The Tombs of Atuan – The Second Book of Earthsea Cycle
The Tombs of Atuan Audiobook is the second installment of Le Guin’s Earthsea series. This is a 1971 science fiction novel by the legendary American author Ursula K. Le Guin.
First published in a 1970 issue of the periodical Worlds of Fantasy. Complete the collection with A Wizard of Earthsea, The Furthest Shore and TehanuWith illustrations from Charles Vess.
The audiobook follows the characters Ged and Tenar – the former a would-be thief who becomes trapped in the titular tombs after attempting to steal a valuable talisman, and the latter a child being groomed as a high priestess who falls under the sway of Ged’s unorthodox, rebellious ways.
Basically, it is about Identity. This is a theme in all of the Earthsea audiobooks; the fact that magic works with the use of names (true-names) emphasizes this.
The notion of faith and deep belief is a large part of the novel, and is related to the book’s other theme of identity. Throughout the story, there is a tension between faith in the Nameless Ones and their power, and human curiosity and the tendency to question.
The importance of tradition and belief in Kargish culture is emphasized when Tenar is taken from her family, and chosen to be the high priestess of the Tombs. Her sacrifice, for all it was worth, was for naught, for her religion was of a forgotten god.
Symbolism is an underpinning of this story – but not an allegory; the contrast of light and dark, the grim Tombs, and of course the Labyrinth, can be interpreted in many ways at once. This symbolism informs the language on every level.
It is, of course, most obvious in Tenar’s first encounter with Ged: deep underneath the Tombs, a place she has only seen in the darkness, he shines the forbidden light of his staff and the place revealed to her eye.
Like the rest of the series, The Tombs of Atuan Audiobook Mp3 takes place in a fantasy version of Earth, or an Earth-like planet that’s been flooded by a primarily uncharted ocean. The land of Earthsea is a group of small, closely connected islands called an archipelago.
In ancient times, the archipelago is said to have been raised from the depths of the sea by a heroic god named Segoy.
The setting is reminiscent of a pre-Industrial Revolution Western world populated by humans and dragons, while magic holds sway over many of the people and communities. The setting is also preindustrial, and has many cultures within the widespread archipelago.
In this second story in the Earthsea Audiobooks series, Tenar is chosen as high priestess to the ancient and nameless Powers of the Earth, and everything is taken from her – home, family, possessions, even her name. She is now known only as Arha, the Eaten One, and guards the shadowy, labyrinthine Tombs of Atuan.
Then a wizard, Ged Sparrowhawk, comes to steal the tombs’ greatest hidden treasure, the Ring of Erreth-Akbe. Tenar’s duty is to protect the ring, but Ged possesses the light of magic and tales of a world that Tenar has never known. Will Tenar risk everything to escape from the darkness that has become her domain?
The Tombs of Atuan Audiobook download is a brilliant book with some strong themes but the whole coming of age thing was something readers had already seen in A Wizard of Earthsea and somehow the setting of this book felt a bit more limited.
In some ways, it has vastly some people improved from its predecessor while in other ways they feel disappointed. They think they’d probably say the fact that they have mixed feelings makes it weaker than A Wizard of Earthsea overall.
That being said Tenar was an interesting character so if she shows up in some fashion in the next couple of books they won’t be disappointed.
Download and listen for free
You may love to listen to all stories in the Earthsea Audiobooks series by Ursula K. Le Guin on my website:
- A Wizard of Earthsea Audiobook
- The Tombs of Atuan Audiobook
- The Farthest Shore Audiobook
- Tehanu Audiobook
- Tales from Earthsea Audiobook
- The Other Wind Audiobook
Ursula K. Le Guin – The Tombs of Atuan is now available in audible format, almost 6 hrs long, the narration by Aysha Kala, is so enticing that you get hooked instantly.
By: Ursula K. Le Guin
Narrated by: Aysha Kala
Series: Earthsea, Book 2
Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Fantasy: Contemporary