A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

Published: 1968

Genre: fantasy

Length: 184 pages

Setting: various islands within Earthsea

Interest: I was having a hard time finding an audiobook for a camping trip. This is a classic so I figured it would be enjoyable.

Summary: Ged discovers he’s a sorcerer as a child when he spells some goats to follow him. He learns all he can from the village sorceress (which isn’t much). He homes on to a trained wizard for a teacher, but eventually decides to head to the wizard school on Roke. Ged proves to be a strong wizard, but he is goaded into demonstrating his skill by raising someone from the dead. That brings a Shadow into the world who wants to take over Ged’s body. The head of the wizard school is able to hide Ged from the Shadow, but Ged takes a while to recover from the blowback of the spell. He’s sent to an island group to deal with a nest of dragons. He can feel the Shadow coming closer, so he starts to run from it. Eventually Ged realizes the Shadow will never stop chasing him, so Ged goes on the offensive and chases to the Shadow to the end of the world.

Final thoughts: This book is showing its age a bit when you compare it to contemporary YA books. The language was much more formal and the action was pretty slow. We’re used to Percy Jackson books that are non-stop action, but I can see how Percy Jackson and some of the other big YA fantasy books grew from this book and series. Even so, I was a bit disappointed. It was kind of boring. Even the big battle with the dragons wasn’t all that exciting.

I must say, the narrator for the book was excellent. He did a great job of showing emotion in his voice, which did help to make the book at least a little more exciting.

Title comes from: The story was about the early life of the wizard Ged as he traveled around the world of Earthsea.

Reading challenges fulfilled: #57 in my Maybe 100 This Year Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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