A challenge to herself

Even her novels are, in a sense, commen­tary on her novels. The books of Earthsea grow in subtlety and wisdom, one to the next: The Tombs of Atuan a correction to A Wizard of Earthsea, Tehanu a correc­tion to the whole fantasy genre. (Tehanu also boasts, I have to add, the best climax I have ever read in any novel, of any genre. In every climax, we should encounter the protagonist’s best efforts, and something extra: the breath of the gods. In Tehanu’s climax, the breath is STRONG.)

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