The Tombs of Atuan is the second book in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series. It follows young Tenar, a girl chosen as high priestess to serve an ancient power. When she meets the wizard Sparrowhawk in the tombs, everything changes.
What I liked ✅ a minimalistic basic writing style carrying both depth and feeling ✅ a great, short hit of fantasy without the sprawl of a Robin Hobb or George RR Martin book
✅ a coming of age story perfect for young readers ✅ Tenar is a great protagonist — she's intelligent, resilient and resourceful — while still flawed; Sparrowhawk and Tenar must both rely on each other's skills to survive ✅ the tombs provide a dark, claustrophobic setting, evoking images of Greek labyrinths and Roman mythology ✅ the book questions blind obedience; ritual and sacrifice without love; power without kindness or reason
What I didn't like ✖ the first third of the book is Tenar's backstory; this reads tedious at times as the reader waits for the plot to start driving forward ✖ little to no character development for Sparrowhawk ✖ I wanted more of Tenar and Sparrowhawk's interactions and to see both grow more ✖ an abrupt ending which leaves too many questions about Tenar's future Rating 3/5 🌟 Genre: fantasy, children's
Verdict: Recommended, but not for those who want a fast-paced, quick-delivering, tied-up plot