Synopsis: Ged is a young wizard of great potential, but reckless and careless for power. When he unleashes a shadow into the world of Earthsea it seeks to consume and possess him. To defeat it he must learn its name, and face it.
I first read this book as a teenager, probably twenty years ago. Back then I didn't understand its messages and I found it quite boring (I didn't like to DNF back then either, and I ended reading all four books in the series that were published at the time).
Reading it today, I find it a bit easier. I can still see why I thought it was boring, but its message of caution against recklessness and facing your enemies rings a lot more easily with me today.
I liked the imagery. Earthsea is a watery world made up of islands and sea and more than a little bit of mystery, and Ursula Le Guin really paints a picture of a dark and shadowed world. I kept wondering about many of the places she kept referencing, but much of it was shrouded away from view.
I've got the next book Tombs of Atuan on my shelf already and its short so I may just knock it out real quick. The Lord of the Rings is also on my agenda, however, and thats likely to suck up quite a bit of my reading time for awhile (this edition gave me the entire trilogy in one glorious bind; the forward says that its not actually a trilogy at all, just that its often sold as one).
Anyway, A Wizard of Earthsea:
General rating: *** 1/2
Epic rating: ****