'One of the most deeply influential of all 20th century fantasy texts' ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FANTASY
'She is unparalleled in creating fantasy peopled by finely drawn and complex characters' GUARDIAN
'I'd love to sit at my desk one day and discover that I could think and write like Ursula Le Guin' Roddy Doyle
A collection of five magical tales of Earthsea, the fantastical realm created by a master storyteller that has held readers enthralled for more than three decades.
"The Finder", a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, when he Archipelago was dark and troubled, reveals how the famous school on Roke was started. In "The Bones of the Earth" the wizards who first taught Ged demonstrate how humility, if great enough, can rein in an earthquake. Sometimes wizards an pursue alternative careers - and "Darkrose and Diamond" is also a delightful story of young courtship. Return to the time when Ged was Archmage of Earthsea in "On the High Marsh", a story about the love of power and the power of love. And "Dragonfly", showing how a determined woman can break the glass ceiling of male magedom, provides a bridge - a dragon bridge - between Tehanu and The Other Wind.
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. 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.