lumineuse wrote:I'm used to be a huge fan of fantasy, probably because I fell in love with Tolkien at age 11, but I've never read LeGuin. Whose work would you compare her work to, Bohemian?
Oh, you've got me there. I'm ashamed to admit I've never read Tolkien, so I can't offer that comparison. This may be a cop out, but this series (or cycle) has always stood alone for me. Beneath the tales of wizardry and great adventure lie the true quests for self knowledge and understanding of one's responsibility. How each choice affects others and the world we live in. Perhaps it shares that with Tolkien? There is an underlying calm and a strong sense of necessary balance. Yikes - not sure I am doing Ms. Leguin any favors here! I make it sound dull and heavy, but it is anything but. It takes me away to another world, simpler, yet the same. Simply magical. I hope you'll give the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea
, a try.
These first two reviews at Amazon offer a far more cognizant summary http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553262505/qid=1110583544/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/103-0345813-3068634
I'm with you there, Bohemian. I love the trilogy. I love good fantasy writing that takes you into another world, while at the same time, saying something about human experience. I like the idea of Johnny playing Ged.
If you liked that, might I recommend Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy?
And lumineuse, this is what I would compare her work to. Good quality fantasy writing for teenage readers that has many layers of meaning.
Two children lie at the heart of the books, so in that way it is similar to the Harry Potter books, but these are so much more rich and more original, I think. He quotes from Paradise Lost at the start, which is a bit of an indication of the depth. This is a quotation from a review of the first book, Northern Lights.
"The story, with its spirited 12-year-old heroine Lyra, takes the classic form of a quest, and deals with colossal, often terrifying themes - one of which is the relationship between the body and the soul. An eye-widening fantasy, a scorching thriller and a thought-provoking reflection on the human condition."
As you can see, some similarities with The Wizard of Earthsea. Personally, I prefer the second book, The Subtle Knife, to the first, when it switches attention at first to the second child, a boy, who kills a man at the start. It is even better. I think the books might interest Johnny, if only for the themes of light and dark and outsiders, but a part for him would be relatively small. Still, it wouldn't be the first time.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."