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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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3,268391,687 (3.78)82
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 (34)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
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 |
I like this book overall, although LeGuin becomes very explicitly feminist and there is a little, um, interesting bit at the end. But overall, a very satisfactory finish to the Earthsea series. ( )
  maureene87 | Apr 4, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (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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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 the English one.
Poza najdalszym zachodem, tam, gdzie kończą się lądy, mój lud tańczy na skrzydłach innego wiatru.
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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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