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.