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Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle) Paperback – September 11, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The problem that everyone has with this book, in my opinion, is how harsh it is, how human the characters. We who loved the first book will be shocked and dismayed at how frail and... and real our heroes have become. Ged without magic, and utterly without power really hurts to read about. Reading these characters, after having loved who they were, is like having your dreams shattered. The magic is torn brutally out of the fairy tale, and what we have left isn't pleasant. I kept reading the story only because I was certain Le Guin wouldn't let what was once a beloved story for adults and children alike become such a hard, ugly story about life and pain and hope. She just couldn't, but she did. Reading a fantasy in which your heroes are broken and humbled is almost as frightening as watching your parents cry, or seeing what was once a beloved place be torn down to make something like a freeway, black and ugly and full of smog. I kept wishing for the dream that was clear and innocent and beautiful in the first books to come back, but it never did.Read more ›
The first three were works of wonder, touching on universal themes: sublime, compelling, cogent and inspiring. They asked large questions and arrived at honest answers, but they did so gently and gracefully. The quiet unhurried voice is one that this author has honed to perfection. Her world of Earthsea ranks among the very classics, alongside Middle Earth, Narnia and Avalon.
Here, everything that made Earthsea so inspiring and evocative is sacrificed to make a point. Le Guin has decided that the fourth book of the series shall be a polemic - an undisguised and prolonged treatise directed at female empowerment and decrying child abuse. Are these worthy moral pursuits? Of course they are. Do they belong in the world of Earthsea? Not even remotely.
This book was one of the most excruciating and disappointing reads I have ever undertaken. It's not the writing or the skill - the author's proficiency remains unparalleled - but the desecration of what was magnificent. The skill with which this work is written actually adds to the anguish; we remember what this skill was harnessed to build and cannot help but contrast it to what it is now being used to destroy.
Reading this book, one is struck by how fragile a fantasy world like Earthsea really is. Earthsea works because, like all myth, it is founded in a successful illusion. When an author creates such a world, she makes a pact with the reader: "Accept this illusion, and we will journey to a place more vital than any you have known." If the author ever forgets this promise, if she ever turns from the myth to the commonplace, the illusion collapses and the world disintegrates.
In this novel, Earthsea suffers precisely such a fate.Read more ›
After using up all his power to heal the tear in the fabric of reality, Ged returns to Gont, his first home, to learn and cope with life without magic. Alongside Ged's story, we are told the story of Tenar whom he rescued from the Tombs of Atuan in the 2nd book.
Unlike the first three books, this book has almost no plot. This is in fact not a bad thing. It means Tenahu is more of a "character's novel", which is fine, with the two main characters being Ged and Tenar. The book slowly unfolds and reveals their lives and their relationship.
In my opinion Le-Guin botched up an opportunity at a really great novel here - there aren't many character-based works of fantasy out there. This is a rare book. The theme of losing one's power and learning to cope with it is also powerful and capable of moving, if used correctly. However, Le-Guin has turned Tenahu into a feminist manifesto. I'm all for feminism, but it has been shown in countless cases that art recruited to prove a point is at most average art. This is exactly the case with this book - in her attempt to show the value of women, Le Guin forgot about her characters and the whole coherency of the book. I think the only reason this book has survived so far is because it has the earlier 3 books to carry its weight.
I felt I had to write these things down, although I don't think these comments will deter any earthsea fan from purchasing this book, and, after all, aren't we all Earthsea fans here, having reached the 4th book at all?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this series! Le Guin is able to make each book unique and unpredictable. Great read.Published 10 days ago by Katie Wyrowski
I love all the books in Ursula Le Guin Earthsea cycle. Each one adds a new depth to the story. Perhaps because I am older now myself, I find this book particularly fortifying,... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Barbara Allan
I loved this chance to experience Earthsea from the female perspective -- and to see the characters grow and change in very human ways. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Trish Anderton
This book will be a real shocker to anyone who has read the first three in the series because absolutely nothing happens in this book.Published 2 months ago by Adam Elliott
YaHu to Ursula Le Guin and her wondrous tales of the fabled land of EarthSea. Great writer, great story, she has added so much joy and wisdom to the world in the EarthSea tales. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Therin
The book was in perfect condition. Unfortunately, I have already read it.Published 5 months ago by Linda Mary Giorgio