The Bones of the Earth by Ursula K. Le Guin

Image result for the mammoth book of dark magic book cover

Title: The Bones of the Earth
Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
In: The Mammoth Book of Dark Magic (Mike Ashley)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Wizards
Dates read: 6th February 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: I think we’re leaving things out, here, things worth knowing…

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Wizards and their mentors are a great motif in stories, but what happens at the end of the road? When they’re about to take that final step.


This short story is all about wizards and their mentors. The different ways in which mentors can inform their protegee, and how they fall into each others’ lives. I love that in telling about this relationship, it’s a little reflective. But also very much in the presence. There is a great split between the two timelines that enhances the timelessness of the bond between mentor and apprentice. And this flits across generations.

This is an incredibly bittersweet little story. One that makes you sit back and go “huh” at the end. It’s not sad, it’s not happy. It’s just a bit wow at the end. And I really liked that feeling towards to the end of the tale.

The Bones of the Earth is a great, easy read. It’s a little dark, but not terrifyingly so. It’s definitely intriguing. And not the sort of story that I’m likely to forget at any point soon. Especially when I have a Le Guin book sitting on my shelf…

<- No. 252 Rue M. le PrinceThe Closed Window ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

3 thoughts on “The Bones of the Earth by Ursula K. Le Guin

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