Monday, 5 January 2009

The Tombs of Atuan by: Ursula K. LeGuin

The Tombs of Atuan
Earthsea Book 2
Ursula K. LeGuin

Various Edition
s

Book one The Wizard of Earthsea was required reading for a children's literature course I did back in 1999. I enjoyed it so much I read all the books and collections of short stories set in that world. Yet even though this novel finishes by revolving again around Ged, it is really about Tenar/Arha, a young girl believed to be the reborn High Priest of the unnamed ones. (Nameless ones.) Her name is taken from her at 6 years of age, a year after she was taken from her family and home. She is given the name/title "A
rha" - "the one without a name."

She grows, learns and becomes high priestess under the tutelage of Kossil, priestess to the God-Kings and Thar of the God Brothers.

Then one day she sees Ged in the under tomb, and he has magic light. She traps him in the labyrinth. She then chains him and visits with him. Kossil finds out about this and plans to kill them both. Tenar, fearing this, visits Ged in the treasury where she has hidden him.


He renames her Tenar and together they escape and return the Ring of Erreth-Akbe to the inner islands that they may have peace. For the 9th rune that had been lost when the ring was broken when the rune was cut in half. Now with both pieces Ged could recover the rune and restore peace.

The book
ends with them in the city of Havnor.

Note: Pay close attention to the names of boats in the series. In this one Ged guides a boat called Lookfar.


The Books of Earthsea:

A Wizard of Earthsea - 1968
The Tombs of Atuan - 1971
The Farthest Shore - 1972 (Winner of the National Book Award)
Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea - 1990 (Winner of the Nebula Award)
Tales from Earthsea - 2001
The Other Wind - 2001

The Short Stories of Earthsea:

The Word of Unbinding - 1964
The Rule of Names - 1964
Dragonfly - 1997
Darkrose and Diamond - 1999
The Finder - 2001
The Bones of the Earth - 2001
On The High Marsh - 2001

Chronology:

The Word of Unbinding
The Finder
Darkrose and Diamon
The Rule of Names
The Bones of the Earth
A Wizard of Earthsea
The Tombs of Atuan
On the High Marsh
The Farthest Shore
Tehanu
Dragonfly
The Other Wind


Note: The short story "Dragonfly" from Tales from Earthsea is intended to fit in between Tehanu and The Other Wind and, according to Le Guin, is "an important bridge in the series as a whole".

Also check out this great Earthsea site. It should be noted as well that these books have editions in Children's (9-12) Teen, Sci-Fi and adult fiction, It appeals to a very wide audience.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

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