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Tehanu (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 4) by…

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

by Ursula K. Le Guin

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3,705441,414 (3.79)102
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 (40)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (44)
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
overlaps with Farthest Shore and is about the end of Ged and Tennar. Contradictions and babble masquerading as wisdom. Wraps the story up, but not very satisfactorily. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This book didn't really get me - which may have been because I never read the first three books of the series. (I think it nowhere said that this was not a standalone.) I actually only finished it because I started using 'Kalessin' as a nickname. It wasn't a bad book, just one that did not touch me. ( )
  KalessinAstarno | Nov 4, 2016 |
Tehanu is the fourth book of the Earthsea Cycle, written 18 years after the third book. It tells a different type of story and has a different tone from the earlier books. It’s a direct sequel in that it continues where the third book left off. It actually starts slightly before the ending of the third book and then continues with the story of two of our main characters, Ged and Tenar. The larger focus is on Tenar, the girl first introduced in The Tombs of Atuan.

This book seems to be a polarizing book among fans of the original books. I actually enjoyed it a lot, but I wonder if I’d have felt differently if I’d read the original books when they were published. If I’d lived for years with the story in my head as it was written, especially seeing the third book as the end of the story, I might have had more trouble accepting this book. Without spoiling the story, the third book brings about a major change that affects Ged and then the story ends with a sort of vague implication of a “happily ever after” ending. That ending wasn’t too terribly difficult to accept, but it did feel a little unrealistic. In this book we get, in my opinion, a more realistic story that deals with the repercussions from the third book in a more serious way.

This book doesn’t have a strong story, especially not a strong fantasy story. There’s an underlying but not strongly-fleshed-out story thread with more of a fantasy feel to it, but it represents only a very small portion of the book. Most of the book felt almost like a contemporary fiction story set in a rural environment. It focuses a lot on the “ordinary” concerns and fears and day-to-day lives of adult characters. There’s also some not-so-subtle discussion of power, what power means, what it’s worth, and especially power as it relates to gender. I found some of that to be a little too obvious, pulling me out of the book to make me consider what the author herself wanted to say rather than thinking about it in the context of the story. However, I didn’t think there was so much of it that it bogged the story down.

I still really enjoyed the author’s writing style which, despite a slightly different feel, held my interest just as well as the previous books had. She also made me care, or continue to care, about the characters. Although the actual plot was a bit sparse, it was interspersed into the book well enough to keep me interested in the story when combined with my interest in the characters. ( )
  YouKneeK | Sep 17, 2016 |
What an amazing book that tracks characters we've all come to know and to love through the next phase of their lives: middle age. So often the hero goes off and meets dragons, the young maiden is rescued from her prison, and never do we know what happens to them later. In this case, Tenar, rescued from the Tombs of Atuan, learns from the Wizard Ogion and becomes a farm wife. But that's not how we see her - we see her as the widow, coming to the rescue of an abused young girl, and being summoned to the bedside of the dying Ogion.

Then Ged returns as an old man, no longer the Archmage, and Tenar finds herself living with a new family. How many older women get to choose their family, or even their destiny? LeGuin paints a superb picture of the characters later in life, making their destinies and choices even more authentic than if they were seen by a young writer wondering what happens when you get old. Because really, none of us know the answer to that question until we're there. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
Quite slow and the climax I was expecting didn't really happen. Not sure what this book was meant to be about.
Seems there were some feminism ideas or at least gender specific roles being examined, the nature of identity. Not as much Earthsea magic though! ( )
  Laurochka | Feb 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Alsberg, RebeccaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bergen, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guay, RebeccaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palencar, John JudeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
First words
After Farmer Flint of the Middle Valley died, his widow stayed on at the farmhouse.
Information from the Polish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Poza najdalszym zachodem, tam, gdzie kończą się lądy, mój lud tańczy na skrzydłach innego wiatru.
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(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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:34 -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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