This week, Saga Press releases a gorgeous new omnibus edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Books of Earthsea, illustrated by Charles Vess, in celebration of A Wizard of Earthsea‘s 50th anniversary. In honor of that anniversary, this week we’re running a different look at Earthsea each day—starting with the first book in the series.
“A great many white readers in 1967 were not ready to accept a brown-skinned hero,” Ursula Le Guin wrote in 2012 in an afterword to A Wizard of Earthsea, forty-four years after the seminal novel—the first in the Earthsea cycle—was published. “But they weren’t expecting one,” she continued. “I didn’t make an issue of it, and you have to be well into the book before you realize that Ged, like most of the characters, isn’t white.”