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Samir's Critical Corner

I love good writing. Samir's Critical Corner will have reviews on World Literature but you will also find reviews on various subjects like Mathematics or Tai Chi, and on specific niches like Nigerian writers.

Currently reading

South Sea Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
Robert Louis Stevenson
Progress: 122/289 pages

Review: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin

Like so many fantasy books, this one started out promising. My first impression was excitement at a well written book, particularly the verse - I mean how often is it that one reads fantasy with alliteration and a sense of rhythm?

Sadly though, the same technicalities that made this book special also made it frustrating. Alliteration and rhythm are what this is all about to the point where even the story takes a background. The level of detail and character development is strong early-on before and during Ged's (the protagonist) education at the Wizard Academy, however it becomes more and more superficial as the short novel races to a conclusion on just how the (tiresome by now) shadow is to be defeated.

The tension and suspense fizzled the longer I read, the dialogue failed to engage and the lack of character development was plain boring. The worst though was the alliteration and rhythm that I loved at the beginning but couldn't stand anymore after so many pages. Seriously, a novel is not meant to be a melodic piece from start to finish with such an intensity. Sentences were also sometimes awkwardly constructed or adjectives were used in abundance, not to mention synonyms, just to keep the focus of alliteration and rhythm intact.

Reading this book has been an unusual experience and, frankly, quite tiring.


Samir Rawas Sarayji