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A Wizard of Earthsea

The First Book of Earthsea
Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Length: 7 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)
Non-member price: $30.38
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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 members say

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    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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • RMB
  • 09-02-2019

As excellent now as when it was first published

The narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith marries perfectly with the story. Whilst elements of a story that is fifty years old can sound a little dated the story transcends it's age and is as interesting now as when I first read it.

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  • Oliver
  • 21-01-2019

Worth the wait

I’ve been waiting for this book to come to audible for ages. It is a good story and read well (by the same dude who reads the River’s of London Series). The book is quite different to many arcs in High Fantasy, and a great intro to Earthsea

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-01-2019

Reader makes story feel flat

The story itself reads like a history, which I don’t mind at all. The reader here unfortunately uses the same grave, husky tone throughout, regardless of the tone of the story. I feel the focus was on him making his voice sound impressive and not giving life to the tale. I felt for the most part this made it sound as if he was full of cold and struggling to reach higher pitches. The performance unfortunately, for me, made it difficult to get immersed in the story.

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  • Kindascarlet
  • 08-01-2019

An old favourite!

I had forgotten how good these books are, a children's book that you can still be hooked by as an adult. Also read by my favourite narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who read all the Rivers of London series and is fantastic. I do hope that the rest of the series are to follow soon.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-2019

Sublime

Great, deep story and narration. Especially the breadth of voices for all the characters. A marvel. I hope Kobna does the entire series.

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  • gwensi
  • 22-12-2018

Brilliant

Fantastic story, and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith reads it brilliantly. Fingers crossed he does the rest of the trilogy as well.

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  • Chris
  • 17-12-2018

Wonderful to have this but where are the rest?

It’s great finally to have this most important of children’s books. But it’s a nonsense not to have The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore, while the fourth fifth and sixth have been available for years. We can only hope that Isis notice the omission