Review: The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle Book 2 of 6ish)

The Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin

This is the second book in the Earthsea Cycle series, and I enjoyed it as much as the first one.  I was a little disappointed at first because I had hoped to continue reading about the characters who had interested me so much in the first book, but this book focuses on a different main character.  I soon got caught up in this new story, though, and forgot my disappointment.  After all, if an author can make you care about one set of characters, then she’s likely to be able to do the same for a new set. 


This book focuses on a girl by the name of Tenar who, based on the time of her birth, is believed to be the reincarnated soul of a high priestess.  She’s taken away from her home at the age of six and raised to fulfill her role of high priestess.  Eventually we do see a character from the first book, which I expected to happen eventually based on the reference to Atuan in the first book, and that just made a good story even better.


I thought Tenar was a more ambiguous character than Ged had been in the previous book.  Tenar’s motives, attitudes, and decisions were often questionable and, although I sympathized with her, I didn’t like her very much at first.  She grew on me as her character developed.  I also thought this book had the stronger story of the two.  It was equally short and it too left me wanting more, but this time I felt like everything was fleshed out well enough to tell the story at hand in a convincing way.