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A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1 | [Ursula K. Le Guin]

A Wizard of Earthsea: The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1

When Sparrowhawk casts a spell that saves his village from destruction at the hands of the invading Kargs, Ogion, the Mage of Re Albi, encourages the boy to apprentice himself in the art of wizardry. So, at the age of 13, the boy receives his true name - Ged - and gives himself over to the gentle tutelage of the Master Ogion. But impatient with the slowness of his studies and infatuated with glory, Ged embarks for the Island of Roke, where the highest arts of wizardry are taught.
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Publisher's Summary

"The shapeless mass of darkness split apart. It sundered, and a pale spindle of light gleamed between his open arms. In the oval of light there moved a human shape: a tall woman...beautiful, and sorrowful, and full of fear." - from A Wizard of Earthsea, first in a tetralogy that includes The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore, introduces the listener to Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, known also as Sparrowhawk. When Sparrowhawk casts a spell that saves his village from destruction at the hands of the invading Kargs, Ogion, the Mage of Re Albi, encourages the boy to apprentice himself in the art of wizardry. So, at the age of 13, the boy receives his true name - Ged - and gives himself over to the gentle tutelage of the Master Ogion. But impatient with the slowness of his studies and infatuated with glory, Ged embarks for the Island of Roke, where the highest arts of wizardry are taught. There, Ged's natural talents enable him to surpass his classmates in little time. But when his vanity prompts him to summon Elfarran, the fair lady of the Deed of Enlad, he unleashes a shapeless mass of darkness - the shadow.

©1968 Ursula K. Le Guin; (P)1992 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (780 )
5 star
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3.9 (622 )
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Story
4.0 (606 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (14)
Performance
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  •  
    Kathryn elgin, TX, United States 11-24-11
    Kathryn elgin, TX, United States 11-24-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well developed world, but hard to stay interested."

    Slow paced and the story itself is not terribly engaging. The reader does a decent job with the author's style which is rather elevated.

    The world is developed, but the characters did not engage me.

    Over-all, an average tale, in the epic fantasy style, but I won't read more in this series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Delton Auburn, ME, United States 12-20-10
    Delton Auburn, ME, United States 12-20-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Well done, except for that one part. Oh, and that."

    For a young adult novel, this one is fantastic. There is a serious amount of character developement and connection as Sparrowhawk matures and grows into himself. However, I was supremely disappointed by Le Guin's choice to omit Jasper from the majority of the novel, and I was supremely disappointed with the ending. It's like she just decided to stop writing and publish the story with some random paragraph of a "fade-to-black narrator" style conclusion. It just seemed like a cop-out for someone with so much potential. I understand that there are two more installments, but those two hardly follow Ged into his Arch-Magehood. There is so much left unanswered, and it's irritating. Maybe that's the rub. Still, Rob Inglis does a fairly excellent job with reading the story, and I appreciate much of what Sparrowhawk goes through, if in a different way than the way he experiences it. A non-life-threatening, non-magical, non-epic-hero way.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel London, Ontario, Canada 05-25-13
    Daniel London, Ontario, Canada 05-25-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Expected More"
    Any additional comments?

    I must be honest and say that I expected more from this book. The narrator was good, but I felt the story lacked a little substance. I also found it slow moving at times. There are much better reads out there on this website. I would not recommend this to a friend.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Amherst, NH, United States 07-09-12
    Sandra Amherst, NH, United States 07-09-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    0
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    Story
    "Just didn't deliver"
    Any additional comments?

    Well written but boring. I enjoyed the narrator but I found I could care less about Ged. I will not be continuing with this series as I could not make it through the first book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KHensley Charlotte, NC 05-28-12
    KHensley Charlotte, NC 05-28-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not impressed"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I don't regret the time spent listening because I listened to the book while driving long distances. I do, however, regret spending the credit on the book. It just wasn't worth it.


    What was most disappointing about Ursula K. Le Guin???s story?

    The development of the main character was adequate, but the other characters were thin and quite frankly boring.


    What three words best describe Rob Inglis???s voice?

    I enjoyed the tenor and accent of his voice; it seems fitting that he had a somewhat formal English accent. The pauses in his reading sometimes made the sentence confusing; I had to rewind or miss the next few sentences trying to parse what was said.


    Did A Wizard of Earthsea inspire you to do anything?

    The book inspired me not to trust the sources that indicated it was a great book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Mahaffey 12-11-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wasn't worth the money"
    Would you try another book from Ursula K. Le Guin and/or Rob Inglis?

    i don't think so


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    robert jordan


    How could the performance have been better?

    couldn't get past the first 1/2 hour so don't know


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Wizard of Earthsea?

    don't know


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jason United States 01-24-12
    jason United States 01-24-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Blaa"
    What disappointed you about A Wizard of Earthsea?

    It was so short of a listen that i felt like the story was lacking depth.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I cant just stop with book 1 of anything i am listening to all of 3 of them.


    How could the performance have been better?

    He was just kinda bland and similar voices for everyone monotone.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Thats the point its just a read nothing special about it really. Its a book.


    Any additional comments?

    More depth please

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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