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Tehanu by K. Ursula Le Guin

Tehanu - Ursula K. Le Guin

In Tehanu, Le Guin finds adventure in the lives of mundaneness, she brings exquisite depth to her characters, and in the process she breaks new ground for the fantasy genre. Some say Tehanu is the author's statement on feminism and her criticism of a male-dominated society. I say people will always find politics when they want to find them. They will hijack the meaning of stories and characters to make them go where they want them to go. If anything I see Tehanu as Le Guin's statement that she will not let her characters go quietly into the night. She takes the heroic characters from her past books and develops them into exceptional characters, but not by showing us their exceptional qualities. This time she shows them as ordinary people. She shows how time has taken a toll on them, how they now have regrets, and how their weaknesses have become accented with age. In the end we see the humanity of her heroes, something fantasy with all its action and adventure doesn't always find time to do. And we cringe because we know they cannot stand up to the evil that seeks to destroy them.


I enjoyed reading Tehanu very much. I wanted to start re-reading it as soon as I finished. For this reason I give Tehanu by Ursula Le Guin five stars and make it one of my few classic, all-time favorites.