My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ursula LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea is classic fantasy at its finest, and it’s one of my favorite reads in the genre. It follows the adventures of Ged, a wizard in the titular world of Earthsea, through the beginnings of his adventures. From his first exploits in sorcery on his small home island to the great university of Roke to high adventure across the islands and seas, Ged gains power, wisdom, and maturity beyond his years- though not without a cost or misadventures along the way. A Wizard of Earthsea has some of the greatest characters and settings I have ever encountered in fantasy: realistic enough to relate to and immerse in but fantastic enough to escape to and marvel at. LeGuin conjures images of dragons, magic, and heroes beyond compare, all while tying the novel down to the little, everyday struggles of a man making his way through a big, strange world. The characters are down to earth and while their conflicts may involve great dangers and struggles, their motivations are very real. Rivalries, pride, and self-discovery are prime motivations for Ged and his acquaintances, and they bring the characters’ struggles that much closer to reality. Despite this, fantasy isn’t for everyone, and if you’re looking for something gritty or romantic look elsewhere (though I’d still recommend giving it a try). A Wizard of Earthsea is high fantasy adventure at its finest, and I strongly suggest reading it whether you are a long-time fantasy fanatic, or just looking for something new to read. ~ Student: Cameron M.