A Wizard of Earthsea(ゲド戦記第1巻『影との戦い』)~英語レベル:中級 

(This entry is in both English and Japanese / 英語・日本語並記)

“A Wizard of Earthsea” is the first book of the Earthsea Series written by Ursula. K. LuGuin.

「アースシーの魔法使い:邦題 影との戦い」は、U.K.ルグイン作のアースシー・シリーズの第1巻です。

About Earthsea World (アースシーの世界について)
Earthsea is a world with vast oceans and countless islands in an archipelago. On most of the islands, people still use magic. The most important aspect of magic is to know true names; if you know the true name, you have the control over the thing or the person. Therefore, people guard their true names with great care.


Story of “A Wizard of Earthsea” (『影との戦い』のストーリー 前半の概略)
The hero of the book is a young man, who was born on the island Gont. When he was still quite young, his inborn magical power became widely known on the island. Thus one day, Ogion, the great mage of Re Albi, came to the village and gave the boy his true name, “Ged.”


Ged, whose use name was now “Sparrowhawk”, was then apprenticed to Ogion. To Sparrowhawk’s disappointment, Ogion rarely used magic and lived a very humble and solitary life in a mountain. But the boy longed for glory. He wished to learn more, and fast! Therefore, with Ogion’s permission, he chose to go to Roke, the school of magic and the center of the world.


There, he exceeded his peers in every subject. However, overwhelmed by pride, the arrogant young man used deadly magic, which he had not yet learned to control, and ended up unleashing a “shadow” into “this side” of the world.


His act put himself, Roke, and the world in great danger. What he was to do? Should he run forever or should he put an end to this? But how could he do that when he did not know what it was that he had unleashed?......


My comment on the book (内容についてのコメント)
“A Wizard of Earthsea” is a tale of a young man growing into maturity. He shall learn that power needs to be accompanied by self-restraints and wisdom. The greater your power is, the more cautious you need to be, because what you do could affect the equilibrium of the world. It is interesting to see those characters in Earthsea use magic less and less as they mature as sorcerer and as human. I believe this is one of the key concepts of the series.


Another key concept of the series is that the opposites (such as life and death, light and shadow) originate from each other and end in each other and thus constitute equilibrium. “To light a candle is to cast a shadow….” You will know what it means when you read the book to the end.


Target readers(想定読者層)
The first trilogy was written at a publisher’s request “to write a fantasy for eleven and up.” Since the first book was published in 1968, the Earthsea books have attracted millions of readers, children and adults.


I would not recommend the books to younger children, though. For younger children, the series could be perplexing and even frightening. I was probably at around nine years old when I first read the book. I was so scared of the Shadow that I could not go to bathroom in night! But as I get older, I have come to appreciate the book more and more. I think many people feel the same.  As to the second trilogy, I believe it is for adults, not for children. I would like to write about it later.




A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Trilogy (Paperback))
Ursula K. Le Guin
Spectra Books 1984-05-01

影との戦い―ゲド戦記 1
清水 真砂子 Ursula K. Le Guin
岩波書店 2000

Comments on the content and/or English (grammatical errors, wrong choices of words, etc.) would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

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