Tombs of Atuan

Tombs of Atuan

Book - 1984
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One of the Time 100 Best Fantasy Books Of All Time

The Newbery Honor-winning second novel in the renowned Earthsea series from Ursula K. LeGuin.

In this second novel in the Earthsea series, Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, and everything is taken from her--home, family, possessions, even her name. She is now known only as Arha, the Eaten One, and guards the shadowy, labyrinthine Tombs of Atuan.

Then a wizard, Ged Sparrowhawk, comes to steal the Tombs' greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. Tenar's duty is to protect the Ring, but Ged possesses the light of magic and tales of a world that Tenar has never known. Will Tenar risk everything to escape from the darkness that has become her domain?

With millions of copies sold worldwide, Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle has earned a treasured place on the shelves of fantasy lovers everywhere, alongside the works of such beloved authors as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
Publisher: London : Gollancz ; New York : Atheneum, c1984.
ISBN: 9780689845369
Branch Call Number: j LEG
Additional Contributors: Garraty, Gail


From Library Staff

The sequel to the "Wizard of Earthsea", also set in the fictional Earthsea archipelago. The story follows a girl named Tenar, and her discovery of Ged, the Wizard of Earthsea, in the Tombs of Atuan. Filled with mysterious labyrinths and ancient traditions; it is everything that fantasy ... Read More »

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Aug 12, 2020

Continues the great world-building and life-lessoning of the Earthsea cycle. Tenar, the Tombs of Atuan's protagonist, is just as, if not more, investing of a character as Ged.

Dec 14, 2019

There was a bit of a change of tone in this book. In my opinion the first book was better, but this book is still a great one.

DPLnate Apr 04, 2018

“Living, being in the world, was a much greater and stranger thing than she had ever dreamed.” - The Tombs of Atuan
Haunting, vivid, beautiful book from one of the great writers of the 20th century.

Jan 20, 2015

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Jan 01, 2015

Fantastic book and a big change from the first book, but in a delightful and refreshing way.

Some may despair that much of the action is confined underground, but others will delight in the subtleties and careful character interactions.

May 06, 2013

The second book in the Earthsea cycle, this one is my favorite and the only one to have cover art so that is why I included it. While "A Wizard of Earthsea" is great and "The Farthest Shore" is pretty good, The Tombs of Atuan is the best. Why? Because it is a tale of redemption. Tenar is a young girl who is taken from her home to become the reincarnated high priestess to the Nameless Ones, evil spririts that inhabit the caves of their island. She thinks this is her fate, until a certain wizard comes to the tombs to find a rare magical item. Neither of their lives will ever be the same. The sense of foreboding that Le Guin puts into the first part of the book is contrasted by the hope of the second part. A great book. Actually the whole series is. Start with A Wizard of Earthsea, though. It'll make more sense that way.

MinniGappieo Jun 26, 2012

As the second book of the series, Ursula Le Guin has mastered being able to write with a reoccurring character but allowing the reader to not have to read the books in order. Arha was forced into a solitude and life she did not want, but changes with the arrival of the first book's protagonist, Ged/ Sparrowhawk. It was a very interesting book detailing Arha's life as a Priestess and the darkness she had to emerse herself in. With this book I became a fan of the Earthsea series, and do appreciate the first novel more. I recommend you read them in order: A wizard of earthsea,The tombs of atuan, the farthest shore, tehanu, tales from earthsea, the other wind.

jjd1986 May 24, 2012

I have become totally enamored with Le Guin's writing. From the very first page of WIZARD OF EARTHSEA, I became a citizen. Servent to our friend the archmage.
Book two, THE TOMBS OF ATUAN, was very slow, in my opinion. The suttleties were not revealed until the last two or three chapters, so it felt like there was a lot of fluf. almost. but the story as a whole played out very well. i look forward to reading it again in the future.

Feb 26, 2012

This book is another awesome masterpiece from a master of Fantasy - Ursula K. Leguin. In fact Tombs of Atuan is just as masterful as 'A Wizard of Earthsea'. These are must-reads for anyone who loves fantasy.

The first novel in this series was vast and expansive, full of voyages through realm after realm which left me almost breathless with the scope, worldbuilding prowess and magical action of it all. This sequel is just as great but in a different way.

This one begins with a riveting, intense focus on a very special young lady and her rigid confined, ascetic, hidden-away existence in a specific place. This place is fascinating! It is also as mysterious and eerie as the previous novel's realms were sprawling and magical. LeGuin makes me feel almost as if I'm there.
I felt such pity for this girl Arha. Becoming a high priestess sounds great huh. Well in her case it's not such a great deal. Not great at all.

Then a certain stranger arrives who is just as mysterious, at least to Arha. It's an utter shock for her. The end moved me to tears but I won't say a word more about it.. Just read it and you'll be glad you did and you'll know what I mean!

Apr 12, 2011

This is the second book in the Earthsea series

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Anneliese Elizabeth Coppock thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Feb 18, 2013

NPatrick thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

jjd1986 May 24, 2012

jjd1986 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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jjd1986 May 24, 2012

Girl inducted into Cult as priestess.
Girl grows into an almost molevolant power mongure.
Girls finds man in dungeon.
Girls manipulates man.
Man saves girl from Cult.


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jjd1986 May 24, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Some people end up dieing. It might not exactly be a children's book.


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jjd1986 May 24, 2012

“They have nothing to give. They have no power of making. All their power is to darken and destroy. They cannot leave this place; they are this place; and it should be left to them. They should not be denied nor forgotten, but neither should they be worshiped. The Earth is beautiful, and bright, and kindly, but that is not all. The Earth is also terrible, and dark, and cruel. The rabbit shrieks dying in the green meadows. The mountains clench their great hands full of hidden fire. There are sharks in the sea, and there is cruelty in men’s eyes. And where men worship these things and abase themselves before them, there evil breeds; there places are made in the world where darkness gathers, places given over wholly to the Ones whom we call Nameless, the ancient and holy Powers of the Earth before the Light, the powers of the dark, of ruin, of madness…

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