The Other Wind
May 7, 2021 9:17 AM - by Le Guin, Ursula K. - Subscribe

The sorcerer Alder fears sleep. The dead are pulling him to them at night. Through him they may free themselves and invade Earthsea. Alder seeks advice from Ged, once Archmage. Ged tells him to go to Tenar, Tehanu, and the young king at Havnor. They are joined by amber-eyed Irian, a fierce dragon able to assume the shape of a woman. The threat can be confronted only in the Immanent Grove on Roke, the holiest place in the world, and there the king, hero, sage, wizard, and dragon make a last stand. (Book 6 of the Earthsea cycle)
posted by Cash4Lead (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm honestly kind of amused at Jo Walton and others complaints in the Tor article about how the later works pray a completely different world than the original trilogy. Because it's not like we've ever had media that portrayed a culture or nation in completely different lights.

My mind immediately jumped to comparing "Gone With The Wind" vs "12 Years a Slave". I'm guessing that the Tor commentators would have found the worlds depicted in those movies to be completely different and irreconcilable. And yet...
posted by happyroach at 1:27 PM on May 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Spoilers for Earthsea and His Dark Materials in this comment.
The Other Wind came out in 2001 and the last, and least good, HDM novel, The Amber Spyglass, came out the year before.
Both books have similar depictions of ugly and dreary afterlives that are revealed to be cheap fakes, covering something that, in both books, looks a lot like LeGuin's beloved Taoism.
It still seems a weird coincidence (and I'm sure it is, given the timing) although LeGuin earned it more than Pullman I'd say.
Both series end with worlds that are larger than when that started - materially and morally. That's quite rare in fantasy.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:03 PM on May 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

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