Review: The Other Wind by Ursula K. Le Guin


The Other Wind is the sixth novel in the Earthsea Cycle series by Ursula K. Le Guin.


Sorceror Alder has the power to mend things, but after he’s beset by nightmares about the dead, he searches for someone to help him. He goes to Roke, then to Gont – to seek out the former Archmage Sparrowhawk – and eventually ends up at the court of King Lebannen. He doesn’t know why the dead as calling to him, just as the people of Earthsea don’t know why they’re suddenly being attacked by dragons. Yet the two things are connected, even more than they understand. The state of Earthsea is about to changed forever.


This is a fitting novel to end the series, I think. It brings back all the characters you know and love, or don’t love, and adds a couple more who are new and shiny and exciting. It was great seeing Ged again, and Tenar; they work as a loving couple. Tehanu’s fate is finally revealed and what a great triumphant and yet sad fate it is.

King Lebannen does some growing up (though to be fair, he was already better than most others at being King), and learns that first impressions aren’t always the truth. Alder, poor Alder, is the gateway for change, even though he doesn’t want to be and doesn’t understand what the dead truly want from him until the end.

The history of Roke, and how that history was muddled over the years, and the exclusion of women were strong themes in the book. Another big theme was the reveal (though hints had been sprinkled here and there) of the ties between the Hardic/Kargs and dragons.

In the end, the world of Earthsea is changed, and is the better for it.




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