83 pages 2 hours read

Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1968

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Chapters 3-4

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 3 Summary: “The School for Wizards”

Ged arrives at the school for wizards on Roke. He quickly proves himself to be one of the most naturally gifted students there, excelling beyond older students who have been there longer. He meets Vetch, a good-natured student who quickly becomes fast friends with Ged. Ged also meets Jasper, a stuck-up but talented student, who quickly becomes Ged’s rival. Ged begins to learn the theory behind the magic he longs to practice, including the dangers of overuse. He also meets an otak, a small creature who becomes his familiar of sorts. By the end of the chapter, Ged’s dislike of Jasper has increased to the point of irrational animosity, though both students usually remain civil on the surface. 

Chapter 4 Summary: “The Loosing of the Shadow”

Ged continues to excel in his coursework, though he longs to learn more of the dangerous types of magic that are forbidden to younger students. At a yearly festival, Ged and Jasper’s feud comes to a head. They challenge each other to a duel of skill, where each hopes to prove his superior power. In an effort to prove himself to Jasper, the other students, and to himself, Ged recalls the spell for summoning the dead that he read in Ogion’s book.