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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Thursday, 13 April 2017

"Tehanu" by Ursula Le Guin

This is the fourth of the Earthsea books about a fantasy archipelago where wizards rule over an idyllically rural people and dragons still fly. The three previous books have been:

  • A Wizard of Earthsea which introduces Sparrowhawk, a young lad who trains to be a wizard and battles death
  • The Tombs of Atuan which introduces Tenar, a young girl in training to be a priestess of a silent world underground
  • The Farthest Shore in which an old Sparrowhawk and a young prince voyage to the end of the world to find out what is causing wizards to forget their magic
Tenar, now a widow living on Gont, has taken under her wing a child, Therru, who was raped and burned by her father. They hear that wizard Ogion is dying and go to him. Then Sparrowhawk flies in on a dragon. But he has lost his magic. Evil forces chase Tenar and Therru and Ged seems powerless to help.

A strange story that feels a little like the tying up of lost ends. There are still some beautiful and remarkable phrases:

  • "The little ruined butterfly came shivering from her cocoon" (p 646)
  • "There was nothing she could do, but there was always the next thing to be done." (p 682)
  • "There seemed always a great deal to be learned." (p 691)
  • "A good deal of her obscurity and cant ... was a mere ineptness with words and ideas." (p 692)
  • "Wanting a man got me into awful troubles more than once. But wanting to get married, never!" (p 694)
  • "to drive the cart without the ox." (p 744)
  • "Nine of us wet ... and one of us happy." (p 796)
  • "a den of infamy and chickens" (p 818)
  • "to spin thread with the whirlwind" (p 819)
April 2017; 251 pages

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