Brief musings on novels read

In modern times, I place all my book reviews on Goodreads, so this page is a bit of a relic.


I borrowed it my local library. Well-written, but needs desperate editing attention. Deals with a very mean-spirited and Spartan society with echoes of Nordic culture, and one young man’s attempt to overthrow the influence of the evil idol that has inspired such nastiness. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s Biblical allegory camouflaged and re-written and it’s not really fantasy as it takes place in an island in the Atlantic somewhere and has no real supernatural elements apart from the idol. Needed better cover art too; what’s on it now, looks cheap.

I tried reading these books sans Tehanu when I was a kid but didn’t get very far at all, but on a second attempt recently, I sped through them. The first three, A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore are landmark books. Le Guin writes in a simple yet descriptive language. The development of the protagonist, Ged, from boy to mature magician is masterfully handled. My personal favourite of the three would be the second book where Ged is a secondary character to Tenar. Le Guin’s descriptions of The Tombs are excellent. Tehanu, on the other hand, comes across as the work of a bitter person. It was a struggle to read, to be honest. Since it deals with the issue of child molestation, it can’t be considered a children’s book as the first three are commonly held to be.