The Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle, #1-4) by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle, #1-4)

As a young dragonlord, Ged, whose use-name is Sparrowhawk, is sent to the island of Roke to learn the true way of magic. A natural magician, Ged becomes an Archmage and helps the High Priestess Tenar escape from the labyrinth of darkness. But as the years pass, true magic and ancient ways are forced to submit to the powers of evil and death.

Details The Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle, #1-4)

TitleThe Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle, #1-4)
Release DateOct 28th, 1993
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Classics

Reviews The Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle, #1-4)

  • Manuel Antão
    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.RIP Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929 – 2018: The Earthsea Quartet (Earthsea Cycle, #1-4) by Ursula K. Le Guin"To light a candle, is to cast a shadow": Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929 – 2018Who now has the stature and respect to call out poseurs like Atwood and Ishiguru? Who is there who can be relied on to correct the lazy and meretricious? She led by example, not just in speeches or reviews. The wo...
  • Neale
    The ‘Earthsea’ trilogy is, I think, the finest work of fantasy written in the twentieth century. What makes it stand out above so many others - quite apart from its beauty and wonder and terror and wisdom - is the fact that it achieves its effects with such perfect economy of style. Post-Tolkien, most fantasies achieve their world-building by layering detail upon detail, accompanied by genealogies, maps, appendices and such-like. Ho hum. Le G...
  • Auguste
    To pigeonhole Le Guin as 'fantasy' is in itself a mistake - this is literature at its darkest and best. The first two volumes in particular are astonishing: I'll always remember Le Guin's view on nominalism and the Atuan realm, they keep haunting me. A treasure of a book, just read it - like, NOW.
  • Martine
    The Earthsea Quartet contains the first four of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea novels (I believe there are five now, plus a collection of short stories). Earthsea is a large archipelago of islands, some of which are inhabited by dragons, but most of which are inhabited by humans. It's a fairly well-realised world which never gets bogged down in unnecessary details, unlike many other fantasy series. LeGuin sticks to basics, both in terms of world-buildi...
  • Martyn Stanley
    Wow! What a journey! I started this book back in October 2016 and occasionally broke off to read others, such as The Last Wish only returning to Ursula K. Le Guin afterwards. I was particularly interested in reading this multi-book edition, because I wonder whether I ought to compile my own Deathsworn Arc series into one book. [] I don't know whether to wait until more of the series is complete first or whe...
  • Gabrielle
    Call me “Always Late on the Bandwagon” because it took me sooo long to realize that Earthsea was a book by my favorite sci-fi writer, and not just a terrible Sci-Fi Channel series (that Le Guin disavowed, by the way). When that realization hit me, I got myself a copy of the Earthsea Quartet. I cracked it open bundled up in bed, with a cup of hot herbal tea in hand, and I just vanished into this beautifully crafted world. The big tome became m...
  • Eric
    Having affairs he must see to before he left Iffish, Vetch went off to the other villages of the island with the lad who served him as prentice-sorcerer. Ged stayed with Yarrow and her brother, called Murre, who was between her and Vetch in age. He seemed not much more than a boy, for there was no gift or scourge of mage-power in him, and he had never been anywhere but Iffish, Tok, and Holp, and his life was easy and untroubled. Ged watched him w...
  • M.J. Johnson
    I first read the Earthsea Trilogy when I was in my early twenties and absolutely loved it. As for reading the first three books again over thirty years after my first outing to Earthsea, the experience was quite simply better than I’d imagined. I was both entranced and delighted by the books, not only by the clarity and drive of Le Guin’s narrative but also by the richness and depth of her always economic prose. I love The Lord of the Rings f...
  • S.j. Hirons
    "To light a candle is to cast a shadow..."A teacher forced the first book on me when I was about 11 and, at the time, I hated it. I think a fair few parts of it creeped me out and I stopped reading it way before the end. I was probably 17 or 18 when I picked it up again and I’ve re-read the original trilogy on a yearly basis, each summer, ever since because for me they’re the template of how to write intelligent, thought-provoking fantasy. Le...
  • Pete Foley
    These books are simply wonderful. I concur wholeheartedly with Le Guin being held up alongside Tolkien.The Wizard of Earthsea: First of all the pace of this book is so refreshing. In the first chapter it establishes a young boy who has a hint of a gift, suddenly he defends his village and is wished away to apprentice with a wizard. One chapter. So great. The world created is so full, and the lore is beautiful; magic is in the understanding of the...
  • Hanne
    I'm actually not finished, but i gave up about 300 pages in.I was so looking forward to this being a fabulous book, but the archaic wording sometimes annoyed me. Book One still showed a lot of promise, but half way Book Two i just got bored.I figured life is too short to read books that bore both pants ànd shirts off you.
  • Ariya
    What to be said about the books you come to love is that even you find their flaws, lack of consistency, a lot of plot holes and obscure pacing, you will not be afraid to defend all the world against it. The fascinating context about the book is the gap years of each book's publication (1963 - 2001) creates a strong evolution momentum. When reading through all four books as the "quartet" (I heard there're two more books to catch up later), the ch...
  • Tuomas
    I had read the first book earlier and liked it, but I read it again now. I think the first book may actually be my favourite of the quartet, although they are all good. It's not all pleasure though, all in all the series is pretty sad and even dark. But the writing is amazing and the characters are interesting. For a book series that's essentially about wizards, there's not much traditional 'wizard business' here, but the approach is refreshing a...
  • Jemma
    I don't even know where to begin with this quartet. I had excellent fun reading it. It did take me almost a whole month, but it's rather large as well. I'll talk about each book:#1 'A Wizard of Earthsea'Ursula Le Guin immerses us into a world full of magic, dragons, and unknown dark powers, an Archipelago of islands. I was thoroughly enchanted by the story of Ged growing up, and his mission to correct his wrongs and restore the balance. Ged has h...
  • bronwyn
    The first time I tried to read these books I didn’t make it more than twenty pages in, because I was reading them badly. They are myths and I was asking them to be novels. But embracing the rhythm and elevation of style, you can read them like scripture, texts to return to, structures to meditate on. And they are ideal for Christmas, for solstice, Sunreturn, for the darkest time of the year. I came late to them but expect to be back often, rere...
  • Fi Michell
    I'm giving this five stars because when I was about eleven, it changed my reading life forever. I had never been so captivated nor so terrified by a single story. For some time, I could not walk inside our house at night alone without imagining Ged's shadow reaching out behind me. It was the first real fantasy book I'd ever read, with the exception of fairy tales. It did for me what Harry Potter must have done for many children some decades later...
  • Bon Tom
    Epic fantasy, comparable in its ambition, scope, quality and whichever other criteria you want, to unbeatable LOTR. What I like about this one is the time span, e.e. the fact it's basically coming of age story, which is something of a rarity in fantasy genre. You follow this wizard from his childhood to old age through whole width and length of, well, Earthsea of course. Great book and true classic. Not one of the run-of-the-mills that spawn in h...
  • Sparrowlicious
    This edition includes the first 4 books of the Earthsea cycle, as well as the map illustrations from each book. Le Guin is a master of writing, or so to say. The first time I read "A Wizard of Earthsea" I didn't like it. Only some years later I could see why that was: Back then I read the german translation instead of reading the english original. Language is important in the world of Earthsea. If it wasn't, all the spells wouldn't work. Le Guin ...
  • Callum McAllister
    Hard to give a definitive rating because each book of Earthsea felt totally independent and very separate from the others, despite sharing characters. "A Wizard of Earthsea" is easily 5 stars and the quartet as a whole is a very satisfying, well-rounded read. Definitely one I'll come back to again.
  • Leah Rachel von Essen
    There is always something special about reading a large chunk of a series in one go. It allows a different level of immersion, of flow. Of understanding, perhaps. One of the things I love most about Earthsea: The First Four Books by Ursula K. Le Guin is that while there is magic, and quest, and dragons, in this quartet, it isn’t what it’s about. This book is about earth, and contentment, and the mountains. It’s about learning what it means ...
  • Katie
    About:Earthsea: The First Four Books is a bind up of four books in the Earthsea cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin. The first book in the series is A Wizard of Earthsea and it was published in 1968. It follows the coming of age of a wizard named Ged as he navigates his powers and discovers the source of the darkness he is afraid of. The second book in the series is The Tombs of Atuan and it was published in 1972. It follows a girl named Tenar who is the ...
  • Phoebe Lynn
    I love The Earthsea Cycle!A wizard of Earthsea - I think this is my favourite out of the trilogy (the first 3 books) I liked how Ged was a flawed hero and how he needed to learn the ways of magic, and humility, in the hard way. I wish that Vetch came back in the other books though - I liked him. I also like how the events in the first book are referenced through the second and third. Tombs of Atuan - probably my second favourite. It's a change fr...
  • Marc
    It's been close to thirty years since I first read A Wizard of Earthsea. I know I read most or all of the first three books, but had no clear memory beyond the first novel. If I read them, I suspect at the time I didn't appreciate them for the incredible literary achievement that they are. My much younger self would have wanted the characters to remain in their roles unchanged throughout the cycle. Instead, what Le Guin ultimately gives us is a m...
  • Parks
    I would not recommend these books to anyone. The dragons and wizards parts of the books are well-written and imaginative, but the archaic, reified gender roles are offensive. I suspect Le Guin was attempting to convey some version of second-wave feminism with the idea that women are Freudian beings of the earth/caves/womb/darkness whose place is in the home and certainly not in school or civic life. The power of (heterosexual, fertile) women is d...
  • Eirini Robin
    I owed this book a little review at least.. :) Since it is a quartet, one should mention that the whole Earthsea world and particular stories consisting this book was a very bright fantasy conception from the author, as the background created was unique and well-detailed (as regards the maps and the use of more that simply 1 or 2 isles in the stories). I really enjoyed the fact that Ged travelled almost all around the Earthsea map, unveiling the ...
  • Diogo
    * A Wizard of EarthseaRead some time ago. Meh. Improved my appreciation for J.K. Rowling.* The Tombs of AtuanWonderful, the best of the quartet. Unfortunately it's a single gem. I wish it was the last one. The characters are very well portrayed, the conflicts, internal and external just make sense. The storytelling feels effortless. The one book I recommend. And it can be read independently, it's mostly context free.* The Farthest ShoreNice wrapp...
  • Dcn. Jedidiah Tritle
    The first three books are pure magic, and I would certainly classify them among the best of the fantasy genre. Tehanu (Book 4) is incredibly boring, and does very little to advance the plot of the Earthsea Cycle beyond introducing the character of Therru (Tehanu), who is instrumental in the fifth novel (Book 6). The first three books are easy reads, and the exciting plots kept me interested the entire time. The greatest aspect of the books, in my...
  • Joe
    My three star rating is based on the book as a whole first of all.I really enjoyed the first book, A Wizard Of Earthsea, and would class it as a five star book. However it was the only one I really enjoyed. The other three books felt very minor and somehow insignificant compared to it. The story, characters and especially the world were so vivid and well done in the first that the other three couldn't live up to this. This was a shame as I wanted...
  • Christine
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