The first chapter serves the purpose of introducing the setting and characters. The beginning of the novel takes place on Gont and begins with the story of a young boy named Duny. He lives with his aunt who is a witch, and she teaches him his first lessons in magic.
He learns how to control the mist and call the animals thereby getting his nickname, Sparrowhawk. Duny expresses his power over the fog when the Kargad Empire attacked his village, catching the eye of Ogion, a wizard. On the day of Sparrowhawks 13th birthday, Ogion returns to Gont to teach Duny more magic and rename him Ged.While traveling with Ogion, Ged becomes bored with his style of teaching because all he is learning is the power of herbs.
In attempt to impress a girl, Ged goes into Ogions books to learn the things he was not yet taught. Before he can find anything, Ogion stops him. Ged complains that he wants to learn more magic and Ogion offers to send him to Roke, a school for wizards. Sparrowhawk goes on a boat to Roke, but gets caught in a storm. He sees a light, and leads the ship to the island.Ged goes to the school for wizards and tries to get through the door but cannot pass until he says his name, which is never done, but he does and he is allowed in.
He finds the Archmage and reads the letter Ogion had sent with him. Ged meets two fellow students, Jasper and Vetch. He becomes friends with Vetch, but dislikes Jasper. Sparrowhawk learns about Old Speech and the way to change things by knowing their real name to have power over it. The three boys are sent to the Isolate Tower to learn names and Ged gets a new friend, a rare animal, an otak.Ged learns his spells and illusions quicker than most of the students.
He is taken aside and taught privately by another wizard and he also secretly studies things about spirits. Jasper and Ged are bragging about their power and Ged says he can summon a spirit, but when he tries to do so he releases a shadow. In doing so he is seriously injured and the Archmage is killed trying to save Geds life.
After a long recovery, the new Archmage tells Ged he cannot leave Roke because it is his only protection. Vetch is still friends with Sparrowhawk, even after his stupid stunt, and they tell each other their real names.A village on Ninety Islands calls the wizard school and asks for help from a dragon.
Ged is afraid to leave Roke, but decides to go to help the men. A local fisherman Pechvarry befriends Ged, and when his son gets sick Ged tries to save it, and even goes beyond normal life for the childs spirit. Sparrowhawk falls and almost is lost, and decides that after he has dealt with the dragon he is leaving the islands, for he is in danger of the shadow. Ged slays the young dragons and soon meets the mother who offers him the name of the shadow so he can have power over it.
Ged can control the dragon because he knows its name and makes it promise to stay on its own island.Bibliography: