Tales from Earthsea

Book 5 of The Earthsea Cycle

Ursula K. Le Guin

Illustrated by David Lupton

Foreword by the author

For Tales from Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin returns to her beloved fantasy world to reveal its very foundations. This Folio Society edition features illustrations by David Lupton.

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‘[Le Guin] is unparalleled in creating fantasy peopled by finely drawn and complex characters.’
  1. Guardian

Put up a sail and summon a witch-wind as we travel back to fantasy’s most beloved archipelago. With these five exquisite stories of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin weaves her unique magic once again, bringing new depth to one of the genre’s great masterpieces. This beautiful collector’s edition features seven atmospheric illustrations by artist David Lupton, who worked with Le Guin and her family from the very beginning of this Folio series to bring her vision of Earthsea to life, as well a stirring binding design. In a testament to the richness of her created world, Le Guin wrote a fascinating series of notes on the people, languages, literature and history of the region in ‘A Description of Earthsea’, also included in this edition. In the foreword, the author talks movingly about her desire to return to the world she created in A Wizard of Earthsea, and the methods by which a writer goes about excavating the history of a fictional landscape.

See the Folio Le Guin collection here.

Bound in cloth printed and blocked

Set in Garamond with Dulcinea Serif as display

344 pages

Frontispiece plus 6 full-colour illustrations

Printed map endpapers

Plain slipcase

9˝ x 5¾˝

Le Guin believed that ‘all times are changing times’, and in this remarkable collection she re-examines the world she created, uncovering the stories that were previously hidden or forgotten – tales of both men and women discovering, sharing, and teaching magic. It is a powerful, empowering rebalancing of Earthsea, one that reveals new facets to a much-loved world. In the novella that begins the collection we discover the surprising history of who exactly created the great school of magic on the island of Roke, and in the final story, set a few years after the events of Tehanu, we glimpse the potential future of all magic in the shape of a fierce young woman called Dragonfly. Past and future and tempestuous present: each story is an essential, thrilling read.

Le Guin’s great passion for anthropology shines through in ‘A Description of Earthsea’, the final part of the collection. In these details, which take in both the mythology of the archipelago and its culture, Ged’s world is able to grow deep roots, leaving the reader with the distinct impression that Earthsea truly has a life of its own – one that continues when the author’s attention is elsewhere. Appropriately for this timeless collection, David Lupton’s beautiful illustrations depict a world that looks ‘lived in’; beyond the margins of each illustration we sense not only magic, but earth and water, stone and sky. The Folio Society edition of Tales from Earthsea brings a magical touch to an essential series.

About Ursula K. Le Guin 

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) was born in Berkeley and lived in Portland, Oregon. She published 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, 4 collections of essays, 12 books for children, 6 volumes of poetry and 4 translated works, and received many honours and awards, including the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, a National Book Award and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. A Wizard of Earthsea (1968; Folio Society 2015, 2022) is her best-known work; it is the first book of Earthsea, which includes The Tombs of Atuan (1971; Folio Society 2022), The Farthest Shore (1972; Folio Society 2022), Tehanu (1990; Folio Society 2023), Tales from Earthsea (2001; Folio Society 2023) and The Other Wind (2001). Her Hugo Award-winning novels, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and The Dispossessed (1974) are also available as Folio editions (2018). Her most recent publications were Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2010 (2012) and The Unreal and the Real: Selected Short Stories (2012).

About David Lupton

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 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. Lupton has illustrated a number of books for Folio, including The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (2015). He worked closely with Ursula K. Le Guin to illustrate the Folio edition A Wizard of Earthsea (2015), and continued to realise the author’s vision after Le Guin passed away, illustrating The Left Hand of Darkness (2018), The Dispossessed (2019), The Tombs of Atuan (2022) and The Farthest Shore (2022), Tehanu (2023), Tales from Earthsea (2023) and The Other Wind (2024).


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