A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

Another book that I should’ve read a long, long time ago. I kept putting it aside until now because I’ve watched the Hallmark movie so many times that I feel like I’ve read it a hundred times, even when it’s not the same at all. The movie combines this book with The Tombs of Atuan, and changed a lot of things while doing so. I’m in the middle of Atuan right now and am flabbergasted by the difference (still love both versions, anyway). I haven’t got as far as Tehanu so I don’t know how the Ghibli anime compares. I liked the anime, though.

 This story is more about Ged and how he trained as a wizard. Impatient with the training of his master, Ogion, he goes to Roke to study wizardry. But his impatience to gain as much power as soon as possible makes him ignorant enough to set loose a gebbeth, which he firsts runs from and then hunts, then accepts as a part of himself. Having just read Charles de Lint’s Spirits in the Wires, I kept thinking of Ged’s shadow (the gebbeth) as a shadow like in Jung’s theory – the parts of ourselves that we cast away, the darkness to our light (and vice versa). But while in de Lint’s Newford books both shadow and person may grow to be separate individuals, le Guin’s Earthsea world theorizes that one has to accept one’s shadow in order to be whole.

I very much like the setting of Earthsea, and want to read more about all the islands in it. I like that magic in Earthsea is a power over words, or rather, the power of words. I wished that there were more female characters, maybe a strong one that is not quite evil… but I guess there is Tenar in Tombs of Atuan, so I shall enjoy A Wizard of Earthsea as it is for now…

~ originally posted on blogspot


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