Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin After my [ex-]husband got me into the Earthsea Cycle novels by Ursula LeGuin, I was quick to order the three books added after he'd read the books. I delayed reading The Other Wind after I lost the fourth book in the series, Tehanu, but finally gave in to the lure of finding out what had happened to the characters I'd grown to enjoy, but it made no sense. Once I finally found Tehanu, I reread The Other Wind and everything suddenly made sense.::: Dragon Time :::When The Other Wind begins, Ged/Sparrowhawk is alone in the house at Re Albi. Tenar and Tehanu have gone to Havnor at the request of King Lebannen, but Ged receives a visitor, a sorcerer named Alder who has been sent by the mages at Roke to Ged. Alder has been having strange dreams of the Dry Land of death that Ged and Lebannen had visited and returned from in The Farthest Shore, and in them, he has met his dead wife and teacher, both begging him for freedom. When they touch him, he wakes up with burns on his skin, and he is unable to sleep without returning to that land. Ged hears Alder's story and tells him what he knows of the Dry Land, then sends Alder on another journey to Havnor to talk to Lebannen, and also to pose two questions to Tehanu.When Alder arrives at Havnor, he discovers that Lebannen has troubles of another sort; the High King of the Kargad Lands has sent his daughter to Lebannen as a sign of peace, expecting Lebannen to marry her. Now Lebannen has no idea what to do with the princess or Alder's story. As he discusses the situations with his council, Tenar, and Tehanu, it is decided that they will travel to roke: Tenar, Tehanu, Lebannen, the Princess, and two mages: Onyx, and a Pelnish wizard, along with Orm Irian, a dragon who can take the form of a human who had actually been at the school at Roke, even though she is female. Once on Roke, they attempt to determine what to do about the dreams that now everyone in Earthsea seems to be having, and Tehanu finally discovers what she truly is.::: Loose Ends Tied Up :::While LeGuin has stated that she originally felt that the Earthsea Cycle was completed with Tehanu, I'm sure that fans agreed that there were too many questions; what was the Dry Land, and why was there a wall that couldn't be crossed? Was everything truly back to the way it was before Cob attempted to achieve immortality? What did Ogion mean when he said everything was changed? And what was the ultimate destiny for Tehanu?Without reading Tehanu, The Other Wind won't make much sense at all; it's a book that definitely relies on the previous books (especially Tehanu) in the series for an understanding of the characters and situations. For fans of the Earthsea Cycle, just about every question is answered, and the ending of the Cycle is satisfying, if a bit sad.The only complaint that I can think of is that The Other Wind doesn't have nearly enough about Ged. Hopes that Ged might join the party on Roke, or have one last reunion with Lebannen are dashed, and he seems almost an afterthought after his initial time with Alder, disappointing since he had been the central figure up until Tehanu. This review previously published at Epinions:

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