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Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 4) by…
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Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 4) (original 1990; edition 2004)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

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3,284391,668 (3.78)82
Member:mrglenn2u
Title:Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 4)
Authors:Ursula K. Le Guin
Info:Pocket (2004), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
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Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin (1990)

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English (35)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Le Guin's books are a little more difficult to read despite the thinness of the novel. It is a little more difficult because her characters do not follow traditional paths where characters succeed triumphantly or the plot that good wins so clearly. But it is a thinking book. One that makes you pause and question the issues the characters are wrestling with.

I have to admit, I cannot help but always want Ged to succeed because he's the protagonist and I love him. It was difficult seeing him struggle with losing his powers. It was difficult reading about Tenar ragin at his supposed selfishness and shame. But no matter how difficult it is to read, I liked it. It's not like a typical scifi action fantasy book where characters can power up and always be strong. Rather, this book shows strength in the absence of power.

This is a book written beyond its time for women. The way Tenar struggles with a woman's freedom and the reasoning behind a woman's fear is just heart wrenching. The musings of ethics and of philosophy are refreshing. So often in more modern books, the ethics or philosophical ideas in a book have a distinctly religious spin - and depending on the authors tone and stance, can sometimes be a severe detriment to my enjoyment of the book. But hers are about strength and fear and character behind one's appearance. About reputation Nd the difference between a man and a woman. It is refreshing.

I was a little disappointed in the plot. This book was more of an extended aftermath or epilogue to the trilogy, showing us what happened to the remaining characters and how they dealt with all of the events. But throw in a new, mysterious girl ward and twenty pages of a villain and you kinda get a plot. I don't hate it, but it don't think this book is worth more than three stars because of it.

Three stars. Lackluster plot with beautiful character writing and lovely thought provoking dialogue.
Recommended for those who already know this author's style. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Well, I forgot to take notes on this one. I guess I got drawn in to its spell. I remember LeGuin’s feminist voice showed through strongly in places, but it seemed to quickly dissolve into the voice of the heroine, Tenar. There is a sense of great power and great deeds hiding in the shadows, but the story is told from the perspective of the powerless, the old, the plain folk, the abused, and the middle-aged farmer’s widow. But the magic is still there, as is of course, a dragon. ( )
  drardavis | Apr 23, 2014 |
It's depressing, to find out what happened to Tenar after The Tombs of Atuan. One wishes she would have had great adventures, but Tehanu shows that wasn't the case at all. This is a feminist rewriting of the original three Earthsea books-- but it's done by the original author, like if Charlotte Brontë wrote both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea herself. Which I like: it means that when the world of Earthsea changes, that the actual world of Earthsea changes, not some kind of ersatz version of it.

This is the moment that stuck out to me the most, where Tenar reflects on what it's like to be a woman of a different race than everyone else around you: "I wonder what a white woman's like, white all over? their eyes said, looking at her, until she got older and they no longer saw her."
  Stevil2001 | Aug 30, 2013 |
This book is probably my least favourite of the series. It's so much less about adventure and so much more about domesticity, which is strange coming from Tenar and Ged. Such ordinary thoughts and fears, after all the high and mighty adventure! Even the confrontation at the end of the book feels like a placeholder, more because those things will not leave Ged alone than because it's actually still a part of his life.

There are parts of this book I like a lot. Ged and Tenar's love scenes are worth reading, because they do fit together and I did have to wonder whether no wizards ever had sex and how there could be mages born without wizards having kids. The little glimpse of Arren was nice, and the discussion of the role of women in this world was interesting. Women had so little place in the first book, and not much in the third...

Perhaps that is something I like this book less for, though. From high adventure to keeping house, yes, but also from a philosophical but still mostly adventurous story to one about the role of women. It's an interesting topic, and almost necessary after what little part the women have in other books, but this doesn't exactly fit into what I originally expected from the world. Unexpectedness isn't a bad thing, of course.

The other thing is that this book just doesn't taste as nice. There aren't so many beautiful images. With the everyday lives come everyday images. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
4th book in the Earthsea trilogy. A masterpiece, of course. What Le Guin isn't? This one gives us a clearer picture of Ged as an old man, and so much more besides. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alsberg, RebeccaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergen, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.
—The Creation of Ea
Dedication
First words
After Farmer Flint of the Middle Valley died, his widow stayed on at the farmhouse.
Quotations
Information from the Polish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Poza najdalszym zachodem, tam, gdzie kończą się lądy, mój lud tańczy na skrzydłach innego wiatru.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0689845332, Mass Market Paperback)

Ursula K. LeGuin follows her classic trilogy from Earthsea with a magical tale that won the 1991 Nebula Award for Science Fiction. Unlike the tales in the trilogy, this novel is short and concise, yet it is by no means simplistic. Promoted as a children's book because of the awards garnered in that category by her previous work, Tehanu transcends classification and shows the wizardry of female magic. The story involves a middle-age widow who sets out to visit her dying mentor and eventually cares for his favorite student.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:08 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In this final episode of "The Earthsea Cycle", the widowed Tenar finds and nurses her aging friend, Sparrowhawk, a magician who has lost his powers.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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