I have been trying to remember a novel I read somewhere in the (late?) 1990s. It was about a boy living in an isolated village. He treks into the forest to receive a new name (true name?) from an old venerated hermit. It is a custom of the village for those coming of age to do so. The name is meant to be kept secret. Shortly after this event is when the true story begins as, if I remember correctly, the boy leaves the village. I think he becomes a soldier of some sort?

I have vague recollections of a wolf, and a large wall. The forest is also prominent in my memory, but that may have only been early in the story.

I don't know if it was a stand-alone novel or the first of a series.

  • 5
    Ursula K. Le Guin's "A wizard of Earthsea"? The true name hint fits, and the wall too, but I remember no wolf ...
    – lfurini
    Nov 12, 2018 at 17:03
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    I'm not seeing anything in this story that's science fiction or fantasy
    – Valorum
    Nov 12, 2018 at 17:21
  • 2
    @Ash After his naming day, Ged's grandmother sends him to Re Albi to learn from the wizard, and he stays there for several years.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Nov 12, 2018 at 17:31
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    @ZeissIkon Yes but Ogden? the wizard who apprentices Ged, who is usually a hermit, comes to the village for Ged's name-day rather than Ged going to the hermit to be named, or am I remembering a different story?
    – Ash
    Nov 12, 2018 at 17:38
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    @Jason_c_o - the issue is that, based on the current description, this could be the biography of a native American. The concept of a true name in and of itself doesn't necessarily make the story fantasy. Certainly the story could be fantasy, but it would require something more to show it was actually fantasy.
    – RDFozz
    Nov 12, 2018 at 18:25


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