Ursula LeGuin has long been a mentor of mine through her two works Earthsea Trilogy https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/23/david-mitchell-wizard-of-earthsea-tolkien-george-rr-martin and Steering the Craft. https://www.npr.org/books/titles/435549106/steering-the-craft-a-twenty-first-century-guide-to-sailing-the-sea-of-story I pay homage to her in this, the week of her passing.

I first read Earthsea in my twenties. Both wizardry and dragons pull at my heartstrings.

There is something in LeGuin’s writing that strikes me as wizardry. The depth of her knowing enthralls me. The main character of her trilogy, Ged, is introduced to us as a sullen, unruly fledgling teen wizard-in-training who believes he knows everything. An elder comes into his life who sees things otherwise. LeGuin writes characters from the very stuff of genuine human life.

Throughout the books’ journeying Ged grows to become Mage himself. (And in a sequel, retreating from that power he hungered for as a teen, Ged becomes both husband and stepfather.

To give you a taste of LeGuin’s majesty, here is a passage from Ged’s – or as he was to be renamed – Sparrowhawk’s learning on the way to becoming wizard:

From that time forth he believed that the wise man is one who never sets himself apart from other living things, whether they have speech or not, and in later years he strove long to learn what can be learned, in silence, from the eyes of animals, the flight of birds, the great slow gestures of trees.”