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.
"In this stellar collection...Ursula K. Le Guin makes a triumphant return to the magic-drenched world of Earthsea....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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Le Guin's combination of opaque simplicity and transparent complexity...as well as her sharp and subtle characterizations, make for stories that stand shoulder to shoulder with ancient archetypal fairy tales and fables." Washington Post Book World
"Her characters are complex and haunting, and her writing is remarkable for its sinewy grace." Time
"[A] richly told narrative....Le Guin hasn't lost her touch. She draws us into the magical land and its inhabitants' doings immediately." Booklist
"While best appreciated in conjunction with Le Guin's previous Earthsea tales, this volume not only stands alone but also serves as an introduction to new readers. Strong work from a master storyteller; highly recommended." Library Journal
Exploring the legend of Earthsea's history, people, languages, literature, and magic, this collection of four magical stories is now available in a paperback edition.
“In this stellar collection…Ursula K. Le Guin makes a triumphant return to the magic-drenched world of Earthsea.”* Featuring the award-winning author’s new Earthsea novella, two original stories and two classic tales, as well as new maps and a special essay on Earthsea’s history, languages, literature and magic, “the publication of this collection is a major event in fantasy literature.” (* Publishers Weekly starred review)
About the Author
Ursula K. Le Guin was born in 1929 in Berkeley, California. She has written more than a hundred short stories. Among her honors are a National Book Award, five Hugo and five Nebula awards, the Kafka Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Table of Contents
The Finder 1
Darkrose and Diamond 107
The Bones of the Earth 143
On the High Marsh 163
A Description of Earthsea 267