FICTION
The Books of Earthsea:
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition. Saga: S. & S.Oct. 2018. 1008p. illus. by Charles Vess. ISBN 9781481465588. $59.99. FANTASY
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OrangeReviewStarAward-winning author Le Guin and illustrator Vess have collaborated on a beautiful edition of the late Le Guin's "Earthsea" chronicles, gathered here into a single volume for the first time. Le Guin's stories never disappoint, and this epic fantasy is no exception. Decades before Harry Potter, the author created Ged, a brash farm boy who goes to a wizard school in The Wizard of Earthsea. The Newbery Award-winning follow-up, The Tombs of Atuan, traces Tenar, who was forced into becoming a priestess but later questions her faith. In The Farthest Shore, Ged fights a dark mage draining magic from Earthsea. Tehanu sees Tenar in her middle years as a mother examining gender roles through magical power. The final novel, The Other Wind, provides a sequel to Tehanu. Also included is Le Guin's Oxford lecture "Earthsea Revisioned" and a collection of short stories featuring the never-before-published "The Daughter of Odren," about the nature of power, birthright, and justice. Alongside these stories are gorgeous illustrations by Vess, many in rich full color.
VERDICT With solid YA crossover appeal but highly enjoyable for all ages, this is especially recommended for admirers of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and J.K. Rowling.

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