Margin Notes: A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA by Ursula K. Le Guin Written by Grant Goodman, 10/13/2014
The Quote: “To light a candle is to cast a shadow...”
The Notes: A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA is one of the earliest novels about a boy attending wizard school. It is full of adventure, powerful magic, and messages about the dangers of absolute power.
The quote here is one of the many moments of simple wisdom that is passed on to Ged during his education. In his world, magic is about knowing the true names of things. It is also about balance. To create is to destroy, so every decision must be weighed before a spell is cast. It mirrors one of the major facts of life that we have to recognize as we’re growing up: every action we take has a thousand consequences down the line.
You’re far more likely to come across this book in the Fantasy section of your bookstore, rather than the Teens section. The designation doesn’t matter, really. This is a slim novel that speaks to everyone.
If you’ve spent time at Hogwarts, but never on the island of Roke, you should do some exploring. You’ll find something wonderful waiting for you.