This book confirmed for me that Tenar is my favorite character; I loved her in her previous book (The Tombs of Atuan), and I liked her here it. She's no longer a girl. She's a widow, and mother of two children of her own, and a girl she adopts because she sees herself in her suffering. She takes her in when everyone else thought it was better for her to die, and takes care of her, and gives her the love no one ever gave her.
I honestly didn't expect to find Sparrowhawk again in this book. But the fact that he came back, and even without his magic, had a part in this story, showed me how magic is not what makes a hero. That sometimes, a hero is not such because he saves the world from destruction, but because he can show his courage and his heart in everyday life, in the daily existence, and that his life hasn't ended for the fact that he's no longer a man of greatness (in his case, the Archmage). Finding Tenar again gave him a new goal, and for the first time he stopped serving others, and listened to the voice in his own heart.
"...and there she taught Ged the mystery that the wisest man could not teach him."
Even when he was no longer important for the world, there was someone who, at home, needed him, and only him. And the world was reduced to that. To the simple things, that also can fill and satisfy the soul, beyond all the power and wisdom one can possess.
Therru, poor thing, was an interesting character. I loved seeing everything from her point of view, calling Tenar her mother, and mostly, Ged his father. But I must say, her real name wasn't that surprising, I had guessed it a long time ago. Although her real nature -that I'm not revealing here, of course- was a surprise indeed, and I liked it.
In general terms, was a great conclusion to the Earthsea Cycle. I recommend it, it's worth it!