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The Other Wind

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Book list The sorcerer Alder makes his way to Ged's remote home on Gont. Alder seeks relief from nightly consuming dreams about being called to "the wall of stones," where hordes of souls cry out for help in ending their suffering. These dreams are but one harbinger of coming change. Another is the reappearance of dragons, once compatible with humans, to reclaim their former lands. Ged sends Alder to Havnor, where Tenar and Tehanu have been called by King Lebannen to advise him about the dragons as well as the princess unwelcomely sent to be his bride. In time, Tehanu, the dragon Orm Irian (whose story is told in "Dragonfly," which concludes Tales from Earthsea [BKL Mr 1 01]), the king, Alder, Tenar, and the princess all figure in righting ancient wrongs and mending the earth. Steeped in Earthsea lore and featuring familiar characters as well as dramatic action, the first full-length Earthsea novel since Tehanu (1990) will leave its readers wanting yet another. The ongoing Earthsea saga began as children's literature years ago but now moves resolutely into the purview of adults, perhaps because the very well written Earthsea books have long appealed to all ages. Certainly, whatever their ages, its fans will rejoice in revisiting Earthsea. --Sally Estes

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly What a year it's been for Le Guin. First, there was The Telling, the widely praised new novel in her Hainish sequence, followed by Tales from Earthsea, a collection of recent short fiction in her other major series. Now she returns with 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. This is not what 70-year-old writers of genre fantasy are supposed to do, but then, there aren't many writers around like Le Guin. (Oct. 1) FYI: In addition to five Hugo and five Nebula awards, Le Guin has won a National Book Award, the Kafka Award and a Pushcart Prize. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal A village mender's love for his dead wife leads him in his dreams to the dry lands of the dead where a kiss from his wife's spirit begins a chain of events that shakes the foundations of the realms of Earthsea. Le Guin's first Earthsea novel in ten years blends old themes and familiar people from previous series books with new characters and fresh stories, demonstrating once again the power of storytelling to transform the known into the unknown and the ordinary into the extraordinary. Le Guin remains a master of subtlety and grace as she finds new and surprising ways to express deep truths cloaked in the trappings of fantasy. A priority purchase for libraries of all sizes. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/00.] Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal In the author's first "Earthsea" novel in ten years, the sorcerer Alder is troubled by the dead and must appeal to the former archmage for help. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.