- The Other Wind
infobox Book |
name = The Other Wind
image_caption = Cover of first edition (hardcover)
Ursula K. Le Guin
language = English
series = The Earthsea Cycle
publisher = Harcourt Brace & Company
media_type = Print (
pages = 246 pp
isbn = ISBN 0-151-00684-9
oclc = 46777444
Tales from Earthsea
"The Other Wind" is the sixth and (so far) last of a series of books written by
Ursula K. Le Guinand set in her fantasy archipelagoof Earthsea. It follows on from " Tehanu", the fourth novel, and the short story "Dragonfly" from the fifth book " Tales from Earthsea".
It is about fifteen years since the events described in "Tehanu", and eight after those in "Dragonfly". King
Lebannenhas his share of problems. The dragons want the return of the lands men have stolen from them in the distant past, the Kargs want to marry him to their princess and thus cement a diplomatic relation between the two countries, and the dead seek release from the perpetual twilight of the afterlife. Accompanied by three wizards, two dragons in human form, and a Kargad princess, he sails to Roke where, together with the Masters of that island, they are able to right an ancient wrong and restore the balance.
"The Other Wind" continues the stories of Lebannen,
Tenar, Tehanu, and, in a minor role, Ged, from the previous books. With the exception of Tehanu, these characters are already fully developed, and there is little further development. Tehanu, now a young woman, is still very shy and emotionally dependent upon her adoptive mother, Tenar. Nevertheless she reluctantly agrees to accompany the King on a mission to meet and parley with the dragons. On their first encounter with one, despite the creature's apparent hostility, and her own particular fear of fire, she rides forward to meet it in the hope that it would recognise and honour her kinship with the ancient Dragon Kalessinestablished in the book " Tehanu". In the denouement of the book, she transforms into dragon form herself, and is thus freed from the burden of the injury inflicted upon her in childhood.
The theme of
reconciliationunderlies this book. In addition to Tehanu's personal reconciliation with her own nature, the sorcerer Alder is reconciled with his dead wife, Lebannen with his future bride, and through that marriage, a lasting peace with Kargad is forged. The disparate lores of Paln, Roke, and Kargad are each shown to be imperfect reflections of the true history of the world. The spell that created the Dry Land, which was intended to create an artificial afterlife, is broken, and the land itself returned to the dragons, from whom it had been stolen thousands of years ago. The dead at last gain their release, and the pattern of death and rebirth is reestablished for all.
* [http://inkscrawl.blogspot.com/2006/07/book-review-other-wind-by-ursula-k-le.html A review of The Other Wind]
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