A Wizard of Earth Sea by Ursula K. LeGuin details the struggles of Sparrowhawk, a restless young boy who discovers his uncanny wizarding abilities amidst the poverty he is born into. As news of Sparrowhawk’s power spreads, the wise wizard Ogin comes to take Sparrowhawk under his wing and help him with his training. There Sparrowhawk learns his new name, Ged, and begins to see the extent of his powers. As Ged develops, he decides to leave the comfort of Ogin’s care to study at the renowned school of wizadry. Once there, Ged in a fit of anger calls forth a spirit from the beyond that begins to stalk him relentlessly. In the following books, Ged struggles to rid himself from the monster, as well as develop his powers.
This is one of those great books that would probably be categorized under fantastical science fiction. Le Guin creates a world of magic that is based in natural principles and the science of the world the wizards inhabit. The narrative is engaging and lively; Le Guin could certainly be compared to Tolkien in her vivid descriptions of scenery and action. This book is best suited for high school students.