The Earthsea books have been fantasy classics for decades. For many of us, they stand among our earliest introductions to the fantasy genre--especially the first three books in the series. In the past year, Ursula K. Le Guin has added two books to her collection of Earthsea books. The cycle now stands as follows: A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore; Tehanu; Tales from Earthsea; The Other Wind Though I was an avid reader of fantasy as a young adult (Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien), I didn't read the Earthsea books until I was in college. After reading them, I was pretty surprised to discover that the Earthsea books are generally classified as young adult or children's literature (just as I was surprised by the classification of the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman). I was particularly impressed by Le Guin's depiction of the costs of magic and by her prose, which is just beautiful. When I reached the later Earthsea books (Tehanu and following), I was pretty surprised by what I read. The series shifts pretty drastically there in tone and in its concerns. Whereas the first three books are basically three coming-of-age stories, the second three books deal with some thornier issues, such as gender. What do other fans think of Le Guin's recent Earthsea books?