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Saturday, 3 January 2009

Tehanu by: Ursula k. LeGuin

Tehanu
Earthsea Book 4 -
The Last book of Earthsea

Ursula K. LeGuin

This book continues right from the end of The Furthest Shore. The story is slower then the other three, yet it is also much deeper. The primary themes again are being: who are we? Especially who are we after loss? For Tenar/Ghoa it is the loss of husband; for Ged the loss of power, ceasing to be a mage. Also it is man's struggle to conquer death.

We also learn in this book that in earthsea, man and dragons were once one race. Men are the children of dragons that horded and built fortresses and forgot how to fly. Therru is an adopted child of Tenar and we find out that she is really the daughter of Kalessin the oldest of dragons. Yet we also find out that Kalessin is really Segoy the creator of earthsea.

Segoy leaves his daughter with Ged and Tenar saying he will one day be given a child by them.

Key Notes on Names:
Tenar / Gohn - Arha
Ged / Sparrowhawk - Hawk - Duny
Therru / Tehanu
Kalessin / Segoy - Oldest
Origon / Aihak

The Books of Earthsea:

A Wizard of Earthsea - 1968
The Tombs of Atuan - 1971
The Farthest Shore - 1972 (Winner of the National Book Award)
Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea - 1990 (Winner of the Nebula Award)
Tales from Earthsea - 2001
The Other Wind - 2001

The Short Stories of Earthsea:

The Word of Unbinding - 1964
The Rule of Names - 1964
Dragonfly - 1997
Darkrose and Diamond - 1999
The Finder - 2001
The Bones of the Earth - 2001
On The High Marsh - 2001

Chronology:

The Word of Unbinding
The Finder
Darkrose and Diamon
The Rule of Names
The Bones of the Earth
A Wizard of Earthsea
The Tombs of Atuan
On the High Marsh
The Farthest Shore
Tehanu
Dragonfly
The Other Wind


Note: The short story "Dragonfly" from Tales from Earthsea is intended to fit in between Tehanu and The Other Wind and, according to Le Guin, is "an important bridge in the series as a whole".

Also check out this great Earthsea site. It should be noted as well that these books have editions in Children's (9-12) Teen, Sci-Fi and adult fiction, It appeals to a very wide audience.

(First written as Journal Reading Notes in 1999.)

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