The fantasy genre hails from a noble literary lineage. Authors ranging
from Thomas More to Jonathan Swift have let their imaginations bloom by
creating alternative worlds that enable them to explore human nature without
the constrictions of reality per se. Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most
highly regarded science fiction and fantasy authors of the twentieth century,
and has been thus recognized with five Hugo Awards, five Nebulas, the
Newbery, a Pushcart Prize, and the National Book Award (just to name a
few). She is best loved for her Earthsea Cycle, comprising A Wizard
of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore,
Tehanu, and Tales of Earthsea. For those readers new to
the world of Earthsea created in Le Guin's first four novels, Tales
is a wonderful introduction, featuring a new Earthsea novella, two original
stories and two classic tales, plus two new maps and an essay on Earthsea's
history, languages, literature and magic. Throughout Tales, fans
of Le Guin will recognize her subtlety, eloquence, humanity, and the wisdom
that resonates throughout all of her work. Lyrical and compelling, Tales
from Earthsea is a must for all Ursula Le Guin fans and a brilliant
primer for those new to her remarkable world of Earthsea. Charles, Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The tales of this book, as Ursula K. Le Guin writes in her foreword, explore or extend the world established by her first four Earthsea novels. Yet each tale stands on its own.
"The Finder," a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, presents a dark and troubled Archipelago and reveals how the school on Roke came to be.
"The Bones of the Earth" features the wizards who taught the wizard who first taught Ged and demonstrates how humility, if great enough, can rein in an earthquake.
"Darkrose and Diamond" is a delightful story of young courtship showing that sometimes wizards can pursue alternative careers.
"On the High Marsh," from the brief but eventful time of Ged as Archmage of Earthsea, tells of the love of power and of the power of love.
"Dragonfly" shows how a woman, determined enough, can break the glass ceiling of male magedom. Taking place shortly after the last Earthsea novel, it also provides a bridge a dragon bridge to the next Earthsea novel, The Other Wind.
The author concludes this collection with an essay about Earthsea's history, people, languages, literature, and magic, and provides two new maps of Earthsea.
"[A] stellar collection....In her seventies, Le Guin is still at the height of her powers, a superb stylist with a knack for creating characters who are both wise and deeply humane. The publication of this collection is a major event in fantasy literature." Publishers Weekly
"It has been years since the last Earthsea book, but Le Guin hasn't lost her touch. She draws us into the magical land and its inhabitants' doings immediately. Earthsea mavens must rejoice, and relative newcomers will profit from the Earthsea history and two new maps that round out the book." Booklist
"While best appreciated in conjunction with Le Guin's previous Earthsea tales (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu), this volume not only stands alone but also serves as an introduction to new readers. Strong work from a master storyteller." Library Journal
"[A] wonderful collection....These tales all easily understood even by those who haven't read the rest of the series are delightfully crafted mini epics that could each have been spun off into their own novels. Among Le Guin's many strengths is her ability to write eloquent fantasy that, while it comes replete with dragons, sorcerers, witches, and a whole otherworldly mythos, is intrinsically character-based." Book Magazine
"Her characters are complex and haunting, and her writing is remarkable for its sinewy grace." Time
"She wields her pen with a moral and psychological sophistication rarely seen." Newsweek
The tales of this book, as Ursula K. Le Guin writes in her introduction, explore or extend the world established by her first four Earthsea novels. Yet each stands on its own.
"The Finder," a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, presents a dark and troubled Archipelago and shows how some of its customs and institutions came to be. "The Bones of the Earth" features the wizards who taught the wizard who first taught Ged and demonstrates how humility, if great enough, can contend with an earthquake. "Darkrose and Diamond" is a delightful story of young courtship showing that wizards sometimes pursue alternative careers. "On the High Marsh" tells of the love of power-and of the power of love. "Dragonfly" shows how a determined woman can break the glass ceiling of male magedom.
Concluding with an account of Earthsea's history, people, languages, literature, and magic, this collection also features two new maps of Earthsea.
An exciting re-launch of the classic Earthsea Cycle, by fantasy literature legend Ursula K. Le Guin, winner of a Newbery Honor, the National Book Award, Pushcart Prize, and six Nebula Awards.
The tales of this book explore and extend the world established by the Earthsea novels--yet each stands on its own. It contains the novella "The Finder," and the short stories "The Bones of the Earth," "Darkrose and Diamond," "On the High Marsh," and "Dragonfly." Concluding with with an account of Earthsea's history, people, languages, literature, and magic, this collection also features two new maps of Earthsea.
Originally published in 1968, Ursula K. Le Guins A Wizard of Earthsea marks the first of the six now beloved Earthsea titles. Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
About the Author
Ursula K. Le Guin was born in Berkeley, California, in 1929. Over the course of her career she has published more than sixty books of fiction, fantasy, science fiction, children’s literature, poetry, drama, criticism, and translation, and is the multiple winner of the highest awards in several fields. Among her honors are a National Book Award, a PEN/Malamud Award for short fiction, five Hugo and five Nebula Awards, twenty-one Locus Awards, the Kafka Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband.