Sunday, March 22, 2009


By Ursula K. Le Guin
Publisher by Simon Pulse
Published in 2001
ISBN-13: 9780689845338
281 pages

Synopsis from back cover:
Years before, 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 pleasure of an ordinary life. And he is a broken old man, mourning the powers lost to him not by choice. A lifetime ago, they helped each other at a time of darkness and danger. Now they must join forces again, to help another--the physically and emotionally scarred child whose own destiny remains to be revealed.

First Sentence: After farmer Flint of the Middle Valley died, his widow stayed on at the farmhouse.

In the first book, A Wizard of Earthsea, it is about Ged. The second book The Tombs of Atuan talks about Tenar. The third one, The Farthest Shore, introduces us to prince Arren who embarks on a journey with Ged to restore good to the evil that has befallen Earthsea. Book four, however, is something different where there is no working of magic. It is a story that brings Ged and Tenar together again. And a young girl named Therru.

The widow Tenar rescues a badly burned girl after a group of people including the girl's abusive parents have abandoned her for dead. She named the little girl Therru. When Tenar receives news from the gravely ill Mage Ogion, together with Therru, she departs from her village to see him. Therru apparently will be an important power of Earthsea in the future.

At Ogion's home, Tenar's path crosses again with Ged. Ged the archmage arrives in a very dramatic manner--at the back of a dragon--but unconscious. He is now broken and has lost his power. He has to deal with it and it took him a while to overcome his powerlessness and shame.

In this installment, Tenar struggles with her loneliness after the death of her husband and her heartbreak over what happened to Therru. She nurtures her and protects her from the thugs that still come after her after all these years. Ged has to deal with what he has lost and snap out of it. In their aging years, Ged and Tenar found and cared for each other.

It is possible to read the first three books as a standalone but in order to truly appreciate the fourth book, readers would need to have read the first three. I like all four but my favourite of the whole lot is Tehanu because of the relationship between Tenar and Ged.

Now that I have completed the first four books in the Earthsea Cycle, I must get the other two books in the series: Tales from Earthsea (Book 5) and The Other Wind (Book 6). This is a series that I will re-read again and I recommend it to you.

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