Please read this first:
I wrote the following at 9 a.m. and by 12, just three hours later, I was already beginning to change my mind. On reflection, I loved the book, although I still find aspects of it dark and disturbing. I will write more at the bottom of the post, as I reflect on the series but I would like to keep this initial reaction on record too:
“I finished reading Ursula Le Guin’s “Earthsea Quartet” this morning and was slightly disappointed, in very much the same way as when I read the last of Philip Pullman’s “HIs Dark Materials” trilogy. Like “The Amber Spyglass” which was full of Pullman’s ideas about religion (particularly Christianity), “Tehanu” had a little too much about what I assume to be Ursula Le Guin’s ideas about the roles of the genders. I do like authors to include their ideas, opinions etc. in their narrative writing but I found this a little obtrusive in the fourth book. It was also very dark in as much as a good deal of the plot centred around what had happened to the little girl Therru prior to her adoption by Tenar. I was disappointed that Therru did not come to her full potential during the events of the book, fulfilling the predictions made by the various mages and magic-folk. The book demands a sequel. And, of course, Ursula Le Guin did finally write not one but two. I will be getting and reading “Tales from Earthsea” and “The Other Wind” sometime soon. I did love all three books but, for me, Tehanu did not tie up the loose ends and threads from the previous books.
I would still recommend reading all four books to most people but beware, there is a real darkness to some aspects of the series.
Of course, this is all just my rather subjective opinion.
Note: It came as no surprise to me that Ursula has written a commentary on the Tao. The “Way” is all over and through the book. 🙂 ”
Bought the two books mentioned above from eBay 2nd hand today. I’m looking forward to reading the complete Ged saga.