Who wrote this book and when?
Ursula K. Le Guin wrote this first novel of Earthsea in 1968.

Has there been a film version of it?
There was a Sci-Fi miniseries of it which Le Guin disliked immensely. There is also a Hayao Miyazaki interepretation of the story which is out everywhere in the world except in the U.S. It’s due for US release in 2009. I can’t wait.

Who are the important characters?
Ged/Sparrowhawk – a young man with a fantastic aptitude for magic which is only eclipsed in his immense pride
Ogion – Sparrowhawk’s first teacher, the mage of Gont, also known as The Silent Mage
The Shadow – an unnamed unliving evil which seeks to possess Sparrowhawk
Vetch – Sparrowhawk’s one true peer and friend

What’s it about?
Ged “Sparrowhawk” is a boy born in a small village on the island of Gont in Earthsea. From a very young age, he shows a talent for magic, and is taught by his witch aunt. When Karg warriors threaten their village, Sparrowhawk uses some tricky magic to save them and he attracts the attentions of the island mage, Ogion. Ogion the Silent takes Sparrowhawk under his wing and gives him his true name, Ged. However, Ged wishes for more active learning than Ogion is willing to provide and leaves for the wizard school on the island of Roke. There, he gains one true human friend, Vetch, and a strong competitor, Jasper. Ged’s pride and thirst for recognition lead him to unintentionally unleash a powerful evil which he must learn to defeat or allow to kill him and take his power for its own.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It is very creative and engrossing fiction.

Do you recommend I read this book?

Why did this book make your list?
I heard it was a great series.

Has it won any awards?
The Boston Globe Hornbook Award for juvenile fiction in 1968.

Favorite quotes:
“Out of the sea there rise storms and monsters, but no evil powers: evil is of the earth.” – p 152

Anything else?
I’m waiting the Earthsea miniseries from netflix. Although right now, catching up on 24 is first priority. And I’m awaiting the Miyazaki version even more impatiently…

Personal thoughts:
This book is my introduction to the world of Ursula K. Le Guin. And I must say I’m heartily impressed. Although I particularly disliked Ged, I did enjoy most of her other characters and have no complaints about them whatsoever. I am fairly certain the reason I disliked Ged was because he was so proud and then so resignedly depressed. And every character was perfect in their realization. Le Guin does a fantastic job at making the characters act as real people would – faults and all. The world of Earthsea, however, was incredibly confusing to me. I couldn’t figure out if Earthsea was a continent, or a planet, or a flat piece of water with some islands on it floating around in space like some odd Kingdom Hearts world. I think as I read more of the books in this series, I’ll get to know the land of Earthsea better and will like it more. But for now I’m content to chew over this story of Ged until the next in the Earthsea canon gets checked back in to the library.