Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Other Wind

The Other Wind
By Ursula K. Le Guin
Publisher: ACE
Published: 2001
ISBN-13: 9780441011254
211 pages

Publishers Weekly Review: A
superb novel-length addition to the Earthsea universe, one that, once again, turns that entire series on its head. Alder, the man who unwittingly initiates the transformation of Earthsea, is a humble sorcerer who specializes in fixing broken pots and repairing fence lines, but when his beloved wife, Lily, dies, he is inconsolable. He begins to dream of the land of the dead and sees both Lily and other shades reaching out to him across the low stone wall that separates them from the land of the living. Soon, more general signs and portents begin to disturb Earthsea. The dragons break their long-standing truce and begin to move east. The new ruler of the Kargad Lands sends his daughter west in an attempt to wed her to King Lebannen. Even Ged, the former archmage, now living in peaceful, self-imposed exile on Gont, starts to have disturbing dreams. In Tehanu (1990), the fourth book in the series, Le Guin rethought the traditional connection between gender and magic that she had assumed in the original Earthsea trilogy. In her new novel, however, she reconsiders the relationship between magic and something even more basic: life and death itself.

First sentence: Sails long and white as swan's wings carried the ship Farflyer through summer air down the bay from the Armed Cliff's toward Gont Port.

Fiction Genre: Fantasy

What led you to pick up this book? I have read the first five books in the series and I must, must, MUST read the sixth book.

Summarize the plot minus spoilers: Please see the review above by Publishers Weekly (PW) . I have to admit I took the easy way out for this book review because PW tells it so well!

What did you like most about the book? Things are changing in the realm of Earthsea. I love revisiting all the characters found in Books 1 to 5. Frankly I am excited with all that is going on at Earthsea. I am also sad that the lives of some of the heroes in the stories are changed, but it is all for the good.

What did you think of the main character? I am not sure if I could name a single main character because in this installment, it is really all characters put together. Having said that, I liked the Princess from Kargad Lands who is to be wedded to King Lebannen. She projects hostility but that is because she is lonely and frightened being in a foreign land, and she does not speak Hardic, a language spoken by the King. Even Lebannen does not like her because she is sending all the negative vibes. However, Tenar befriends her and teaches her the language. I like it that as time goes by, Lebannen begins to change his attitude towards the princess; hence, the teaser posted yesterday.

What about the ending? I liked the ending. The author has created characters that are memorable and a story that is profound. This is not an ordinary fantasy series.

Would you recommend this book? Yes

Should anyone NOT be encouraged to read it? Why? I can't think of any!

Would you read more books by this author? Definitely

Would you re-read the book? Yes, and also the entire Earthsea series. I love this series to bits.

Related Post: Teaser Tuesday