27 Aug 2020

A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin

I got this since I like the author; didn't realize it was a kids' book.

Here's the thing though: despite the slightly restrained language and themes, there is a sort of utter modern power here. Le Guin goes for probably the most traditional of all wizarding and fantasy tropes (dragons, staffs, long white beards) and just ever so slightly subverts almost every word through her mental prism. Here you see the boyhood of the ordinarily always-old wise man. You see skin colour that is not white by default. And you see the gradiant, non-linear spread of cultures who trade and intermarry instead of the traditional delineated grid of races in fantasy novels.

In short, it's a study of what a fantasy world could be if it was real. I am pleased, and I will come back to Earthsea.