Over thirty years have passed since I last read A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursala K. Le Guin. My memory of the classic fantasy tale was only slight before I downloaded the audiobook performed very dramatically by speculative fiction author Harlan Ellison. I remembered that there were dragons and wizards living on islands. Nothing more. So I returned to a place that I hardly knew and verified that my long ago enthusiasm was well founded.
Le Guin was masterful in her writing of this story which is often found in library collections for youth and teens. The story is fast-paced and full of action and is not the least bit preachy, though it does have a clearly thought out set of ethical rules to offer. Violation of the rules by Sparrowhawk, a student at the School for Wizards on Roke Island, unleashes a powerful shadow that threatens his future and the balance of powers in the archipeligo. Running from the evil is impossible. He must face the peril.
Once the beginning of a trilogy, A Wizard of Earthsea is now the initial book of a cycle including five novels and numerous short stories. They are widely available in libraries. I will be borrowing more.
Le Guin, Ursala K. A Wizard of Earthsea. Fantastic Audio, 2001. 5 compact discs. ISBN 1574535587.