The fourth Earthsea book, taking place after the original trilogy (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore).
This book centers around Tenar, the Eaten One from The Tombs of Atuan. Now a middle aged widow, she takes an abused girl with mysterious potential powers, named Tehanu, under her care. Ged, the hero of the original trilogy, also figures in the story, though he is much changed by the events of the third book.
The book has a melancholy, middle-aged feel -- Earthsea is changing, the heroes are growing old. This book is longer and more mature than the early series, reflecting its much later composition. Very feminist vibe to it. Suitable for children, but I think it's more for fans of the Earthsea books who are a little more grown up now, and want to see 'what happened next.'
4th in the series of Earthsea books, if you like Lewis' Narnia or Tolkiens Lord of the Rings, you will like these
This book is very good and I enjoyed reading it, however, it is very different than the other Earthsea books. So different that I would venture to say it is in the Earthsea world and not a Earthsea Cycle in the Dungeons and Dragons sense of organization.
I have found myself wondering what happened to Ursula Le Guin that gave her the perspective she writes with in this story. As a woman writing in a Science Fiction/Fantasy genre she must have encountered an amazing amount of sexism and misogyny and could be part of the story.
It is clear that the story is about Tenar and Therru, their experience and their struggle to be exceptional women in a world that values almost nothing about them simply because they are in fact women. But the story is also about modern society and feminisim, although I am loathe to use the word since so many have decided its meaning is something other than it is.
It is a good story on its own, it is also an interesting commentary on modern gender roles, the human need for hatred and fear of those who are different. I don't feel that these sub-themes detract from the story but make it more complete.