Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $30.38

Buy Now for $30.38

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.   

Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.  

Read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

©2018 Ursula K. Le Guin (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about A Wizard of Earthsea

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    224
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    203
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    194
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love Narrator

I love the Narrators voice so much I looked him up, hoping there are more books he's read that I would be interested in.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic tale and escape

Beautiful story, great escape for your boring daily commute. Wish it was a longer story. Definitely stood the test of time. If you liked Harry Potter.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking story

A philosophical novel with a rich and interesting world. The reader sometimes lapsed when using a variety of accents, but overall it was a really stellar reading, and his voice compliments the story wonderfully. I was particularly impressed with the way the voice of the protagonist matched with the feeling of him developed in the language and description of the novel. I came to this book not fully expecting to enjoy it like I did, but I was pleasantly surprised. I'll be making my way through the rest of the Earthsea novels when time allows.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Best Audio Fiction I’ve Ever Heard

I first read Ursula Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea” some 30 years ago at the age of 10, and have since read it numerous times and completed the entire Earthsea series. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s narration made this the single best non fiction audio book I’ve ever heard. It was 100 out of 10. That good. I’d love to tell him in person how amazing he was.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic classic fantasy

Loved this story! Le Guin's prose is elegant and her world building completely intriguing. The story is classic fantasy but still a fresh, surprising and compelling read even over 40 years since publication. Plus it's not that long and can be easily read/heard in a few hours! Can't wait to read the rest of the Earthsea books!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love it.

I listened to this straight through. I wish there was a second book in Audible.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I enjoyed this book a bunch. Very interesting take on magic! I'll be listening to more books by this author.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great audio book

Really enjoyed the style of writing. Loved the narration. Appealed to both adults and kids

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Nothing short of excellent

Captivating and compelling, precedent-setting and quintessential; easy to see why it is considered a classic.

Superb vocal performance.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I only got 7 chapters, 1 to 6 then 8!

Adored the book, what I got off it. The narration was excellent and voices/tones chosen well.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-04-2021

Old story reinvigorated by best narrator ever.

I liked Ursula Le Guin's stories when I was younger, and stumbled across this audio book with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as narrator. Could not resist buying it and well worth it. Classic mage coming of age and wisdom story and still the best narrator ever. will go looking for more now, fingers crossed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sam
  • Sam
  • 01-11-2019

Quality voice acting.

He sounds like a little much at first it I was impressed by the subtle transformation of his character voice for Ged: from sullen and sulky teen to brooding young lad to stoic reserved man grown. This subtlety works with rather than against the dramatic storybook narration of the tale. Good good reading of good good book. I await the next in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ronaldo
  • Ronaldo
  • 18-10-2021

Fantastic, simply fantastic.

I am a sucker for raspy voices so I loved the narrator and the accents used.
Although the story is the show-stopper Ursula's work is wonderful in really special way not too long and not too short, the world is less bright without her.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mario pankusz
  • mario pankusz
  • 07-09-2021

Wonderful book.

Despite being a classic fantasy story about wizards and magic, Ursula K. Le Guin has created an enveloping tale about the upbringing and making of a great mage. The world it is set in, and the writing itself are both very original and fascinating. An awesome book, in every sense of the word.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 18-06-2021

Timeless Tale, Incredible Narration

The narration was the kind of narration you wish every story was read in. Stellar. The tale itself is so beautifully written, capturing and distilling a wonderous story without complicated details or drawn out suspense. Just simply brilliant.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 12-02-2021

Le Guin + H-Smith = Great performance 🙌👏🏻

A classic told by a great sounding voice with nuances and consistent style. Will listen to this again

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Helane
  • Helane
  • 05-05-2020

Good but bad reader

I enjoyed it but it was hard to follow because of the bad reader the voice was husky and I didn’t like it at all

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-05-2019

Not for me

I love the book, but I can't just get past the narrator's silly whisper-growl voice. Listened to 1 minute and gave up.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rebecca
  • Rebecca
  • 20-03-2019

A great classic, beautifully read.

I first read ‘A Wizard of Earthsea’ as a teenager back in 1969, shortly after it was published, in its classic, slightly psychedelic Penguin cover. Le Guin was always a true influence on those who followed, like Hope Mirlees, Tad Williams, or of course Tolkien, Lewis etc a decade or so earlier. Every dragon rider, every haunted wizard, every brave venturer into Death’s land in later fantasy fiction owes something to Le Guin.
What was so amazing to me, hearing it again after all these years, is that it is still groundbreaking, beautifully and unpretentiously written, the story of a young man’s personal development into maturity and confidence, with no tricks or over-stretched metaphor. And it’s short! Not an extraneous word or a self indulgent moment.
And of course - this has the wonderful Kobna Holdbrook Smith reading it! Having been a huge fan since ‘Rivers’, I now stalk him on Audible- if he’s reading it, I’m listening to it! At first I wasn’t sure about the slightly Norf Landon voice he gave Ged, but actually I grew to like it. It differentiated him from other voices.
So this too joins my list of favourites.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dr Ward
  • Dr Ward
  • 08-01-2019

My first experience of Earthsea, truly excellent.

Amazing tale of being human, of facing our fears and of mastering them. A remarkable work and why I have only come to it aged 41 I do not know.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Adnil
  • Adnil
  • 31-12-2018

Brilliant

I hope they produce the others in the series and that they are read by the same narrator. His reading is excellent.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Miss Samantha J. Williams
  • Miss Samantha J. Williams
  • 27-04-2020

Hard to listen to

The reader sounds like he either has laryngitis or is trying to sound raspy and sexy for the microphone... "this one's for you ladies..." - or both. He's feeling himself, I guess. Actors often do. Unfortunately it impedes understanding - the equivalent of trying to read something written in a highly serifed and flourished font. Perhaps this irritates me more than most because I work worth actors and I cannot stand it when they interpose themselves between the audience and the material - an affliction of an Angloamerican school of acting that makes it more about the actor's personality than the craft of communication. So if that and raspy voice doesn't bother you or if you enjoy a voice actor giving you the aural equivalent of a private dance, enjoy.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dela Boy
  • Dela Boy
  • 08-06-2019

A Mesmerising Tale

A simple yet strong tale of reconciliation between light and dark. The main character says so much with so little. I will certainly be taking a look at the second book of Earthsea.
I was attracted to the Author for her work with Taoist literature. This work appears to be reflected and clarified in her fiction.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 26-12-2019

Reputation well deserved

Le Guin can take a relatively concise description and score it on your brain indelibly. This is fantasy of the highest calibre.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dave D
  • Dave D
  • 10-04-2019

Narration a touch salty

I tend to hold that a noticeable narration is adding too much, and this is one such case, adding a little too much seasoning to Le Guin's beautiful but unassuming prose for my taste. But I enjoyed the performance and the book is a genre-transcending classic. Well worth a listen.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-05-2020

Narrator was a good fit for the story

I have trouble fitting a narrator to my internal voice, but he fit the feeling of earthsea really well.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for AReader
  • AReader
  • 02-07-2019

Not for me

I adore other readings by KH-S and I know this is meant to be a classic, but I just can't get on with it. This doesn't mean others won't.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael Richmond
  • Michael Richmond
  • 13-12-2018

A Bit Disappointed

I Have been hugely excited ever since this book showed up for preorder on Audible, as A Wizard of Earthsea is my go-to story for sick days, lazy Sundays, or when I'm just not feeling 100%. It has been for over 10 years!

LeGuinn is a fantastic storyteller and wordbuilder, with an accessible narrative that weaves deep questions and themes into a child friendly story that will also truly delight, thrill, and hold the imagination of adults in a chokehold and refuses to let go.

I was equally disappointed when I finally opened A Wizard of Earthsea this morning to find narration that sounds somewhat akin to Neil Gaiman with a chest infection, and about half the audio frequencies removed.

I found the narrator perfectly adequate, but also somewhat lackluster after cutting my teeth on the Harlan Ellison reading; but as the options are not there, and the BBC dramatisation (which are normally very good) was also a bit of a flop with this story, im just glad to be able to have this story accessible at all times again, though the Ellison reading is preferable every time if you can find it.

14 people found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.