I was recently in search of something to to read after finishing the sprawling epic that was The Count of Monte Cristo. I pored through lists on Amazon, and recommendations I had read elsewhere. I typically read a fiction and a non-fiction book and and I needed something to fit into the former category. Nothing was grabbing me and Dumas’ masterpiece is a hard book to follow.

Eventually, I decided to go with another classic author whose reputation has been continually held in high regard: Ursula Le Guin. When I checked out The Wizard of Earthsea from Libby, I had no idea that it was sort of a precursor to Harry Potter, complete with a wizard’s school (bench seating cafeteria and all) and the rivalries between students in the art of magic.

What I’ve read in commentary from others, and found so far in reading the book, is a greater sense of spirituality than in Rowling’s series, though. While I was never very interested in Harry Potter’s exploits, I find myself more engaged in Le Guin’s fictional world. I think that it’s the spiritual aspect that pulls me in. I find what can pass as parallels to Christian belief, though the content is closer to Taoism.

In the world under the sun, and in the other world that has no sun, there is much that has nothing to do with men and men’s speech, and there are powers beyond our power.

~ A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

– 2 Cor. 4:18

The most counter-(modern)-cultural passage in the NT? It would be hard to choose, but this is my candidate for today.

Though I had not set out to read a novel that could be considered YA, I find that it is enjoyable and perhaps even edifying.


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