The Earthsea Trilogy

A trilogy of fantasy books by Ursula Le Guin set in the fictional world of Earth Sea. The books are:

There are two further books of Earth Sea, written much later and in a very different style; these expand the trilogy to The Earthsea Quintet?. They are:

There is also a book of short stories, Tales Of Earthsea?, published between the last two.


Structurally, A Wizard Of Earthsea is a coming-of-age sort of thing, telling the story of Ged aka Sparrowhawk, going from a young boy to a world-weary (but not all that old) wizard. The second, The Tombs Of Atuan?, features the same chap, but he spends most of the book wandering about in a subterranean labyrinth. In the third, The Farthest Shore?, he's off on his travels again, but this time it's at sea, and turns somewhat loopy and possibly metaphorical at the end.

Te Hanu and The Other Wind? are very different in tone to the first three: the first three are fun but beautiful stories of wizardly journeys in space and power; the second two are not.

It is generally agreed that whilst quite young children will enjoy the first three (The Earthsea Trilogy proper), they will probably have to wait quite a while to appreciate the later ones.

A Wizard Of Earthsea is my favourite, for sure; wizardly travelling beats subterranean wandering and metaphorical voyaging any day. -- Tom Anderson

My favorite is The Other Wind?. It's interesting to see how Le Guin moves from the initial trilogy, with its traditional male/female roles, to Te Hanu (which is a bit overcorrective) to The Other Wind?, which feels marvelously balanced in all ways. BTW, the trilogy was originally published for teenagers (by Atheneum, a children's imprint), as was Patricia Mc Killip's Riddle-Master Trilogy and early work of Anne Mc Caffrey. -- SDN

Category Book(s)

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