Thursday, 4 April 2019

The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin

When young Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, everything is taken away - home, family, possessions, even her name. For she is now Arha, the Eaten One, guardian of the ominous Tombs of Atuan. While she is learning her way through the dark labyrinth, a young wizard, Ged, comes to steal the Tombs' greatest hidden treasure. But Ged also brings with him the light of magic, and the chance to escape the darkness for ever...

I liked A Wizard of Earthsea, but I loved The Tombs of Atuan even more. The writing is just as beautiful, the story is just as simple and absorbing, and the world-building is as compelling. What makes the difference for me, however, is that The Tombs of Atuan is a story framed by women. A Wizard of Earthsea was good, but there is barely a female character in sight. The Tombs of Atuan, however, is dominated by female characters, whether they are protagonists, antagonists, friends, or mentors  -  a rare bird indeed in fantasy. 

Recommended For: Anyone looking for a short and beautifully written children's fantasy

Read On: The next book in the Earthsea Quartet is The Furthest Shore

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