Ursula K. Le Guin — The Books of Earthsea (2024)

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels are some of the most acclaimed and awarded works in literature—they have received prestigious accolades such as the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, the Nebula Award, and many more honors, commemorating their enduring place in the hearts and minds of readers and the literary world alike.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the timeless and beloved A Wizard of Earthsea that “reads like the retelling of a tale first told centuries ago” (David Mitchell)—this omnibus edition encompasses the entire Earthsea chronicles, including the early short stories, Le Guin’s “Earthsea Revisioned” Oxford lecture, and a new Earthsea story, never before printed.

With a new introduction by Le Guin herself, this essential edition also includes fifty illustrations by renowned artist Charles Vess, specially commissioned and selected by Le Guin, to bring her refined vision of Earthsea and its people to life in a new way.

With stories as perennial and universally beloved as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of The Rings—but also unlike anything but themselves—this edition is perfect for those new to the world of Earthsea, as well as those who are well-acquainted with its enchanting magic: to know Earthsea is to love it.

The Books of Earthsea was published in 2018 by Saga Press.

Winner of the 2019 Hugo Award for Best Art Book
Winner of the 2019
Locus Award for Best Art Book

A Note from Ursula

The order of the books is:

  • A Wizard of Earthsea

  • The Tombs of Atuan

  • The Farthest Shore

  • Tehanu

  • Tales from Earthsea

  • The Other Wind

They run in chronological order both in this world (from 1968 to 2001) and in Earthsea. There is a jump of 17 Earth years and 20 or more Earthsea years between the first three and the second three. Some of the Tales take place before Ged and Tenar were born. The last one, “Dragonfly,” follows afterTehanu; andThe Other Windfollows after “Dragonfly”; that story is an important bridge in the series as a whole.

WhenTehanuwas published I put a subtitle on it — "The Last Book of Earthsea." I was wrong! I was wrong!

I really thought the story was done; Tenar had finally got her second inning, and Ged and Tenar were obviously happy-ever-after, and if I didn't know exactly who or what Tehanu was, it didn't bother me.

But then it began to bother me.

And a lot of things about Earthsea were bothering me, like do wizards really have to be celibate, if witches don't? and how come no women at Roke? and who are the dragons? and where do Kargish people go when they die?

I found the answers to a lot of those questions in the stories that make theTales from Earthsea.

So then I was able to find out who Tehanu is — and who the dragons are — inThe Other Wind.

—Ursula K. Le Guin

Praise

“Le Guin’s words are magical. Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it.”

David Mitchell

“To return to Earthsea today is to encounter a different kind of fantasy work, where knowing oneself is a painstaking, ceaseless endeavor. It is an end in itself, not a means for characters to engage in bigger, supposedly more consequential issues. It is what the story is about, and the wonders Earthsea offers are scaled accordingly, to the sublime horizons of a life.”

—Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic

Supplements

  • A Work in Progress: Earthsea Sketches by Charles Vess” at Ursula’s blog (1 May 2017)

  • The Big Book of Earthsea” at Ursula’s blog (July 2016)

  • Maps of Earthsea

  • How do you pronounce names and words in your books?

  • BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatization of the first three Earthsea books

Excerpt

  • Firelight” at The Paris Review (subscription required to view full story)

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