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Tony Grist

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The Other Wind: Ursula Le Guin [Sep. 19th, 2013|09:50 am]
Tony Grist
The Earthsea Trilogy was completed a long time ago. This is an afterthought.

It addresses something in the original books that didn't seem quite right, explains it in terms of the culture and history of Earthsea, then changes it.  The things that happen here reverberate backwards- like the slamming of a door on an echoey corridor.

There are moments of considerable beauty. And look, a fantasy novel in which there are no battles or killings!

As a book in its own right it isn't very good. It couldn't exist without its predecessors- and the leading characters (there are a lot of them to keep track of) are all rather insubstantial and Mary Sueish. Still, I'm happy to have it. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2013-09-19 09:16 am (UTC)
Given that I hated Tehanu with a passion, my absence of feeling about The Other Wind probably counts as a good response.

But the thing I particularly disliked was the attempt to re-engineer the earlier books. Yes, there were things she would do differently now, and we might agree with her. But the Earthsea trilogy is what it is. Leave it and write something else if you want to.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-09-19 10:08 am (UTC)
I haven't read Tehanu.

There's a slackening of inspiration in The Other Wind. The trilogy is art (flawed art perhaps) and The Other Wind is mostly commentary and footnote.

But it addresses something in the trilogy that really bugged me and sets it straight, so I can't regret it.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2013-09-19 07:14 pm (UTC)
I actually liked Tehanu a lot, but it's a painful read, mercilessly deconstructing the first three books. It's a bit like watching someone cut off their own arm - so, if you liked 27 Hours, you'll probably like this.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-09-19 08:06 pm (UTC)
I clearly need to read it.

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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-09-19 04:55 pm (UTC)
"Tehanu: Let's take the only remotely interesting and self-directed female character in Earthsea, and make her suck."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-09-19 05:39 pm (UTC)
In The Other Wind all the characters suck.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2013-09-19 07:44 pm (UTC)
Tehanu: if you love the Earthsea trilogy, you shouldn't, because it is Wrong.
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[User Picture]From: xiphias
2013-09-19 08:03 pm (UTC)
So basically, after Tehanu and The Other Wind, we should expect that, in LeGuin's NEXT book, we'll discover that Ged became Archmage because of the unusually high number of midichlorians in his blood.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2013-09-19 09:07 pm (UTC)
Well, to be fair, I didn't hate The Other Wind the way I did Tehanu. But I could wish that she had worked out her dissatisfaction with the original trilogy by writing something else.
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