The Other Wind

The Other Wind

Discussion
Ask a question about 'The Other Wind'
Start a new discussion about 'The Other Wind'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Other Wind is the sixth and (so far) last of a series of books written by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin is an American author. She has written novels, poetry, children's books, essays, and short stories, notably in fantasy and science fiction...

 and set in her fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of Earthsea
Earthsea
Earthsea is a fictional realm originally created by Ursula K. Le Guin for her short story "The Word of Unbinding", published in 1964. Earthsea became the setting for a further six books, beginning with A Wizard of Earthsea, first published in 1968, and continuing with The Tombs of Atuan, The...

. It follows on from Tehanu
Tehanu
Tehanu is the fourth of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1990, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1991.-Plot summary:...

, the fourth novel, and the short story "Dragonfly" from the fifth book Tales from Earthsea
Tales from Earthsea
Tales from Earthsea is a collection of short stories by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin, first published in 2001. The stories are set in the Earthsea world....

.

The novel won the World Fantasy Award
World Fantasy Award
The World Fantasy Awards are annual, international awards given to authors and artists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of fantasy...

 for Best Novel
World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
This World Fantasy Award is given to the fantasy novel or novels voted best by a panel of judges, and presented each year at the World Fantasy Convention.-1975:...

 in 2002, and was also nominated for both the Nebula
Nebula Award
The Nebula Award is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America , for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the previous year...

 and Locus
Locus Award
The Locus Award is a literary award established in 1971 and presented to winners of Locus magazine's annual readers' poll. Currently, the Locus Awards are presented at an annual banquet...

 Awards that same year.

Plot introduction


It is about fifteen years since the events described in Tehanu, and eight after those in Dragonfly. King Lebannen has his share of problems. The dragon
Dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

s want the return of the lands men have stolen from them in the distant past, the Karg
Karg
The Kargs are a fictional people in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea canon.-Appearance:Kargs have fair skin and many have blond hair, unlike the majority of the inhabitants of Earthsea, who have dark skin and hair. Tenar, perhaps the best-known Kargish individual, happens to have dark hair...

s 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.

Analysis


The Other Wind continues the stories of Earthsea characters
Characters in Earthsea
This is a list of the names of characters in the stories about the fantasy world of Earthsea, written by Ursula K. Le Guin.-On names and naming:...

 Lebannen, Tenar, Tehanu, and, in a minor role, Ged
Ged (Earthsea)
Ged , is the true name of a fictional character in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea realm. He is introduced in A Wizard of Earthsea, and plays both main and supporting roles in the subsequent Earthsea novels...

, 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 dragon
Dragon
A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern...

s. On their first encounter with one, despite the creature's apparent hostility, and her own particular fear of fire
Fire
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition....

, she rides forward to meet it in the hope that it would recognize and honor her kinship with the ancient Dragon Kalessin
Characters in Earthsea
This is a list of the names of characters in the stories about the fantasy world of Earthsea, written by Ursula K. Le Guin.-On names and naming:...

 established in the book Tehanu
Tehanu
Tehanu is the fourth of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1990, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1991.-Plot summary:...

. 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 reconciliation underlies 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 Karg
Karg
The Kargs are a fictional people in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea canon.-Appearance:Kargs have fair skin and many have blond hair, unlike the majority of the inhabitants of Earthsea, who have dark skin and hair. Tenar, perhaps the best-known Kargish individual, happens to have dark hair...

ad 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.

In "Tehanu
Tehanu
Tehanu is the fourth of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1990, and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1991.-Plot summary:...

" there is a reference to "a woman on Gont" being destined to fill the position of Archmage, left vacant since Ged lost his power, and the ending of "Tehanu" leaves the impression that the book's eponymous character would be that woman. There is, however, no reference to such a development in the present book, though the still-young Tehanu might still eventually take up this position after a soujourn among the dragons.

External links