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5.0 out of 5 stars A book in which to lose oneself - at any age
The characterization in this book of the Cycle has matured, and we are treated to a closer relationship to all of our favorite characters. The characters take on real flesh and blood and consistent behavior and the imagination can have it's way. This book is for any age.
Published 22 days ago by Mary Webster

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first book,but good at the end .
Le Guin put to much detail into the religon .She also made it boring.But the end was good.
Published on Jan. 1 2003


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5.0 out of 5 stars A book in which to lose oneself - at any age, July 5 2014
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The characterization in this book of the Cycle has matured, and we are treated to a closer relationship to all of our favorite characters. The characters take on real flesh and blood and consistent behavior and the imagination can have it's way. This book is for any age.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Earthsea Always Satisfy's., Nov. 29 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tombs of Atuan (Mass Market Paperback)
Book one The Wizard of Earthsea was required reading for a children's literature course I did back in 1999. I enjoyed it so much I read all the books and collections of short stories set in that world. Yet even though this novel finishes by revolving again around Ged, it is really about Tenar/Arha, a young girl believed to be the reborn High Priest of the unnamed ones. (Nameless ones.) Her name is taken from her at 6 years of age, a year after she was taken from her family and home. She is given the name/title 'Arha' ' 'the one without a name.'

She grows, learns and becomes high priestess under the tutelage of Kossil, priestess to the God-Kings and Thar of the God Brothers.

Then one day she sees Ged in the under tomb, and he has magic light. She traps him in the labyrinth. She then chains him and visits with him. Kossil finds out about this and plans to kill them both. Tenar, fearing this, visits Ged in the treasury where she has hidden him.

He renames her Tenar and together they escape and return the Ring of Erreth-Akbe to the inner islands that they may have peace. For the 9th rune that had been lost when the ring was broken when the rune was cut in half. Now with both pieces Ged could recover the rune and restore peace.

The book ends with them in the city of Havnor.

Note: Pay close attention to the names of boats in the series. In this one Ged guides a boat called Lookfar.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Earthsea is always great, Nov. 27 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Farthest Shore (Paperback)
I read most of the Earthsea Cycle as part of a children's literature course I did back in 1999. This is another book about Ged. But in this one he is the special educator to Lebanner/ Arren.

It is a book about the big questions, such as life and death, and the search for who we are. It is also about what we are to be and the idea of predestination. Ged says 'to seek to be one's self is rare.' It is also that we seek what we don't know in order to be found by our destiny.

In the book darkness is overtaking the world, singers are losing their songs, mages are forgetting their crafts. Men doubt and society is decaying, all because of fear or death. Men are giving up their true names to a lie. They are becoming slaves to a dead master.

Key Notes:
Ged is Master of Roke ' Archmage
Lookfar (Ship is back again)
Isles of Myths
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy Classic, Nov. 19 2007
By 
Leah MacFarlane (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Farthest Shore (Hardcover)
This is a classic read in the fantasy genre, one that any fan of books by Tolkien should be sure to check out. LeGuin uses a succinct and crisp writing style to bring the world of Earthsea into being. Not to be missed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Tombs of Atuan, April 14 2004
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This review is from: The Tombs of Atuan (Paperback)
The second book in the EarthSea trilogy, The Tombs of Atuan is a great book for all those who delve into the world of fantasy. The Author of this book is Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin wrote the Earthsea trilogy which became a well known series for all audiances.
Though it would be better understood and probably more forfilling if the first book was read of the series. I believe the theme to have been Man vs. Nature as Sparrowhawk the main character, a wizard from the island of Gount seeks out an ancient treasure in the Tombs of Atuan. He meets the high preistess of Atuan. They must battle against the spirits with the tomb.
In my opion it was a book that forced me to ponder about the morales in my life. It's rather a short book but it has a great ending despite that, that makes you search for the last book in the series. Some people may consider it slow in the beginning but I must say that it's building the plot thick and strong in the begining. Overall Le Guin is a great writer and that the second book is as good and brilliant as the first.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Becoming Whole, June 1 2001
By 
James D. DeWitt "Alaska Fan" (Fairbanks, AK United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Farthest Shore (Paperback)
LeGuin's third book in her Earthsea series is her most ambitious. Her thesis: you can only become whole by facing and accepting death, the darkest shadow. Lifted straight from Jungian psychology, this is the hardest and the important part of being whole. Sparrowhawk knows most of this truth already: remember the climax to Wizard of Earthsea. Arren, the young prince who accompanies Sparrowhawk on the epic voyages of this third book, has not yet learned this harsh lesson.
You don't need to know anything about Carl Jung to read and enjoy this book. At one level, this is a children's tale. But this book has many levels. Consider: the last king, Maharrion, had prophesied that there would be no king to succeed him until one appeared who had crossed the farthest shore. I'm not giving anything away by telling you that the farthest shore is physical - the western shore of the westernmost isle of Earthsea and metaphysical - death. And readers of earlier books know that for the wizards of Earthasea, there is a low stone fence that separates the living from the dead.
There is another wizard - humiliated by a younger Sparrowhawk - who has both great power and a terror of death. And he has worked a spell that will devastate the world, by denying and avoiding death. But by denying death, he has denied life, and magic, song, joy, reason and even life are draining out of the world. That spell must be undone before it is too late. And that task falls to Sparowhawk and Arren.
Arren must learn to understand and accept that death is necessary. Not just in the abstract but personally. He must cross that low stonewall with no hope of returning. He must cross the final shore.
This story has dragons, despair, joy, loss, discovery and marvelous surprises. Like all of the Earthsea books, it is sparely but beautifully told. The deepest of the first three books, it is an absolute joy. And for a thoughtful, reflecting reader, it might be even more. This is a book that can change a reader's life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book to Read, May 11 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tombs of Atuan (Mass Market Paperback)
I had read the first book of this great series and I found myself not being able to put the book down. And when I started reading the second book I only thought there was no way this could be as good, however I had the same great time reading it as I did the first book. I believe that everyone should read this book even if you have not read any others from this series, because in essence this book is really based on people growing up, finding themselves and learning what they want to accomplish in life. This book also shows a great friendship between two people and overall it is just a wonderful book. I suggest everyone to read it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars tombs of atuan: not as good as expected, March 22 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tombs of Atuan (Mass Market Paperback)
The Tombs of Atuan was not as interesting as I expected it to be.I wanted a good, exciting, action-packed book, and the second book of the Earthsea Cycle trilogy didn't do that for me.it was exciting at places, such as in the labrynth maze. but all in all, i wasn't impressed.
the story line was great, fresh, and original, but Ms. Le Guin could've presented it in a better form. the order in which the events happened wasn't exciting. it wasnt like a book that i couldnt put down, such as the Pendragon series kind of realistic fantasy. i read the wrong book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Return to the world of Earthsea, Feb. 18 2004
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tombs of Atuan (Mass Market Paperback)
The second book of Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle, "Tombs of Atuan," is very different from the first book. It features a different coming-of-age tale from Ged Sparrowhawk's, this time of a spirited girl who has been given everything except freedom. More contemplative and disturbing, this is almost as good as "Wizard of Earthsea."
As a little child, Tenar was taken from her family by the priestesses, who said she was the reborn High Princess of the Nameless Ones, the dark, ruthless powers who are in the Tombs of Atuan. Her name is taken away and she was afterwards called Arha (which means that she was "eaten," spiritually), and she is raised in the cold, uninviting temple. When Arha is fifteen, she finds that a wizard has somehow gained entrance to the massive mazelike Labyrinth, committing sacrilege and polluting the "center of darkness" with his staff's light.
He's searching for half of a powerful ring; he has one half, she has the other. She takes the wizard Sparrowhawk prisoner, and for some reason doesn't want to kill him. Instead she listens to his stories about dragons, magic and his home -- until a vengeful priestess learns that Arha is keeping the wizard alive. To escape horrible deaths, they must escape together from the Nameless Ones, and Tenar will be set free in more ways than one.
Ursula Le Guin's worldbuilding was masterful in the first book, and it's no less so in "Tombs of Atuan." The decayed, corrupted, darkness-obsessed religion and culture that Tenar is raised in seems very real. The only spot of warmth and life is Penthe, a childhood pal of Tenar's, who longs to get away from the temple and go live a normal, happy life.
Le Guin's writing is both spare and descriptive; she makes you feel like you know the characters with only a few pages. Her elegantly understated descriptions bring the grey, cold temple and tombs to life. Themes like religion, disbelief, loyalty, redemption, freedom, and enslavement are woven in, but not preachily. The book suffers somewhat when Ged and Tenar are getting to know each other; even during a crisis, Ged spends a lot of time talking about his past and the Ring. It's less a conversation than an infodump.
The relationship between Tenar and Ged is the centerpiece of the book. At first they are enemies, then gradually grow to trust one another even though rationally neither one should. Tenar is a strong, brave, slightly immature girl whose spirit has been kept enslaved to the Nameless Ones, and Ged is the brave, gentle, strong wizard we got to know in "Wizard."
The second book of the Earthsea cycle, while not as strong as the first, is still a compelling book. The dark, tense "Tombs of Atuan" remains a modern fantasy classic. And does it ever deserve it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Child and the Shadow, Jan. 7 2004
Whilst I read A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA and THE TOMBS OF ATUAN many times as a child and a teenager, I never read THE FARTHEST SHORE, though I suspect I began it and did not finish. This book is heavygoing, both in tone and subject matter, but utterly rewarding for the engaged reader.
The wizard Ged, hero of the earlier novels, but now much wearied by age, accompanies a young prince of Enlad, Arren, in a journey by sea and land into the dark places of Earthsea and the dark places of the soul. Magic and joy in life are being leeched from the land by a malignant being who has found the secret of immortality - at the cost of the denial and ultimate destruction of all life.
This novel is probably more explicit than any of le Guin's other novels in portraying her conviction that all serious fantasy is at heart about the journey through the strange foreign lands of the inner soul. The reader is drawn inexorably with Ged and Arren as they try to save Earthsea by travelling into the dark heart of mankind and grappling with the ultimate challenge to selfhood - acceptance of death. Fantasy, le Guin maintains, is not about escape from the self but escape into the self. This philosophy lays the foundation for her serious, thoughtful fantasy, which may disappoint some readers seeking no more than vicarious thrills through daring adventures.
The serene, Taoist philosophy permeating the essence of this novel probably has more significance for me now at 23 than it could have at 7 or 13. Yet this novel, though difficult, is still accessible to the perservering younger reader. I hope that for all readers THE FARTHEST SHORE can provide as fulfilling a reading experience as it did for me, and I heartily encourage older readers to seek out le Guin's critical writing on fantasy and on Earthsea (such as LANGUAGE OF THE NIGHT and EARTHSEA REVISITED), which are an enthralling read in themselves.
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The Tombs of Atuan
The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin (Mass Market Paperback - Sept. 1 2001)
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