Top critical review
The plot is engaging and wrapped up nicely at the end, satisfyingly, and with room for more stories.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 28, 2017
I am considering this one a 3.5 star rating. I enjoyed Tehanu more so than The Farthest Shore, but not quite as much as A Wizard of Earthsea or The Tombs of Atuan.
Speaking of The Tombs of Atuan, I was very pleased to be reacquainted with Tenar, some 25 years after we left her in that book. I was pleased to see that she found a simple life on Gont, away from the terror and blind fanaticism that was her experience on Atuan. In this, Tehanu is a different story. It is slower paced than the books preceding it, but I found that it didn't suffer for this. Quite the opposite. Tenar (as well as Therru, Ogion, Ged, and a few other side characters on the island) is interesting to read about whether she is escaping pitch black labyrinthine depths, or whether she is planting peach trees and sewing a new red dress.
Now, that isn't to say that Tehanu is without conflict; on the contrary the plot is engaging and wrapped up nicely at the end, satisfyingly, and with room for more stories (I'm especially looking forward to the Other Wind). And in true Le Guin fashion she raises many worthwhile topics of conversation in these pages.; especially the focus on a woman's 'place' in Earthsea. Things are changing in the islands of Earthsea, and as far as I can see, for the better. Her prose is as efficient as ever, and every once in a while she hits you with one of those short little passages that is so intricately beautiful that you can't help but stop and read it again. There are a couple of those throughout.