Book 4 of The Earthsea Cycle

Ursula K. Le Guin

Illustrated by David Lupton

Afterword by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Folio Society’s edition of Tehanu, the fourth story in the series, continues the work of bringing Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea to life. With enchanting illustrations by David Lupton. 

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‘This was a magic of words, a magic of true speaking.’
  1. Neil Gaiman

Celebrated across the world for its adventure, its wisdom and its unforgettable characters, the Earthsea series has inspired readers and writers since the release of A Wizard of Earthsea in 1968. The fourth volume, Tehanu, sees legendary writer Ursula K. Le Guin introduce new heroes and new threats, while Ged faces perhaps the hardest challenge of his life. Series artist David Lupton worked with Le Guin at the outset of the series to create a Ged and an Earthsea that stayed true to the author’s vision. This beautiful collector’s edition features seven spellbinding colour images and a perceptive afterword by Le Guin herself, revealing her own thoughts on this remarkable chapter in the Earthsea series. The endpapers are printed with maps and the exquisite binding features a stirring illustration of Tenar and the dragon Kalessin, the eerie vapour of Kalessin’s flames blocked in shimmering silver foil.

See the Folio Le Guin collection here.

Bound in printed and blocked cloth

Set in Garamond with Ducinea Serif as display

256 pages

6 full-page and one double-page colour illustration

Printed map endpapers

Plain slipcase

9˝ x 5¾˝

It has been more than 20 years since Ged and Tenar led each other out of the Undertomb. Freed from the dark gods of death and nothingness, Tenar has lived a life full of everything that was denied to her in her youth. Now, widowed and alone, she finds herself caring for another lost soul: the child Therru, burned and discarded by those who should have protected her. Therru hungers for tales of those other creatures of fire: dragons! But when Ged the Dragonlord returns he is a changed man, hollowed out by his experiences across the sea, and he seems to set them on a darker, stranger path. Roke is seeking a new Archmage, and there are those who will kill to wield such power…

‘She had been told that men must not look into a dragon’s eyes, but that was nothing to her.’

Le Guin’s fourth Earthsea tale teems with the gorgeous magic of her fantasy masterpiece but it is also perhaps the most complex of the series thus far. It asks what a woman’s power is in a world where only men are expected to wield respectable magic. Tenar, the forthright heroine of The Tombs of Atuan, keeps untapped reservoirs of power within her, while the child Therru, so battered by the world of men, almost seems to hold the key to an entirely new form of magic. Lupton’s expressive images, rich with emotion and foreboding, reveal the bonds between Tenar and her adopted child, and bring an added wildness to this darker portion of the Earthsea legend. 

About Ursula K. Le Guin 

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018) was born in Berkeley and lived in Portland, Oregon. She published 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, 4 collections of essays, 12 books for children, 6 volumes of poetry and 4 translated works, and received many honours and awards, including the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, a National Book Award and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. A Wizard of Earthsea (1968; Folio Society 2015, 2022) is her best-known work; it is the first book of Earthsea, which includes The Tombs of Atuan (1971; Folio Society 2022), The Farthest Shore (1972; Folio Society 2022), Tehanu (1990; Folio Society 2023), Tales from Earthsea (2001; Folio Society 2023) and The Other Wind (2001). Her Hugo Award-winning novels, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and The Dispossessed (1974) are also available as Folio editions (2018). Her most recent publications were Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems, 1960–2010 (2012) and The Unreal and the Real: Selected Short Stories (2012).

About David Lupton

David Lupton is a London-based illustrator. He studied Illustration at the University of Portsmouth before completing an MA in Sequential Illustration at the University of Brighton. His work is hand-drawn and painted with only the slightest digital enhancement. He has created work for many commercial briefs, including editorial illustration, children’s picture books, music video design and animation, and record cover artwork. Lupton has illustrated a number of books for Folio, including The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (2015). He worked closely with Ursula K. Le Guin to illustrate the Folio edition A Wizard of Earthsea (2015), and continued to realise the author’s vision after Le Guin passed away, illustrating The Left Hand of Darkness (2018), The Dispossessed (2019), The Tombs of Atuan (2022) and The Farthest Shore (2022), Tehanu (2023), Tales from Earthsea (2023) and The Other Wind (2024).


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