Read: 1 June, 2017
I remembered less of Tombs than I did of Wizard. I think I may have read Wizard more than once as a child, and maybe that’s why.
But while I remembered details, plot points, of Wizard, it’s feelings that I remembered from Tombs. The image of Tenar walking through a dark subterranean corridor, her fingers brushing along the walls to either side. That fear of the dark itself – as a living creature.
And I think it reflects the different kinds of stories these are. Wizard is your classic hero’s cycle – the mentorship, the call, the journey, the discovery, the return. It’s a beautifully imaginative story in many ways, but it’s skeleton is straight out of Joseph Campbell.
Whereas Tombs is slower, more meditative. It’s almost a sort of character study, focusing on a single individual faced with a single choice, and leading us through the process of her making it. It is a metaphorical dark maze as much as it is a literal one.
In many ways, it’s also a more complex story than Wizard. It has more going on under the surface.
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More books in the Earthsea Cycle: