©1970 Ursula K. Le Guin (P)1994 Recorded Books, LLC
This is more the tale of the priestess than it is that of the Wizard. With that in mind though, it is a solid tale well worth listening to.
"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” -- Somerset Maugham
If you liked The Wizard of Earthsea, this is a must-read sequel. I love how LeGuin pulls on a few threads from the first novel but mostly departs into a completely different tale ... in tone, structure, plot, and even in geography. Marginalizing Ged as a character until halfway through is a brilliant stroke and gives us a new character to care about in the form of a young girl, chosen one of the old powers of the Earth. The result is powerful ... lyrical, dusky, narrow in scope. Wow. It probably works best for young adults, as a coming of age story for girls. But it has a universal appeal.
I purchased, downloaded and began reading this book the moment I finished the Wizard of Earthsea. And I did the same for the next book the moment I finished this one.
I enjoy mostly classics, sci-fi, and sci-fi classics
This book generally takes place in a dungeon setting, with a weak protagonist. This isn't inherently bad, but it's a significant departure from the vast landscape and dynamically powerful hero of the first book. I found it generally dreary and unsatisfying, but I'm still hooked on Le Guin's sage writing style and jumping right into the next book.
This is a wonderful work of fantasy writing by an author who has influenced many other writers in the genre, such as Terry Pratchett. This second volume in the series resonates with the work of JRR Tolkien and anticipates Pratchett's Pyramids. The narrator, who also did the unabridged recordings of Tolkien's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, is the perfect choice to do this book justice - if only Rob Inglis could have been persuaded to read the fourth book in the Earthsea Cycle!
Misses everything that made the first book great. The magic is gone, the interesting world building is gone, the mystery is gone, and all the emotional struggles as well. For such a short book it takes way too much time to get to anything interesting. Not sure I'll try the later books in this series yet, because of this.
I really hate Rob Inglis's character reading. They have a consistent sense of emotion in his voice - which is to say they have no emotion (lack variation). His puts forth effort to distinguish the characters from one another but i hate his reading of Ged and Tenar. Hate it. Love the book though.
No glaring editing errors like in book 1 which helped maintain the feel of the story. Though he occasionally takes an unexpected, creative direction with the emphasis of a few sentences, Mr. Ingles' performance is on point and fits very neatly with the setting.
The story centers mainly on one location and the main protagonist along with only a few more persons, but it is well done. Is gives a bit of background to one of the side-stories in book 1. The narrator, Inglis, is great as always.
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