Cover image for Tales from Earthsea
Title:
Tales from Earthsea
Author:
Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harcourt, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
xv, 296 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
Explores further the magical world of Earthsea through five tales of events which occur before or after the time of the original novels, as well as an essay on the people, languages, history and magic of the place.
Language:
English
Contents:
The finder -- Darkrose and Diamond -- The bones of the earth -- On the high marsh -- Dragonfly -- A description of Earthsea.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.1 14.0 54875.
ISBN:
9780151005611
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
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Hamburg Library X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
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Audubon Library X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The tales of this book, as Ursula K. Le Guin writes in her introduction, explore or extend the world established by her first four Earthsea novels. Yet each stands on its own.

"The Finder," a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, presents a dark and troubled Archipelago and shows how some of its customs and institutions came to be. "The Bones of the Earth" features the wizards who taught the wizard who first taught Ged and demonstrates how humility, if great enough, can contend with an earthquake. "Darkrose and Diamond" is a delightful story of young courtship showing that wizards sometimes pursue alternative careers. "On the High Marsh" tells of the love of power-and of the power of love. "Dragonfly" shows how a determined woman can break the glass ceiling of male magedom.

Concluding with an account of Earthsea's history, people, languages, literature, and magic, this collection also features two new maps of Earthsea.


Author Notes

Arguably one of the canonical writers of American science fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin was born in Berkeley, Calif., in 1929, the daughter of Alfred L. and Theodora Kroeber. After earning an A.B. degree from Radcliffe College and an A.M. from Columbia University, Le Guin was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 1953.

The genre formerly classified as 'science fiction' has become divided into sub-genres, such as fantasy, realistic fiction, alternative history, and other categories. Le Guin resists classifying her own work in any one area, saying that some of it may be called 'science fiction', while other writings may be considered 'realist' and still others 'magical realism' (her term). Le Guin is one of the few writers whose works (which include poetry and short fiction) can be found in public libraries' collections for children, young adults, and adults.

Le Guin's published works include a novel, A Wizard of Earthsea, that won an American Library Association Notable Book citation, a Horn Book Honor List citation, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1979. She has been nominated several times for the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award--the highest honors in science fiction/fantasy writing--and has won both awards. Her Earthsea Trilogy is a mainstay of libraries' fantasy fiction collections.

Le Guin married Charles Alfred Le Guin on December 22, 1953. They live in Portland, Ore.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

To her much-loved Earthsea novels Le Guin appends five tales that, she states, "will profit by being read after, not before, the novels." One of them, a novella, is set during a dark era, some 300 years prior to the novels' time, when it is dangerous to practice sorcery. This richly told narrative provides background to the novels as it tells of a search for identity, a romance, and the beginning of a school for magicians. Of the other stories, one is about the wizards who taught the wizard who first taught Ged; one is a timeless love story; one a tale set when Ged was archmage of Earthsea; and one a bridge between Tenahu and a forthcoming novel, The Other Wind. It has been years since the last Earthsea book, but Le Guin hasn't lost her touch. She draws us into the magical land and its inhabitants' doings immediately. Earthsea mavens must rejoice, and relative newcomers will profit from the Earthsea history and two new maps that round out the book. --Sally Estes


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this stellar collection, which includes a number of original stories, Le Guin (The Telling; Four Ways to Forgiveness; etc.) makes a triumphant return to the magic-drenched world of Earthsea. The opening novella, The Finder, set some 300 years before the birth of Ged, the hero of A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), details both the origin of the school for wizards on Roke Island and the long-suppressed role that women and women's magic played in the founding of that institution. "The Bones of the Earth" describes Ogion, Ged's first great teacher, when he was a young man, centering on that wizard's loving relationship with his own mentor. "Darkrose and Diamond" is also a love story of sorts, about a young man who'd rather be a musician than a mage and the witch girl he loves. "On the High Marsh," the only story in which Ged himself appears, albeit in a secondary role, is a touching tale of madness and redemption. Finally, in the novella Dragonfly, a tale set immediately after the events related in her Nebula Award-winning novel Tehanu (1990), Le Guin tells the story of a young girl who chooses to defy the ban on female mages, tries to enroll in the school on Roke Island and, in doing so, initiates great changes to the world of Earthsea. In her seventies, Le Guin is still at the height of her powers, a superb stylist with a knack for creating characters who are both wise and deeply humane. The publication of this collection is a major event in fantasy literature. (May) FYI: In addition to five Hugo and five Nebula awards, Le Guin has won the Kafka Award, a Pushcart Prize and the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Le Guin's latest work opens with "The Finder," which takes readers back into the past of the author's imaginary universe to relate the founding of a school of magic on Roke Island and the story of a young wizard who became a legend. This story of the early history of Earthsea is followed by four other tales (two of which have appeared in other publications) and an essay on the history and culture of her archipelago world. While best appreciated in conjunction with Le Guin's previous Earthsea tales (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu), this volume not only stands alone but also serves as an introduction to new readers. Strong work from a master storyteller; highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/01.] (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The FinderI. In the Dark TimeThis is the first page of the Book of the Dark, written some six hundred years ago in Berila, on Enlad:"After Elfarran and Morred perished and the Isle of Sol"a sank beneath the sea, the Council of the Wise governed for the child Serriadh until he took the throne. His reign was bright but brief. The kings who followed him in Enlad were seven, and their realm increased in peace and wealth. Then the dragons came to raid among the western lands, and wizards went out in vain against them. King Akambar moved the court from Berila in Enlad to the City of Havnor, whence he sent out his fleet against invaders from the Kargad Lands and drove them back into the East. But still they sent raiding ships even as far as the Inmost Sea. Of the fourteen Kings of Havnor the last was Maharion, who made peace both with the dragons and the Kargs, but at great cost. And after the Ring of the Runes was broken, and Erreth-Akbe died with the great dragon, and Maharion the Brave was killed by treachery, it seemed that no good thing happened in the Archipelago."Many claimed Maharion's throne, but none could keep it, and the quarrels of the claimants divided all loyalties. No commonwealth was left and no justice, only the will of the wealthy. Men of noble houses, merchants, and pirates, any who could hire soldiers and wizards called himself a lord, claiming lands and cities as his property. The warlords made those they conquered slaves, and those they hired were in truth slaves, having only their masters to safeguard them from rival warlords seizing the lands, and sea-pirates raiding the ports, and bands and hordes of lawless, miserable men dispossessed of their living, driven by hunger to raid and rob."The Book of the Dark, written late in the time it tells of, is a compilation of self-contradictory histories, partial biographies, and garbled legends. But it's the best of the records that survived the dark years. Wanting praise, not history, the warlords burnt the books in which the poor and powerless might learn what power is.But when the lore-books of a wizard came into a warlord's hands he was likely to treat them with caution, locking them away to keep them harmless or giving them to a wizard in his hire to do with as he wished. In the margins of the spells and word lists and in the endpapers of these books of lore a wizard or his prentice might record a plague, a famine, a raid, a change of masters, along with the spells worked in such events and their success or unsuccess. Such random records reveal a clear moment here and there, though all between those moments is darkness. They are like glimpses of a lighted ship far out at sea, in darkness, in the rain.And there are songs, old lays and ballads from small islands and from the quiet uplands of Havnor, that tell the story of those years.Havnor Great Port is the city at the heart of the world, white-towered above its bay; on the tallest tower the sword of Erreth-Akbe catches Excerpted from Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xi
The Finderp. 1
Darkrose and Diamondp. 107
The Bones of the Earthp. 143
On the High Marshp. 163
Dragonflyp. 197
A Description of Earthseap. 267

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