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A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea


by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea Chapter 1 Summary

How It All Goes Down

Warriors in the Mist

  • On Gont Island, a boy is born.
  • One day, this boy will be the super awesome mage Sparrowhawk, and they'll write songs about him. But, for now, he's just a little boy called Duny and he seems pretty ordinary.
  • He lives in a small town called Ten Alders. His dad is a bronze-smith. His mom died when Duny was young. His older siblings are gone. His aunt helped to raise him a little. He hates working in his dad's forge. And, of course, he would prefer to wander and explore.
  • As we said, pretty ordinary for a little kid.
  • He's continues to be ordinary until – and you knew that "until" was coming, or else this would be a boring book – Duny learns some magic from his aunt, who happens to be a village witch.
  • He shows his aunt that he can do magic when he calls to some goats and they come to him (which is what people used to do before TV was invented).
  • His aunt is a little worried because Duny seems powerful.
  • Still, she teaches him all she knows, including how to call falcons to him.
  • People start calling him Sparrowhawk because they see him with birds, so we'll call him Sparrowhawk now too.
  • Sparrowhawk learns all he can from the aunt, though a) she doesn't know all that much since she's just a village witch, and b) she keeps some of the darker magic away from him (1.19).
  • Sparrowhawk learns a little extra magic from some wandering weatherworkers.
  • This totally comes in handy when Gont Island gets raided by the Kargad Empire.
  • See, the Kargad Empire is raiding the nearby islands, including Gont (which is what people used to do before TV was invented).
  • Ten Alders doesn't really have a good military – or any military at all. So a bunch of the townspeople are going to fight the Karg raiders, but they're probably going to die.
  • But Sparrowhawk casts a fog spell over the town, and this helps the townspeople defeat the raiders.
  • For instance, the townspeople lead some of the raiders over a cliff that the townspeople know about, but that the raiders don't know about and can't see, thanks to all this fog.
  • This magic victory has two consequences: 1) Sparrowhawk becomes semi-famous, as people start talking about the boy who saved the village; and 2) Sparrowhawk goes into a trance because he spent all his power. (We all know what that's like, right?)
  • Luckily, Ogion the Silent comes and he's a powerful magician. He heals Sparrowhawk and gives the boy his true name: Ged.
  • From now on, we'll call him Ged, even though some people still call him Sparrowhawk. Gosh, magic is confusing.
  • Also, Ged becomes Ogion's apprentice.

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