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The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin
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The Other Wind (2001)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Earthsea Cycle (6)

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English (32)  Danish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
05/25/14 Earthsea: The Other Wind, Ursula K. LeGuin, 2001. Back to the intricate, full-length story again, and excellent as usual. There was quite of bit of reviewing past plot threads and summing up, but it was seamlessly inserted into the story. The symbolism and philosophy reach an interesting conclusion, but they still leave the reader wanting to follow the dragons. Anything else I could say would spoil the fun. ( )
  drardavis | Jun 2, 2014 |
"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 reahing out to him across the low stone wall that sepoarates them from the land of the living. In her new novel, Le Guin reconsiders the relationship between magic and something ever more basic: life and death itself."
~~back cover

It's been a while since I read the Earthsea Trilogy, so I'd forgotten the sheer beauty of her language, and the charming intricacies of her plots. I couldn't put the book down! ( )
  Aspenhugger | Mar 6, 2014 |
My memories of the final Earthsea novel are the vaguest of all six (I'm writing this review up ten months late, which contradicts the whole point of writing these reviews).  I remember liking some parts (the visiting Kargad princess). I don't remember much else. Jo Walton's perspective fits with what I remember not liking. If there's anything to not like about these last three Earthsea novels, it's that they're somewhat joyless for Le Guin stories.
  Stevil2001 | Aug 30, 2013 |
The Other Wind is a beautiful book. I don't think I liked it all that much the first time I read it, but now I see exactly how it fits. It's less incongruous than Tehanu, for me, but follows on neatly enough -- and it does use all the ideas and feelings that are brought up in Tehanu. Set a long time after it, it makes most sense if you've read Dragonfly, from Tales from Earthsea, before you read it. The first time I tried to read it, I don't think I had, and I had no idea who Orm Irian was or why she was significant.

One thing that I disliked in The Farthest Shore was the picture painted of death. It was difficult to think of it as such a crime to come back from there, when it was so miserable, where lovers could pass each other in the street and not care. The Other Wind sets this right. It's interesting to me that, at the end of The Farthest Shore she thought the series had ended, and presumably also at the end of Tehanu, but this book fits so cleanly, so clearly, as if it was intended all along.

The writing is once again beautiful, in places. I found it rather commonplace in Tehanu, matching the subject matter, but there are some really gorgeous quotes in this book. This one is perhaps my favourite:

"I think," Tehanu said in her soft, strange voice, "that when I die, I can breathe back the breath that made me live. I can give back to the world all that I didn't do. All that I might have been and couldn't be. All the choices I didn't make. All the things I lost and spent and wasted. I can give them back to the world. To the lives that haven't been lived yet. That will be my gift back to the world that gave me the life I did live, the love I loved, the breath I breathed."

Along with the recurring theme of life and death, and the one giving value to the other, we also have more criticism of the male-dominated system, and of the male way of thinking in Earthsea. How much of this is meant to be political commentary, and how much of this is Ursula Le Guin exploring her own world, I doubt we need to know. It's interesting that she introduced what is basically a burqa, without any particular comment on whether it is anti-feminist or not. Sesarakh comes out from behind her veil, of course, but I didn't feel like Le Guin was saying omg burqas r evol!

Character-wise, we have a lot of characters from other books, but there are some new ones as well. Chief among these is Alder, and Sesarakh. I don't think it's really explained quite thoroughly enough why Alder is the centre of all this -- it doesn't really make sense, when he's just a town sorcerer -- but it does break the pattern of Roke-wizards being all-important, as does the inclusion of Seppal, and it is something that would happen... an 'ordinary' person getting swept up in great events. Also, isn't Ged ordinary, at the beginning? So maybe it needs no better explanation. Anyway, I didn't get as attached to him as to Ged or Lebannen, but he did make me smile sometimes, reading about him. And I was sad, at the end.

Sesarakh is an interesting character, another vector for the discussion of the female in Earthsea. I didn't get to love her as a character, or really feel the romance between her and Lebannen, but that wasn't really the point. I did want to kick Lebannen rather, for the way he treats her and thinks about her. But Tenar had him well in hand, really.

I was going to say that The Other Wind isn't my favourite book of the series, but really I don't see why it shouldn't be. It brings together and carries on the work that, in retrospect, all the other books began. It offers some bright, beautiful images and some hope for what happens after death, and I don't see why it can't be an education and a comfort to us, too. "Only in dying, life," is a truth for us, too. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
Sweet, more upbeat fifth book in the Earthsea trilogy. I didn't want to stop reading. ( )
  comixminx | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
But there is more to The Other Wind than that: Le Guin's consistency now becomes revealed as a kind of destiny, a drive towards democracy if you like, an implicit impatience with the highfalutin genealogies such bogus mythologies are compelled to recite. Marvellously, the book contains humour, which is otherwise a kind of universal acid to children's fable: if it is funny, it corrodes everything it touches. Here it actually works. And the real magic now is the magic of writing.
added by melmore | editThe Guardian, Nicholas Lezard (Jul 26, 2002)
 

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Farther west than west
beyond the land
my people are dancing
on the other wind.

- The Song of the Woman of Kemay
Dedication
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Sails long and white as swan's wings carried the ship Farflyer through summer air down the bay from the Armed Cliffs toward Gont Port.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 044101125X, Mass Market Paperback)

The greatest fantasies of the 20th century are J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Cycle. Regrettably, the Earthsea Cycle has not received the fame and sales of Tolkien's trilogy. Fortunately, new Earthsea books have appeared in the 21st century, and they are as powerful, beautiful, and imaginative as the first four novels. The fifth novel and sixth book of the Earthsea Cycle is The Other Wind.

The sorcerer Alder has the power of mending, but it may have become the power of destruction: every night he dreams of the wall between the land of the living and the land of the dead, and the wall is being dismantled. If the wall is breached, the dead will invade Earthsea. Ged, once Archmage of Earthsea, sends Alder to King Lebannen. Now Alder and the king must join with a burned woman, a wizard of forbidden lore, and a being who is woman and dragon both, in an impossible quest to save Earthsea.

Ursula K. Le Guin has received the National Book Award, five Nebula and five Hugo Awards, and the Newbery Award, among many other honors. The Other Wind lives up to expectations for one of the greatest fantasy cycles. --Cynthia Ward

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The sorcerer Alder has the power of mending, but it may have become the power of destruction: every night he dreams of the wall between the land of the living and the land of the dead, and the wall is being dismantled. If the wall is breached, the dead will invade Earthsea. Ged, once Archmage of Earthsea, sends Alder to King Lebannen. Now Alder and the king must join with a burned woman, a wizard of forbidden lore, and a being who is woman and dragon both, in an impossible quest to save Earthsea.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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