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Summary

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?

©1970 Ursula K. Le Guin (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"[This] trilogy made me look at the world in a new way, imbued everything with a magic that was so much deeper than the magic I'd encountered before then. This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking." (Neil Gaiman)

"Drink this magic up. Drown in it. Dream it." (David Mitchell)

What listeners say about The Tombs of Atuan

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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I love Le Guin - the voice just didn't fit to me.

I love Le Guin and have read the Earthsea series many times. The readers voice when in the characters of the Priestess and Wizard just didn't fit to me -but as a narrator she did build atmosphere.

2 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 17-10-19

Why a different narrator?

It's lovely, I'm loving this series but A) why get a different narrator for the second part of the trilogy when the other narrator had done the first and the third? I'm not sure why this is the case. And B) perfectly nice reading but there are no accents or different voices as with the other narrator which was disappointing!

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Story

Wonderful story. The characters so well thought through. Well read. An enthralling all ages tale.

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Simply A Beautiful Tale

Mesmerising. Where have you been all my life? Apparently I need fifteen words for a review. So there you go.

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Simply fantastic

Le Guin is an unfailingly brilliant writer and Aysha reads this one so well.

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In the Darkness Live the Nameless Ones

Out of all Le Guin's Earthsea novels The Tombs of Atuan is probably the slowest and (if I recall correctly) the only one where Sparrowhawk isn't the main protagonist. That being said the story of Tenar, a young girl taken from her home as a toddler, raised as the reincarnation of the ancient priestess of the tombs is engaging and wonderful.
This novel, much like its predecessor, is a wonderful character study. Shining light on the loneliness and isolation of a child separated from all family and raised to be a High Priestess. I'll not say anymore about the story as I want everyone to experience it for themselves.
The choice of narrator for this Audible release was genius. Aysha Kala sounds just right as the young Tenar and gives the book a life my inner middle-aged white dude simply cannot manage.

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Interesting and engaging story, but

portraying Sparrowhawk as an Essex lad felt a bit of a stretch, though Alisha Kala is clearly a talented narrator.

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Absolutely wonderful

Really loved revisiting this after such a long time! Even better than I remember it!

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I can't believe I haven't read this series before

Absolutely stunning fantasy, with real and humanised characters. I love this series and its setting.

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Like others I found the narration jarring

I love the books and this narrator has a nice tone but I just couldn't enjoy Ged with an inner city accent. Neutral would have been fine or if he's a village lad a county UK accent would do too but as it was very distracting all the way though.