Reviews for Tehanu : The Last Book of Earthsea


Publishers Weekly Reviews 1990 January #3
The publication of Tehanu will give lovers of LeGuin's enchanted realm of Earthsea cause for celebration. In Tehanu , LeGuin spins a bittersweet tale of Tenar and Ged, familiar characters from the classic Earthsea trilogy. Tenar, now a widow facing obscurity and loneliness, rescues a badly burned girl from her abusive parents. The girl, it turns out, will be an important power in the new age dawning on Earthsea. Ged, now broken, is learning how to live with the great loss he suffered at the end of the trilogy. Tenar's struggle to protect and nurture a defenseless child and Ged's slow recovery make painful but thrilling reading. Sharply defined characterizations give rich resonance to Tehanu 's themes of aging, feminism and child abuse as well as its emotional chords of grief and loss. Tehanu is a heartbreaking farewell to a world that is passing, and is full of tantalizing hints of the new world to come. Fans of the Earthsea trilogy will be deeply moved. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1990 April
Gr 9 Up-- Tenar, once priestess of Atuan and now the middle-aged widow of a Gontish farmer, lives quietly, caring for her foster daughter Therru, a child who has been abused and badly burned by her own parents. Soon there is another who needs Tenar's care; Ged, no longer Archmage of Earthsea, returns to his homeland borne half-conscious on a dragon's back, all his power spent in closing the door between the worlds of Life and Death (as detailed in the climactic scenes of The Farthest Shore Atheneum, 1972). The Kingship has been restored, but there is still evil in the world, and, even as Ged slowly returns to health, Tenar and Therru are threatened. In the end, it is Therru with her unexpected kinship to dragons who turns aside this evil--and raises new questions for readers as to whether Therru is a child, a dragon, or a new type of being entirely. LeGuin's effortless mastery of language will be familiar to readers of the Earthsea Trilogy, but the sweeping otherworldliness of those books has been replaced by a more human focus. The pace is slower, the tone more meditative. The ``power'' of the earlier books was purely an abstract force wielded by wizards--here it also resides in human relationships. In losing his wizard's power, Ged gains the power to return Tenar's love. Newcomers to LeGuin's imagined world may find the story slow going at first; those familiar with Earthsea, however, will rejoice as they enter it once again. --Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

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