All posts filed under: Fiction

Ekostories from fiction.

Rebecca Guay The Tombs of Atuan

Freedom’s Burden: The Tombs of Atuan

As a ten year old boy reading The Tombs of Atuan for the first time, I felt tremendously let down. On the surface, it appeared to have little to do with its predecessor. I was crestfallen to discover that Ged didn’t even appear until a third of the way into the story. Why was there such a focus on this girl I couldn’t relate to? Why would a great wizard – my powerful wizard – the one with whom I journeyed to the ends of the world, require help from someone with no apparent powers or magical ability? It was really all too much. I finished the story, shelved it away, and went on with the rest of my childhood. I grew up. I came back to the austere desert-scape of Atuan, revisited Tenar, and understood her a little better. I came to admire her, in some ways more than Ged. I also came to understand the significance of Ged’s role in Tenar’s story. Within the claustrophobic labyrinths, I learned the importance of identity, the …

Know Thyself: A Wizard of Earthsea

“Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky.” – The Creation of Ea, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, p. 1 The books that profoundly shape one’s thinking don’t come along very often. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon one at the age of ten. Randomly grabbed out of a crate of assorted novels for English reading class, A Wizard of Earthsea immediately drew me deep into its world of magic, adversity, and adventure. But unlike other young adult books that were read and subsequently forgotten, Wizard’s story stayed with me. The beautiful use of language and imagery, coupled with the mythic quality of the writing style, definitely didn’t hurt. But I think as a child of two cultures, I was most particularly attracted to the unique way in which Le Guin wove Eastern philosophy into her works of fantasy. Whatever its appeal was, I have reread Wizard of Earthsea and subsequent entries of the Earthsea series many …