UKL is one of my favorite authors of all time, one of two authors (along with Tolkien) whose fantasy I love because it feels real to me down to the deepest level. This book is five stories set in the same world as her Earthsea novels. All five are just jewels. They flesh out that universe a bit more, in quite interesting ways, and all are delightful in their own right, as well. One is from the time that Ged is Archmage. Another is from after his time. One is from long ago, telling something of how the school for wizards got its start on Roke. They all have her subtlety and sense of power and reality: how life really is, and how it feels to different types and classes of people. She has the voice of a poet. Her prose rings with it. I think all her books would be marvelous read aloud. She talks of stories as though they grow, organically, rather than being wrought intentionally, and the naturalness and simple truths that her stories hold makes you believe it. If you haven't read the Earthsea books yet, read them all, then read this collection. They're all wonderful.