A Wizard of Earthsea

Ursula K. Le Guin
A Wizard of Earthsea Cover

A Wizard of Earthsea


Although I am no fan of high fantasy or books written for teens, this passage from Wizard of Earthsea captures why LeGuin's book works for me.

(Ged, our hero, is an apprentice mage who has been goaded into showing off powers he cannot yet control. He has loosed something dangerous and evil into the world.)

Now began a bad time. When he dreamed of the shadow or so much as thought of it, he felt always the same cold dread; sense and power drained out of him, leaving him stupid and astray. He raged at his cowardice, but that did no good. He sought for some protection, but there was none: the thing was not flesh, not alive, not spirit, unnamed, having no being but what he himself had given it--a terrible power outside the laws of the sunlit world. All he knew of it was that it was drawn to him and would try to work its will through him, being his creature. But in what form it could come, having no real form of its own as yet, and how it would come, and when it would come, this he did not know.