Le Guin’s art lies in telling
a story of struggle and growth with humanity
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin is a classic of fantasy literature, and for good reason. The book is full of poetry and wisdom, told at a tight pace with vivid imagery.
It is the story of Ged, a poor smith’s son, who is born with a genius for magic. Ged goes to a school for wizards, where his rapid progress makes him arrogant. In a duel of magic, Ged‘s pride makes him overreach. He inadvertently summons a monster, which scars him and nearly kills him. The evil creature escapes, but it and Ged are intertwined — only one will prevail. And thus begins Ged’s quest to vanquish it.
Unlike fantasy books that rely on bloodshed and battles, A Wizard of Earthsea is intensely personal. Le Guin’s art lies in telling a story of struggle and growth with humanity and tenderness. Problems are solved, not with a fist or the wave of a magical wand, but with humility and wisdom.
50 years after its first publication, A Wizard of Earthsea remains a relevant story of the spirit.
PICTURES PENGUIN BOOKS By Alvin Soon