"A Wizard of Earthsea", by Ursula LeGuin

Novel, 1968

Fantasy story about identity, self-determination and a whole stack of monsters, spirits and mythological bits and pieces. In places, there’s some tension – particularly in the accounts of the pivotal conflicts between Ged and the shadow – although those who find it difficult to stomach magic staffs and dragons may not be able to see past them to any serious political point the author may have intended. As the first part of a trilogy, the ending wasn’t too scrappy, but this probably remains for fantasy fans only.

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