The Tombs Of Atuan (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 2) – K. Le Guin, 63 Pages


http://www.thuvienso.info – Often compared to Tolkien’s Middle-earth or Lewis’s Narnia, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea is a stunning fantasy world that grabs quickly at our hearts, pulling us deeply into its imaginary realms. Four books (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, and Tehanu) tell the whole Earthsea cycle–a tale about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard’s apprentice after the wizard reveals Sparrowhawk’s true name. The boy comes to realize that his fate may be far more important than he ever dreamed possible. Le Guin challenges her readers to think about the power of language, how in the act of naming the world around us we actually create that world. Teens, especially, will be inspired by the way Le Guin allows her characters to evolve and grow into their own powers.
In this second book of Le Guin’s Earthsea series, readers will meet Tenar, a priestess to the “Nameless Ones” who guard the catacombs of the Tombs of Atuan. Only Tenar knows the passageways of this dark labyrinth, and only she can lead the young wizard Sparrowhawk, who stumbles into its maze, to the greatest treasure of all. Will she? –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
– The Tombs of Atuan is the second of a series of books written by Ursula K. Le Guin and set in her fantasy archipelago of Earthsea, first published in 1971. Its events take place a few years after those in A Wizard of Earthsea and around two decades before those in The Farthest Shore. The Tombs of Atuan was a Newbery Honor Book in 1972.
The story centers on a Kargish child who is taken from her family and dedicated as the high priestess in the service of the “Nameless Ones” on the island of Atuan. Her true name is Tenar, but she is renamed Arha, “the eaten one”, when she is formally consecrated to the gods’ service at age six, as all the high priestesses are considered reincarnations of the first.
Arha’s youth is a haunting contrast between lighthearted childish escapades and dark, solemn rituals. Her only true friend is the eunuch Manan who cares for her. Gradually she comes to accept her lonely, anonymous role, and to feel at home in the unlit underground labyrinth, the eponymous Tombs, where the malevolent, powerful Nameless Ones dwell, and where prisoners are sent for a slow death. Indeed, as she becomes aware of the political machinations among the older priestesses Thar and Kossil, the Tombs become a refuge to her, as she is the only one who may freely move through the labyrinth under them. When Thar dies, Arha becomes increasingly isolated, as although she was stern, Thar was fair to her. Now there is only Arha and Kossil, who despises Arha and her cult as rivals to Kossil’s power.

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