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The greatest fantasies of the th century are JRR 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 st 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 cyclesCynthia Ward


10 thoughts on “The Other Wind

  1. Anne Anne says:

    The short version Plot schmot, do you really think it s accidental that The Other Wind iscontemplative than adventuresome Ursula Le Guin is a very deliberate writer The long version Reading the Earthsea cycle in order will dofor you than simply get you up to speed on who s who and what went before so don t start with this, the final book to date, if you want to really appreciate what Le Guin is doing She created Earthsea in 1964, introduced Ged in 1968, and finally ended the ser The short version Plot schmot, do you really think it s accidental that The Other Wind iscontemplative than adventuresome Ursula Le Guin is a very deliberate writer The long version Reading the Earthsea cycle in order will dofor you than simply get you up to speed on who s who and what went before so don t start with this, the final book to date, if you want to really appreciate what Le Guin is doing She created Earthsea in 1964, introduced Ged in 1968, and finally ended the series in 2001 with The Other Wind After 37 years, it s a testament to her writing skill that Earthsea, and Ged within it, have the coherence to support a generation s worth of changing focus without losing their own integrity or internal logic Just as Ged, in his old age, is done with doing, by now Le Guin is far less interested in plot or character than in the implications of the one sided world she created a generation earlier Early on, she s still essentially working out the technical, practical details of how Earthsea and its cultures, creatures and magic work and the fast paced action of A Wizard of Earthsea gives us exposition without making it dry We as readers learn about Earthsea, and wizardry, and dragons, as Sparrowhawk does, in typical bildungsroman fashion As time goes on, however, Le Guin realizes there s a lotto be said about Earthsea than What, Who and How, but Why The story of Earthsea as told in the first three books is fascinating, exciting, and fun but also superficial At this point Le Guin s emphasis on balance stops being a preoccupation of her characters magical theory and turns into her own task as a writer In Tehanu and Dragonfly she opens up several flip sides to her early subjects women rather than men, ordinary people instead of wizards and kings, everyday concerns like chores and crime rather than magical catastrophes, and the simple behavior and merits of dumb animals rather than dragons Sleeper agent Tenar opens a window for us into the effects of the one on the other within the structure and society of Earthsea, and everyone severally ties up the loose ends in The Other Wind What good is it to be a wizard in an ordinary world, or an ordinary man or woman in a magical world Does magic solve problems or create them, or both What is the source of power, and what makes sentience How can magic that conquers death in one society be reconciled with a non magical society of humans in the same world In The Other Wind Ursula Le Guin has the guts to examine her world for its flaws and inconsistencies and successfully address them within its own myth Earthsea is still recognizably Earthsea, butsoundly so Collaboration, understanding, wisdom, labor, and everyday virtues like kindness, open mindedness, and patience achieve as much as any single hero, noble deed or spell when all is said and done and this is whyis said than done this time around As a standalone book, it s merely okay but having seen the arc of Le Guin s preoccupations played out across the years lends it a depth and satisfaction you won t get if you haven t read the other books first Ged the wise old cabbage grower, plum picker, and other people s kittens lender becomes muchinteresting the answer to a question you didn t know was asked if you ve also experienced him as a young, almost all powerful wizard


  2. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    The other Wind The Earthsea Cycle, 6 , Ursula K Le GuinThe Other Wind is a fantasy novel by the American author Ursula K Le Guin, published by Harcourt in 2001 It is the latest novel set in the fictional archipelago Earthsea It won the annual World Fantasy Award for Best Novel Alder, a village sorcerer who is adept at mending, has been tormented by dreams since the death of his beloved wife Lily Every time he falls asleep, he is brought to the wall of stones, the border between the world The other Wind The Earthsea Cycle, 6 , Ursula K Le GuinThe Other Wind is a fantasy novel by the American author Ursula K Le Guin, published by Harcourt in 2001 It is the latest novel set in the fictional archipelago Earthsea It won the annual World Fantasy Award for Best Novel Alder, a village sorcerer who is adept at mending, has been tormented by dreams since the death of his beloved wife Lily Every time he falls asleep, he is brought to the wall of stones, the border between the world of the living and the dry land of the dead The dead, including Lily, beseech him to be set free He sought guidance from the masters of the school of wizardry on Roke The Master Patterner advised him to seek out Ged on the island of Gont Ged, the ex Archmage, is powerless as a wizard, but knowsof the world of the dead than anyone living Alder finds Ged He is alone, as his Kargish wife Tenar and adopted daughter Tehanu have been summoned to Havnor to counsel King Lebannen Ged listens to Alder s tale and recommends he go to Havnor to speak to both the king and his family.Alder sails to Havnor and tells his story Lebannen is concerned, but has other worries The king of the Kargs, a warlike people from the East who despise sorcery, has sent his daughter to marry Lebannen as the price for peace between them, a demand that angers Lebannen Further, dragons have been menacing the islands in the West Soon after Alder arrives, dragons encroach further east than ever before, finally to Havnor itself The king and his people ride to deal with them Tehanu goes with him because she has a kinship with dragons, having as a young girl summoned the great dragon Kalessin, who called her daughter She speaks to a dragon who delivers a cryptic message that the dragons are angry that men have stolen part of their land in the furthest west The dragons do, however, agree to a truce and to send an emissary 20081386 376 9789645365835 9789645362827 20


  3. Ivan Ivan says:

    The Other wind 4.4 starsSeries overall 5 starsI seems ages since I started the first Earthsea book and first time I got acquainted with Ursula K Le Guin Since than I read manyUrsula s book and she become a one of my favourite authors and Earthsea definitively earned place in my hearth It s started of with Wizard of Earthsea, a book showed me that you don t need great amount of pages to write a great epic fantasy book It was short, beautifully written coming of age wizard tale Second The Other wind 4.4 starsSeries overall 5 starsI seems ages since I started the first Earthsea book and first time I got acquainted with Ursula K Le Guin Since than I read manyUrsula s book and she become a one of my favourite authors and Earthsea definitively earned place in my hearth It s started of with Wizard of Earthsea, a book showed me that you don t need great amount of pages to write a great epic fantasy book It was short, beautifully written coming of age wizard tale Second book gave us one of the best written characters in epic fantasy, Tenar and one of the best worldbuilding You get to know everything you need about the world in 200 pages.Third book was epic adventure and while great on it s own, it s weakest Earthsea book.Original trilogy is great and remains my first choice to people looking to get into fantasy Second half of the series came later and it was muchfocused on character development and has strong feminist voice.The 4th book, Tehanu, is highlight of the series and one of the best fantasy books I read It is reason why I consider Tenar one of the best written characters in fantasy and all that without anything epic about it It s just a story about a widow and her scared, adopted daughter trying to overcome adversity.5th books is collection of stories, all talk about past and familiar characters except the last which sets up the stage for the last one.Final instalment, while it evolves some big events, incontemplative than adventurous It rounds up stories of all well known characters and like Tehanu it has strong feminist undertones and while not the best book in the series it sthan fitting goodbye to this world and characters


  4. Bradley Bradley says:

    This is one of those novels that you have to see through to the very end before the total shape becomes clear and casts the entire series in a new light Unfortunately, the buildup to get there is kinda middling for me Don t get me wrong, the dragons are great and the whole introduction of new characters and getting back to the King and to the question of Ged and the role of women in this world is pretty good, but the best part is the return to the dry lands, the realm of the dead.As before, th This is one of those novels that you have to see through to the very end before the total shape becomes clear and casts the entire series in a new light Unfortunately, the buildup to get there is kinda middling for me Don t get me wrong, the dragons are great and the whole introduction of new characters and getting back to the King and to the question of Ged and the role of women in this world is pretty good, but the best part is the return to the dry lands, the realm of the dead.As before, there s a balance between wizards and dragons, and all of this becomes evenpronounced as the reveals keep coming, as we learn mankind s place in the world and where we fit into the scheme of things along with our dragon brothers.Pretty cool stuff, really I just wish that I didn t have to do a re read of the weaker novels in order to get to the really cool stuff.I really wish that I could have the joys and the pacing and the coherency of the first two novels repeated in the ones to come after, but it just isn t to be Maybe I expect too much.That being said, I can truly appreciate the end of the Earthsea cycle as it has become, and not be truly dissatisfied Dualities can be a real pain


  5. Darwin8u Darwin8u says:

    He grinned a little as he thought it for he had always liked that pause, that fearful pause, the moment before things changedUrsula K Le Guin, The Other Wind I don t have anything very revolutionary to write about this book I ve now finished both the Hainish Cylce and the Earthsea Cycle and feel like Le Guin floated above hard scifi or fantasy She was a brilliant storyteller and used genre fiction to explore the caves, the deserts, and the forests of humanity Her language was deceptiHe grinned a little as he thought it for he had always liked that pause, that fearful pause, the moment before things changedUrsula K Le Guin, The Other Wind I don t have anything very revolutionary to write about this book I ve now finished both the Hainish Cylce and the Earthsea Cycle and feel like Le Guin floated above hard scifi or fantasy She was a brilliant storyteller and used genre fiction to explore the caves, the deserts, and the forests of humanity Her language was deceptive You only recognized the poetry of her simple prose gradually You only caught a glimpse of how BIG her themes were in increments She built her literary castles, and we are lucky to have been able to walk among them.Anyway, the novel is a near perfect ending to the Earthsea series I loved the storyline of Alder, the Mender, and how his narrative seemed a low key echo of Ged Sparrowhawk s story I loved the storyline of Lebannen, the King, and the Kargish princess Finally, I loved the storyline of the Dragons, Tehanu, and the Mages Mostly, I loved how Le Guin wove these threads all together She harmonized the various stories and themes and told a lovely tale


  6. Robert Robert says:

    How many months overdue is this review Since sometime late last year, anywayI was still in Belgiumthat was two countries ago This will almost certainly be the last novel about Earthsea that we shall see from Ursula LeGuin and it is a muchfitting end than Tehanu because it feels triumphant rather than negative In similar vein to the Tales from Earthsea, ancient crimes and cover ups that have had profound effects on the Archipelago s peoples are revealed Matters are also set to righ How many months overdue is this review Since sometime late last year, anywayI was still in Belgiumthat was two countries ago This will almost certainly be the last novel about Earthsea that we shall see from Ursula LeGuin and it is a muchfitting end than Tehanu because it feels triumphant rather than negative In similar vein to the Tales from Earthsea, ancient crimes and cover ups that have had profound effects on the Archipelago s peoples are revealed Matters are also set to rights It s not really a spoiler to say that this is not a book about Ged, although he appears in the story and performs a minor miracle involving a kitten without using any wizardry at all Instead, Tenar, Tehanu and Dragonfly come to the fore, along with the King, a sorcerer with troubling dreams and a Princess from the Kargish lands That women take an equal or leading role in this story feels very natural, arising from the story, where as in Tehanu the story was contrived to highlight women Perhaps that is the ultimate reason why Tehanu troubles many people and is not an unqualified success This, however, is a triumphant success.So many of the themes arising in the previous books are taken up again and given a last examination The desire for immortality, the nature of Dragons, the history of the Kargs and the Archipeligans, perceptions and mis perceptions of foreign peoples, the roles of women in society The whole thing is brought to an unexpected and wonderful conclusion.This feels muchlike the original three books than either of the two later ones but it does still lack the sense of exploration I prize so highly that is found in A Wizard of Earthsea and The Final Shore, which leads me back to the beginning of the review this is the last of Earthsea and there are somethings I could wish had happened somewhere along the way, that didn t Ged travels far and wide in the course of his stories but we never sail the North Reach with him or explore Hogen land Is it another island, or a high latitude continent like Antarctica Another Goodreader suggested that Ged and Tenar should have had a child that would have been lovely but perhaps Ged is too old This series as a whole represents one of the great triumphs of fantasy literature,profound, thought provoking, imaginative and beautifully written than most books I have ever read It deserves to be taken up in the canon in the way that Lord of the Rings has been Farewell, Earthsea, until next time I need magic, adventure and beauty, all at once view spoiler Near the end of this volume the protagonists wonder if their actions will destroy all magic in Earthsea It doesn t happen which is a profound relief because Earthsea without Wizardry would be like air without oxygen, to me hide spoiler And now it is my pleasure to introduce Flagon Dragon see profile pic and my other photos who will give his first ever Goodreads review here, regarding the Earthsea books as a whole It should be noted that Flagon is a self appointed Ambassador to Humanity from the Welsh Dragons, who promotes goodwill between both Species, mainly by being ridiculously cute and cuddly and giving everybody heaps of hugs The review is hidden because it is a giant spoiler about one of the themes that links all the books view spoiler Roarhi hugs I m Flagon the Fierce and Friendly Red Dragon I read along with Robert in the evenings and so I get to enjoy lots of stories Some of those stories have Dragons in them and the Earthsea books are my favourite stories about Dragons except for the story about my Mum, who is on the Welsh flag and the stories of my own Adventures.Roar so the first time we learn about Dragons in Earthsea it seems they are really Pesky, burning places and chomping folks and making them flee from their island homes It seems like Dragons are really naughty This is bad because Dragons have an undeserved bad reputation with all sorts of dubious and distorted myths and legends that make us out as EBIL Roar But later on, we discover that the older Dragons are wise as well as wiley and know things that Humans have forgotten So it seems that Dragons are a bit like Humans not all good or all bad, which is better Then, later still, we learn that Humans and Dragons have common ancestors We changed because we wereinterested in different things than the Humans who didn t change Interesting Then, near the end we learn that the reason the Dragons are annoyed with Humans is because they stole something from us so long ago that only Dragons remember and the Humans have forgotten all about it The Dragons decide they want their property back and set about getting it Luckily the Humans realise that their theft was a big mistake and that they don t even want what they took any, so they give it back Everybody understands each other a little better afterward, which is good and what I try to achieve as Ambassador to Humans So these are my favourite books about Dragons hide spoiler


  7. A A says:

    My first Ursula K Le Guin book was The Left Hand of Darkness a cold strangeness of passive powers and mutating gender After that, I was somewhat lost in this exceptional author s catalog and reluctant to read such a traditional fantasy as A Wizard of Earthsea But eventually, starved for female authorship and coming off Frank Herbert s high science fiction epic Dune, I discovered a copy of the first entry of the Earthsea Cycle and picked it up Reading the books of Earthsea is like opening a My first Ursula K Le Guin book was The Left Hand of Darkness a cold strangeness of passive powers and mutating gender After that, I was somewhat lost in this exceptional author s catalog and reluctant to read such a traditional fantasy as A Wizard of Earthsea But eventually, starved for female authorship and coming off Frank Herbert s high science fiction epic Dune, I discovered a copy of the first entry of the Earthsea Cycle and picked it up Reading the books of Earthsea is like opening a series of nesting dolls in reverse Inside the first book is a beautiful box, classical and intricate Then with the next book, it opens to reveal a larger andbeautiful and complex box The box inside that is even wider in scope and implication and inside that is a box that contains the whole universe The first three books of Earthsea reveal a world like ours divided between East and West and dominated by the power of men Through careful crafting, Le Guin interweaves the lives of three main characters into a shifting balance of the powers of light and dark Even in a world of temperamental magic, Le Guin s characters are refreshingly relatable Our guides of Earthsea aren t babbling or overly emotional Through her artful economy, Le Guin vitalizes characters we learn to love for their thoughtful goodness and resiliency The fourth book, Tehanu, introduces an unknown element into Earthsea the feminine Fleshed into being in The Tombs of Atuan, Tenar shows us how the magic of Earthsea s women reaches deeper than the skill of the mages and into the elemental power of the dragons The Other Wind fully realizes this connection between women and dragons, between magic and humans, life and death, dreams and waking reality Featuring a wider cast of characters than the previous volumes, the last book brings together everything we have learned about Earthsea to change the foundations of the world.Truly the master Patterner, Le Guin gives us something mythic in reach and universal in meaning Not to be read without its companions, The Other Wind is a fitting finale to an amazing series These books are highly rewarding reads, easy to finish and never insulting to the reader s intelligence Le Guin is a modern keystone of women s writing


  8. Melody Melody says:

    Oh, my word, the second three are different books from a crone s viewpoint Of course, UKL s words are glorious no matter where or when one comes to them, but oh, how these words burn Meditations on life and death, on women and men, on dragonkind and humankind, on mage and commoner Masterfully done And of course, this 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 Oh, my word, the second three are different books from a crone s viewpoint Of course, UKL s words are glorious no matter where or when one comes to them, but oh, how these words burn Meditations on life and death, on women and men, on dragonkind and humankind, on mage and commoner Masterfully done And of course, this 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


  9. Nicky Nicky says:

    The Other Wind ends the Earthsea Cycle by resolving an issue which, for attentive readers, has been present since the very first book Despite all the joys of wizardry and the great things the wizards can do, the world of death looms from the very first, and it doesn t sound like a great place In the second book, Tenar s background reveals that her people believe their souls are reborn, but that wizards souls are not In the third book, we see the world of death a dead, dry, empty place, surr The Other Wind ends the Earthsea Cycle by resolving an issue which, for attentive readers, has been present since the very first book Despite all the joys of wizardry and the great things the wizards can do, the world of death looms from the very first, and it doesn t sound like a great place In the second book, Tenar s background reveals that her people believe their souls are reborn, but that wizards souls are not In the third book, we see the world of death a dead, dry, empty place, surrounded only by pain, where lovers can pass each other on the street and not recognise one another.That s not a world we want to see Ged or Lebannen condemned to, and so The Other Wind is a fitting end in that it dismantles that and brings in another female character who is Kargish, makes Lebannen examine some of his issues, makes Tehanu grow up, and ties in the thread of Irian from the novella Dragonfly Other themes that ve been a big part of the books previously the role of women, for example are still here, now integral to the world where perhaps they weren t in time for A Wizard of Earthsea and Yarrow.It wasn t my favourite of the series when I first read it I think I have to concede I love the first two books most and always will, though Tehanu and The Other Wind are growing on me but reading it this time, it seems like a very fitting ending point I think I m right in saying that Le Guin isn t writing novels any, so it s likely this really is Earthsea s end, and it s a good way to finish, with Ged and Tenar in their house and the dragons flying on the other wind.Originally posted here


  10. Shane Shane says:

    Let me preface this with my Earthsea background I read the first 3 books when I was young and loved them Then did them again on audio a couple years ago and enjoyed the 1st and 3rd books but thought the 2nd one was slow Then I read Techanu and thought it waslike an interlude with a plot added in at the end for good measure Stories of Earthsea was barely passable and now this The Other Wind left me with a final bad taste for a series I loved for a long time.It was nice to hang out Let me preface this with my Earthsea background I read the first 3 books when I was young and loved them Then did them again on audio a couple years ago and enjoyed the 1st and 3rd books but thought the 2nd one was slow Then I read Techanu and thought it waslike an interlude with a plot added in at the end for good measure Stories of Earthsea was barely passable and now this The Other Wind left me with a final bad taste for a series I loved for a long time.It was nice to hang out with some old friends Ged, Tenar etc but at some point toward the end it started this downward spiral into incomprehensibility There would be a section I just didn t get but I d just move on hoping that it would make sense later It never did When it ended I had no idea what had happened Was it just too simple I do see a lot of reviewers saying that the ending was predictable I don t even know who was still alive at the end It seemed like a bunch of snippets of action that never got resolved Was it some type of literary experiment I m not sure, but my final stance on Earthsea is Read the first 3 books and pretend the others don t even exist