Cover image for Tehanu : the last book of Earthsea
Tehanu : the last book of Earthsea
Le Guin, Ursula K., 1929-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum, 1990.
When Sparrowhawk, the Archmage of Earthsea, returns from the dark land stripped of his magic powers, he finds refuge with the aging widow Tenar and a crippled girl child who carries an unknown destiny.
General Note:
"A Jean Karl book."
Reading Level:
880 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.5 11.0 53479.

Reading Counts RC High School 6.9 14 Quiz: 11301 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



In the spellbinding finale to the Earthsea books, Goha is called from Oak Farm to the deathbed of the mage Ogion. She takes Therru with her, and the two are led back through the labyrinth of their former lives, ultimately to their true identities and worth.

Author Notes

Ursula K. Le Guin was born Ursula Kroeber in Berkeley, California on October 21, 1929. She received a bachelor's degree from Radcliffe College in 1951 and a master's degree in romance literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance from Columbia University in 1952. She won a Fulbright fellowship in 1953 to study in Paris, where she met and married Charles Le Guin.

Her first science-fiction novel, Rocannon's World, was published in 1966. Her other books included the Earthsea series, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, The Lathe of Heaven, Four Ways to Forgiveness, and The Telling. A Wizard of Earthsea received an American Library Association Notable Book citation, a Horn Book Honor List citation, and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1979. She received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 2014. She also received the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award. She also wrote books of poetry, short stories collections, collections of essays, children's books, a guide for writers, and volumes of translation including the Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu and selected poems by Gabriela Mistral. She died on January 22, 2018 at the age of 88.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Le Guin takes her award-winning Earthsea trilogy--A Wizard of Earthsea [BKL Ja 15 69], The Tombs of Atuan [BKL O 15 71], The Farthest Shore [BKL N 1 72]--a disappointing step farther in this fourth and "last" episode. Here Tenar, now a farmer's widow who has taken in a badly burned and abused child, is called to the deathbed of the Mage Ogion, who charges Tenar to teach the child Therru ("That one--they will fear her") and to wait. She stays on in the mage's house after his death, and a dragon flies in with a near-dead Ged on its back. The former antagonists, Tenar and Ged, are together again--Tenar, having repudiated her power years before; Ged, having lost his in battle to save the world. Now, "there is a king in Havnor at the center of the world. What was foretold has been fulfilled. The Rune is healed, and the world is whole. The days of peace have come." Or have they? Though an evil mage puts a binding spell on Tenar and treats her with ugly cruelty, there is little action here, and the story definitely does not stand on its own. However, readers who have come to know Ged and Tenar through their adventures may find satisfaction in seeing them finally settle into quiet, loving comfort together. There's also the chance that the awakening power of the scarred child Therru foreshadows future Earthsea adventures. Gr. 7-10. --Sally Estes

Publisher's Weekly Review

The publication of Tehanu will give lovers of LeGuin's enchanted realm of Earthsea cause for celebration. In Tehanu , LeGuin spins a bittersweet tale of Tenar and Ged, familiar characters from the classic Earthsea trilogy. Tenar, now a widow facing obscurity and loneliness, rescues a badly burned girl from her abusive parents. The girl, it turns out, will be an important power in the new age dawning on Earthsea. Ged, now broken, is learning how to live with the great loss he suffered at the end of the trilogy. Tenar's struggle to protect and nurture a defenseless child and Ged's slow recovery make painful but thrilling reading. Sharply defined characterizations give rich resonance to Tehanu 's themes of aging, feminism and child abuse as well as its emotional chords of grief and loss. Tehanu is a heartbreaking farewell to a world that is passing, and is full of tantalizing hints of the new world to come. Fans of the Earthsea trilogy will be deeply moved. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-- Tenar, once priestess of Atuan and now the middle-aged widow of a Gontish farmer, lives quietly, caring for her foster daughter Therru, a child who has been abused and badly burned by her own parents. Soon there is another who needs Tenar's care; Ged, no longer Archmage of Earthsea, returns to his homeland borne half-conscious on a dragon's back, all his power spent in closing the door between the worlds of Life and Death (as detailed in the climactic scenes of The Farthest Shore Atheneum, 1972). The Kingship has been restored, but there is still evil in the world, and, even as Ged slowly returns to health, Tenar and Therru are threatened. In the end, it is Therru with her unexpected kinship to dragons who turns aside this evil--and raises new questions for readers as to whether Therru is a child, a dragon, or a new type of being entirely. LeGuin's effortless mastery of language will be familiar to readers of the Earthsea Trilogy, but the sweeping otherworldliness of those books has been replaced by a more human focus. The pace is slower, the tone more meditative. The ``power'' of the earlier books was purely an abstract force wielded by wizards--here it also resides in human relationships. In losing his wizard's power, Ged gains the power to return Tenar's love. Newcomers to LeGuin's imagined world may find the story slow going at first; those familiar with Earthsea, however, will rejoice as they enter it once again. --Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.