wilderthan: ((SamDean) Facts and weapons)
[personal profile] wilderthan
Tales from Earthsea is a collection of short stories, rather than one whole new novel. It adds quite a lot to the world of Earthsea, consequently -- more breadth, certainly, and some more depth. I preferred it over Tehanu: it seemed as if it fit better until the world we already know. Only one story features Ged, and only one of them is set after Tehanu.

The first story, The Finder, is set quite a long time before the books begin, before Ged is even born. It begins following one boy, Medra, and you don't realise how much significance it has for Earthsea. It's one of the more important stories in the collection, though, giving us details we haven't really learnt about before, about the founding of the school on Roke. It's much more fair to the women than the system we see established in A Wizard of Earthsea: the women are the founders, they have power and influence. It's interesting and something I, for one, always wondered about.

Darkrose and Diamond, the second story, is not really about magic, and is more about love. I prefer the magic and high adventure, but it's not a bad story. Just not what I'm visiting Earthsea for.

The Bones of the Earth is interesting because we learn more about Ogion/Aihal, and the man who taught him. I liked this one a lot. It gives background to one of the big things we learn about Ogion, that he held an earthquake on a leash. It's quite short, though.

On the High Marsh is the only story of the collection to have Ged in it. He doesn't play a major part, really, but we do get to see him as Archmage and learn a little about his short reign. We also get to see a little more of Earthsea!

Dragonfly is the bridge between Tehanu and The Other Wind. It introduces another part of the world, briefly, but the important part is really Irian. It explains a bit about events on Roke, and carries on the thread about dragons from Tehanu. I think I tried to read The Other Wind before reading this, originally, and it didn't work so well.

The history and background section at the end is also worth reading. It's not shaped like a story, so it's mostly just a bundle of facts, but you learn some interesting things. I liked the background about Erreth-Akbe and Maharion the most.


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