[Home]A Wizard of Earthsea

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A Wizard of Earthsea is the first of a series of books written by Ursula K. Le Guin and set in her mythological fantasy archipelago of Earthsea.

Plot Synopsis

In the novel, a young man, Sparrowhawk, comes of age on his home island of Gont. He is given his true, secret name (Ged) and also learns that he has the inborn aptitude to practice magic.

Sparrowhawk travels to the school of wizardry on Roke Island, masters his craft easily, and, in his hubris, summons a spirit of darkness that scars him and leaves him for dead.

After a painful and slow recovery, Sparrowhawk resolves to track down the foe he has released and destroy or banish it. The last part of the book details his quest and its outcome.


Written as a coming of age story, the book was written with an eye for a young adult audience (and won The Boston Globe-Hornbook Award for juvenile fiction in 1968).

Being a story about a young wizard at a school of magic, the book is interesting as a precursor to the Harry Potter books. However, A Wizard of Earthsea is serious high fantasy, not the tongue-in-cheek, punning low fantasy of Harry Potter.

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Last edited December 13, 2001 1:45 am by The Anome (diff)