s second mage teacher. Ogion had some good dialog that just humbled you. Or humbled Ged. I love old wise characters that just put you in your place.

Ged is your classic arrogant mage with a ton of natural power who wants to be the best, like right now, but doesn’t have the real patience to learn to use his powers properly. So there are a few big lessons he has to learn the hard way. Then he spends a good chunk of his life fixing it.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin Book Cover.
Writing/Plot/ intrigue

I picked up this book because it is a classic and I figured, it was one of those rite of passage reads. I didn’t expect to love it, but I did. Being a classic the writing takes a little to get used to. I didn’t read it as fast as I normally would read a 182-page book. But once I got used to it, I totally got into the story. I think this is one of the most annotated books I own now.


Totally enjoyed it. This book has a lot of good tropes rolled into one pretty short story. Friendship, betrayal, rivals, dragons, wise elders. If you’re in the mood for a great classic short story I would recommend A Wizard of Earthsea.

Have you read A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin? What did you think let me know in the comments below?

My Star Rating Explained….

About Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin published twenty-two novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many awards: Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award, PEN-Malamud, etc. Her recent publications include the novel Lavinia, an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl, and The Wild Girls. She lived in Portland, Oregon.

She was known for her treatment of gender (The Left Hand of DarknessThe Matter of Seggri), political systems (The TellingThe Dispossessed) and difference/otherness in any other form. Her interest in non-Western philosophies was reflected in works such as “Solitude” and The Telling but even more interesting are her imagined societies, often mixing traits extracted from her profound knowledge of anthropology acquired from growing up with her father, the famous anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber. The Hainish Cycle reflects the anthropologist’s experience of immersing themselves in new strange cultures since most of their main characters and narrators (Le Guin favoured the first-person narration) are envoys from a humanitarian organization, the Ekumen, sent to investigate or ally themselves with the people of a different world and learn their ways.

Posted July 27, 2020 by Tina in Book Review, Books / 0 Comments