Have you been searching for awesome books, movies, or television shows to start? Well, look no further. Every week, The Wardrobe will be providing you with all sorts of fantastic suggestions to start your weekend off right! Make sure to check in every Friday under the UPDATES Menu tab (Click on RECOMMENDATIONS) for a list of science fiction, fantasy and fairy tale goodies!
This week The Wardrobe Recommends…
A Wizard of Earthsea
by Ben Jenkins
Yes, the latest Hunger Games film comes out this weekend, but if you don’t feel like cramming yourself into a seat next to a butter-laden popcorn covered fan boy or girl, you should definitely check out Ursula Le Guin’s classic fantasy novel A Wizard of Earthsea.
Le Guin’s story, originally published in 1968, has often been referred to as the inspiration for the Harry Potter series and for Hogwarts. In Le Guin’s tale, the protagonist, Ged, first studies under his aunt, a witch, before being mentored by Ogion the Silent, who you could call the O.G. Dumbledore. O.G. … Ogion…get it? Anyways, Ged tries to impress a girl by casting a spell above his pay grade and releases a shadow spirit that follows him throughout his time at wizard school, and then around the world of Earthsea. Ged, a slightly darker version of our favorite boy wizard, must deal with his growth as a person while learning to control his rising powers.
A Wizard of Earthsea is the first in a collection of Earthsea books so if you fall in love with Le Guin’s world, you will have plenty of other works to read. There was a live action adaption of the novel, which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2005, and also a Japanese animated film that aired in 2006. Le Guin has said she wasn’t pleased with either of these works and while I don’t necessarily think that all books are better than their film counterparts, I agree with her in this case.
Earlier this week Ursula Le Guin was given the Medal for Distinguished Contribution for American Letters by the National Book Foundation. In her acceptance speech Le Guin, a constant advocate for science fiction and fantasy writers said, “I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being….” If you haven’t read Le Guin yet, and you like reading about “other ways of being” then we highly recommend you add her books to your nightstand.