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Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle) Paperback – September 11, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"New and longtime Earthsea fans will be drawn to these impressive new editions." (The Horn Book)

About the Author

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most distinguished fantasy and science fiction writers of all time. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, the National Book Award, and the Newbery Honor. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at UrsulaKLeGuin.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Earthsea Cycle (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reissue edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442459964
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442459960
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Wright on December 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the only book in the Earthsea series that I didn't enjoy reading. It's just radically different than all the others. While the writing is very good, it doesn't feel as though it belongs with the others. While I appreciate the great emotional development and writing skill, the tone was a little to dreary and there simply wasn't enough action to keep me interested. I felt a bit as I did when I first read "That Hideous Strength", which is the 3rd book in the Lewis "space trilogy".... The storyline is SLOW. The few scenes that are written with a good bit of things physically happening feel almost rushed in description compared to the characters' internal writing. Much of the beauty of what makes the other books so enjoyable: a stories of traveling, questing, magic, and beautiful places simply aren't featured in Tehanu. There's almost no magic in this book. And while I appreciate what the author was trying to achieve (and what other fans of this book no doubt love), it just didn't resonate with me. I do really love all the other books in this series.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Linda H. Fazio on February 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I had to respond when I saw that "Tehanu," my personal favorite in the Earthsea Cycle, had been given such a dreadful review; especially since it was the only review on file. I read the first three in the series not long after they were first published, and while I loved the magical world of Earthsea, I always felt frustrated because the male wizards had all the power and all the fun. When "Tombs of Atuan" ended, I wondered what would happen to Tenar, and her relationship with Ged, in this male-mage dominated society. After "The Farthest Shore," I wondered what Ged would do, who he would become, after his magic power was gone. I was overjoyed when Le Guin published another volume in the series, even though it purported to be the last; I was even more impressed as I read the story and found it answering many of my questions. "Tehanu" is a story about power, no, about different kinds of power, who has it and how they choose, or are constrained by society's expectations & restrictions, to use it. It is a story about magic power, since it takes place in magical Earthsea, but it also dwells on human powers and how they are used for good or ill. The story is compelling for faithful fans of Earthsea who want to know how the connection between Ged and Tenar is resolved; however, it is the relationship between Tenar and the physically as well as emotionally scared child, "Therru/Tehanu," that captured my heart. The book's plot may seem a little thin, the characters developed more thru dialogue than action; nonetheless it wrestles with deep, disturbing, and moving matters of the human soul that apply beyond magical realms.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. C. Gray on June 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ursula K. Le Guin in my opinion is one of the best authors! The ease in which her books read but yet have a complex philosophical underlining are just spectacular. Tehanu is Le Guin at her finest. The book is feminist without being feminist, its a realistic view of what its like to live. The book portrays a lot of life's sorrows and balances sorrow with joy! The main focus is on choices and who we choice to be without being confined by what we are supposed to be. We all can play different roles that will change throughout our lives. I enjoyed this book more than any of the other Earthsea's and is now one of my favorite books I've read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. R. Davis on May 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback
I greatly read and enjoyed Ursula K Le Guin's first three Earthsea books, which were written between 1968 and 1972. The first was a wild tale of the wild young wizard Ged/Sparrowhawk learning hard lessons and overcoming a deadly foe he himself created, a beautifully crafted tale from a (relatively) young author. The second book is very different, but nearly as good, building up the subtle and increasingly tense story of a young priestess encountering our hero in an underground labyrinth - claustrophobic but very exciting. The third book is murky, another epic sea voyage that blends magic, royalty and dragons. It is murky, but also psychedelic, with rich passages, despite the tacking-on of a few clumsy, superfluous parables about the evils of mind-altering substances and crass commercialism.

Tehanu was published 18 years after the last of this cluster of three, and is yet again a vastly different book. Largely concerned with domestic items, very little happens between the books opening chapter, which establishes the background and key events of the book, and page 150, when we get our first act of movement. By page 210 we get our first major incident, and by page 255 things finally start to get very interesting. The book has 270 pages. You get passages like "She smiled at his wit and kindness. What a nice boy he is, she thought." While I realise that saying this is incredibly unkind to the hard work that the author put into its creation, I can't help but think that if this tale had been trimmed down substantially it would have made a great 30-page short story.

Le Guin gives the book a short afterword, in which she is very defensive of her vision for the book, clearly resentful of the critical savaging it got.
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