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Publisher's Summary

A bold young wizard enters the labyrinth of the sacred Tombs of Atuan to steal the magical ring of Erreth-Akbe. Instead, he finds an unhappy priestess in need of a hero to save her.
©1970 Ursula K. Le Guin (P)1994 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

  • Winner, Newbery Honor, 1972

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

In Some Ways, the Best of the Original Trilogy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A tale of a Priestess

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best. Fantasy. Series. Ever.

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrative > Narrator

Rob Inglis's imperfect telling of "Tombs of Atuan" doesn't do justice to what is fundamentally a perfect story. Inglis's vocal range is not particularly strong, and it ignores nuances within the characters he represents. Ged, for instance, is no longer the youngster he was in "Wizard of Earthsea," but he's certainly not the elderly sage he sounds in Inglis's performance of "Tombs." Part of the problem is associative: Inglis uses precisely the same deep tone for Ged's voice in "Tombs" as he does for Ogion's in "Wizard." While this narrative decision does underscore the subtle parallels between the more mature Ged and his aged master (for instance, the way he controls the earthquake while underground), it mischaracterizes the age gap between Ged and Arha, which is not as great as Inglis makes it sound. Ged's voice is certainly deep, as the story explicitly states, but Inglis's rendition makes him sound ancient.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Dull and dreary compared with the first book

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Phenomenal

Engaging and breath taking story and characters. Leaves you wanting more of the tale. Party on.

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This is one of my favorite books EVER

I love this series and I loved listening to this book. I got so immersed in the story I forgot everything else. I would strongly recommend this series to anyone as it is one of my favorites (after Harry Potter and some others. However, I do wish it was written from Ged’s perspective (or Ged and ArHar). But I loved it anyway.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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A bit disappointing

While Rob Inglis does a great job as always, the story is rather uninspired. While it does help with world building for some of the other books in the series, there isn't really enough meat or character development for it to easily stand on its own.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Story, but sometimes a bit slow.

I really enjoy the first Earthsea book. I also enjoyed this one but not as much. The first half seemed to move rather slow. However, once Ged made his entrance the story really picked up. Obviously, I feel perhaps I just enjoyed hearing Ged's adventures.

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Not merely a fantasy novel but a classic novel.

A slow-moving dark tale about bondage to destructive forces and about redemption. The author helps us to imagine what we humans valued and how worshipped before our present era of civilization.