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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.