The Other Wind
"...So I was surprised to learn that, 12 years ago, Le Guin
extended the trilogy to a tetralogy: slightly overlapping with
events in The Farthest Shore, Tehanu concentrated on the
ex-high priestess of Atuan, now living among the goats of
Sparrowhawk's native island, Gont. It maintained the
consistency of the series but otherwise turned the premises of
fantasy literature upside-down....
"Gradually, in a masterpiece of chilling narration, the whole
living world becomes unable to sleep. And to fix that, the
world has to become like our own, to become like our un-magical selves: to grow up.
"But there is more to The Other Wind than that: Le Guin's
consistency now becomes revealed as a kind of destiny, a drive
towards democracy if you like, an implicit impatience with the
highfalutin genealogies such bogus mythologies are compelled
to recite. Marvellously, the book contains humour, which is
otherwise a kind of universal acid to children's fable: if it is funny,
it corrodes everything it touches. Here it actually works. And the
real magic now is the magic of writing. Early on, someone tries
a spell on some goats to see if he has any magic power: 'Noth
hierth malk man,' and so on. It doesn't work: 'The goats looked
at him with alert disdain and moved away a little.' 'Alert
disdain'! Has anyone ever come up with two better words to
describe the way goats look at you? That well, that's just
July 27, 2002
"All the patterns, clues, and oppositions set up over thirty years in five other books, come to fruition and are worked out in The Other Wind. . . As far as gender goes, these books seem to me a true symbolic picture of where we are now, with no untainted source of male power, no mature authoritative leadership of any kind, caught midway in our evolution as social beings..."
January 28 2002
"All of Ursula Le Guin's strengths are abundantly present . . .: narrative power, tautly controlled and responsive prose, an imagination that never loses touch with the reality of things as they are..."
Books of the Year
December 22, 2001
The Other Wind
Copyright © 2002 by Ursula K. Le Guin