This is book number 1 in the Earthsea Cycle series.
"A superb high-fantasy epic that chronicles the
trials of a great wizard as he struggles to restore balance to the world and
maintain the delicate equilibrium between the realms of life and death."
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Originally published in 1968, Ursula K. Le Guin's "A Wizard of Earthsea" marks the first of the six now beloved Earthsea titles. Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tumultuous 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.