Reviews of Rule of Names, the (1964)
Review by johnafair (2010-10-03)
This is set on an island in the far edges of Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea milieu.
The island's wizard is an amiable, rotund fellow by the name of Mr Underhill who doesn't appear terribly effective and keeps himself to himself (though the latter is not seen as a bad thing by the locals) and while the initial tone of the tale is slightly comic Ms Le Guin neatly twists it into threat and violence so smoothly that the final denouement manages to take you by surprise even if it is not completely surprising in retrospect.
Incidentally, Mr Underhill's name has a bit of a tradition as a pseudonym - Frodo Baggins travels under this name when he leaves the Shire in Tolkien's 'Fellowship of the Rings'.
Review by spiphany (2004-03-27)
This is an early story set in what would become the world of Earthsea. The atmosphere is quite different than the later Earthsea books, and is rather reminiscent of the Shire in "The Hobbit" and "The Fellowship of the Ring".