The Earthsea Quartet by Ursula Le Guin
Finished reading on July 10th, 2015
I started reading this thinking it’s a children’s book. I finished reading it knowing that it certainly isn’t one.
This volume has in it all four books of the Earthsea Quartet – A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore and Tehanu.
In A Wizard of Earthsea we meet the young Sparrowhawk, who is about to learn to be a wizard, but while he’s at it he is or seems rather arrogant and gets himself into some serious trouble – he does deal with it, but it’s quite dark and morbid even.
In The Tombs of Atuan we meet another young person – Arha, the Priestess of Atuan, who has lived all her life without ever meeting men and is a part of a strange religion. Here we meet Sparrowhawk again, but in a different light.
In The Farthest Shore Sparrowhawk has gotten old, and we have a new young character to admire – Arren, a young prince who doesn’t know what’s waiting for him, as he sets out to deliver a message and ends up journeying with Sparrowhawk to the land of the dead.
And in the last book, Tehanu, there’re Sparrowhawk and Arha and another young character – Therru, who are trying to lead a calm life but son’t get to because of other people’s superstition and ill wishes.
In these books there are some very interesting topics – for example whether or not women have any power and why. They seem to be just underlings to males – while the men who have the power can become mages and wizard, women cannot, and can only aspire to be witches and healers.
I quite enjoyed reading it all, it’s a fascinating world with dragons and wizards but also awful things that hide in the dark. It all ends relatively well though.