Tehanu (Earthsea Cycle #4)
Years ago, they had escaped together from the sinister Tombs of Atuan -- she, an isolated young priestess; he, a powerful wizard. Now she is a farmer's widow, having chosen for herself the simple pleasures of an ordinary life. And he is a broken old man, mourning the powers lost to him through no choice of his own.
Tehanu catches up with Tenar years after Ged left her on Gont. She's a widow with grown children who has quite left her past as Ahra-the-Eaten-One behind. When she takes in a severely abused child as a foster daughter her life changes again.
Ursula LeGuin is gifted, she can tell an interesting (gripping even!) story that taken at face value is just a story. On anothe...more
It's possible that people who have never experienced much actual trauma or severe discrimination might not understand how on-target this book can be. If that's you, you'd probably find it really interesting to check out "Trauma and Recovery" by Judith Herman for a solid overview of how/why trauma survivors can be crippled by fear in seemingly irrational ways. And "The Macho Paradox" by Jackson Katz is a surprisingly good book on male violence (and not just against women).
Reading the first 3 Eart...more
Instead the book concentrates on Tenar (from the "Tombs of Atuan") and her life on Gont Island and that of the small damaged girl Tenar finds in the road one day who has been so badly burned and mistreated that she is terribly deformed.
The book deals with discrimination on the basis of appearence, the every...more
I don't know anything anymore.
A Wizard of Earthsea and The Farthest Shore, you can take your dragons and shove em. Your wizardry's not wanted here. All your quests are just cruises and island-hopping, boys' own adventures. Fuck it all. This is the real story. The tedium and horror of regular life is more epic than your silly jaunts, and all your hoity-toity man's magic won't do nothing to save you here.
My other gripe is that this book would have been infinitely more entertaining if it had be...more
The Farthest Shore felt very complete and finished. If you’re new to the series, stop there. Also stop here; spoilers.
LeGuin spent three books rounding out Ged, to be a complete, interesting person. Now he gets to be a nutshell. Apparently he was never anything without his magic. (The Ged of the trilogy learned not to rely on magic.) He should be reduced to human, not to a wet noodle.
Except that the level of a ma...more
The Lord of Re Albi is using a soccer (Aspen) to steal life from his grandson and keep himself alive.
Tenar buries Ogion and follows his instructions to wait. Eventually Kalessin arrives with Ged on his back. Ka...more
I like the exploration of identity and autonomy. Ged has lost his magic, so he has to shape a new identity for himself, and Tenar's life is changing. There is the idea of a person being shaped by the events around them and playing a role rather than being their own person. Tenar says, "I chose to mold myself like clay... I made myself a vessel. I know the shape. But not the clay. L...more
It is rare for a sequel written many years later to match up with a famous original, and Tehanu is not an exception to this rule. In time it follows on immediately from the end of The Farthest Shore, and it continues the story of Tenar, one-time priestess of the Nameless Ones in The The Tombs of Atuan. Rejecting the fame she could have had, she married a farmer from the island of Gont, birthplace of Sparrowhawk, the central character of all the...more
This is really different from the first 3 books. The first time I read Earthsea, this is as far as I got, and I read it a few years later after the first 3 -I must have been around 14- and I didn't really enjoy it. It was about old people with old people's problems and that's boooooring. As I read it again...more
It is really fascinating how the story evolves from "Wizard of Earthsea": from a tale of mages, dragons and marvellous travels and adventures to a more intimate story like this one. It does have mages and dragons and more, but they are a side topic, something to kept the story tied to Earthsea than anything else.
There is a clear change in the depth of the story, although the surface is kept the same. You can feel the t...more
::: Arha, Tenar, Goha :::
When Tehanu begins, Goha (who is actually Tenar of the R...more
"Tehanu" picks up about tw...more
Tehanu takes place shortly before the ending of The Farthest Shore. Magic is disappe...more
While at Ogion's cottage, Sparrowhawk returns to Tenar, but he returns scarred and damaged, m...more
I do think that reading it now, when I am about Tenar's age, married with grown children, that I understand...more
There are parts of this book I like a lot. Ged and Tenar's love scenes are worth...more
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"Hah!" went Tenar; and presently, with some cunning, she said, "Haven't there been queens? Weren't they women of power?"
"A queen's only a she-king," said Ged.
"I mean, men give her power. They let her use their power. But it isn't hers, is it? It isn't because she's a woman that she's powerful, but despite it.”
As cautiously, lowering her voice, Moss replied, "I don't know, my dearie. I've thought on it. Often I've thought on it. The best I can say it is like this. A man's in his skin, see, like a nut in its shell." She held up her long, bent, wet fingers as if holding a walnut. "It's hard and strong, that shell, and it's all full of him. Full of grand man-meat, man-self. And that's all. That's all there is. It's all him and nothing else, inside.”