Introduced by David Mitchell
Illustrated by David Lupton
A true great of the fantasy genre, the first book in the Earthsea series brims over with danger and wild magic.
‘If this is your first time reading A Wizard of Earthsea or your nth visit, drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it’
In his introduction acclaimed author and fantasy fan David Mitchell describes Ged, the young hero at the heart of this beloved fantasy story, as ‘by far the most relatable to, and the least derivative wizard’, and talks of the striking originality of Le Guin’s world, an archipelago filled with bustling humanity and a solid lack of whimsy. The endpapers of this edition feature maps drawn by Martin Sanders based on the originals by Le Guin, and The Folio Society worked closely with the author to produce illustrations that would do her creation justice; David Lupton’s deeply atmospheric paintings show Earthsea and Ged as the author intended – a place of sea and salt, a hero of light and shadow.
‘Once in that court he had felt himself to be a word spoken by the sunlight. Now the darkness also had spoken: a word that could not be unsaid’
On the island of Roke, Ged, a boy sorcerer learning the high arts of wizardry, falls victim to his own pride and vanity and accidentally releases a terrible shadow into the world. Binding itself to Ged, the shadow-beast destroys all hope of peace for the young mage until he can master it by gaining that greatest of powers: knowledge of the shadow’s true name.
Ursula K. Le Guin’s lyrical tale of magic, morality and identity is also a stirring adventure story. Ged battles the Dragon of Pendor, uses weatherworking to propel himself across the Inmost Sea, summons fog and werelights, and transforms himself into a hawk with a Spell of Change. It is a story that thrums with its own mythology, as beautiful and as real as any ancient tale. As Hari Kunzru writes in the Guardian, Le Guin’s writing ‘walks towards reality, not away from it’ – like all the great works of fantasy.
Ursula K. Le Guin was born in 1929 in Berkeley, and lives in Portland, Oregon. She has published 21 novels, eleven volumes of short stories, four collections of essays, twelve books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation, and has received many honours and awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, National Book Award and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) is her best known work; it is the first book of Earthsea, which includes The Tombs of Atuan (1971), The Farthest Shore (1972), Tehanu (1990), Tales from Earthsea (2001), and The Other Wind (2001). Her most recent publications are Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2010 (2012) and The Unreal and the Real: Selected Short Stories (2012).
David Mitchell is a British novelist. He grew up in Malvern, Worcestershire, and studied at the University of Kent, where he earned a degree in English and American Literature and an MA in Comparative Literature. Named one of Granta’s ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ in 2003, he has written six novels, two of which, number1dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His most recent novel is The Bone Clocks (2014).
David Lupton is a London-based illustrator. He studied Illustration at the University of Portsmouth before completing an MA in Sequential Illustration at the University of Brighton. His work is hand drawn and painted with only the slightest of digital enhancement. He has created work for many commercial briefs, including editorial illustration, children’s picture books, music video design and animation, and record cover artwork. He illustrated The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym for The Folio Society in 2015.
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Review by email@example.com on 10th Aug 2016
"This is an absolutely lovely edition of Wizard of Earthsea-- a classic presentation for a classic book. The illustrations are just right. Sadly, copies of it in good repair are difficult to find, and ..." [read more]
Review by Kev.firstname.lastname@example.org on 7th Jun 2016
"What a wonderful book. This is really a first class fantasy novel disgusted as a coming of age novel. The illustrations are perfect and really add to the overall enjoyment of this book."
Review by jwilkotz on 19th Feb 2016
"How had I not noticed decades back how exceptionally fine a book this is? (Probably because I was not sufficiently interested in and therefore not intelligent about fantasy.) What a delight, though,..." [read more]