The tales of this book, as Ursula K. Le Guin writes in her foreword, explore or extend the world established by her first four Earthsea novels. Yet each tale stands on its own.
"The Finder," a novella set a few hundred years before A Wizard of Earthsea, presents a dark and troubled Archipelago and reveals how the school on Roke came to be.
"The Bones of the Earth" features the wizards who taught the wizard who first taught Ged and demonstrates how humility, if great enough, can rein in an earthquake.
"Darkrose and Diamond" is a delightful story of young courtship showing that sometimes wizards can pursue alternate careers.
"On the High Marsh," from the brief but eventful time of Ged as Archmage of Earthsea, tells of the love of power--and of the power of love.
"Dragonfly" shows how a woman, determined enough, can break the glass ceiling of male magedom. Taking place shortly after the last Earthsea novel, it also provides a bridge--a dragon bridge--to the next Earthsea novel, The Other Wind.
The author concludes this collection with an essay about Earthsea's history, people, languages, literature and magic, and provides two new maps of Earthsea.
This is a used, first edition copy in good condition with some light wear to the dust jacket.
By Ursula LeGuin. Hardcover. 296 pages. Published by Harcourt, 2001.