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Windhaven Mass Market Paperback – Apr 29 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (April 29 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553577905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553577907
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.8 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #409,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

If Windhaven weren't a fantasy book, it would be a selection for Oprah's books club, in the best sense. It tells the life story of a girl whose desire is so strong that it literally changes her world.

Maris wants nothing more than to fly. But she is land-bound: she was not born into a family of flyers, those who inherit their wings from their ancestors and convey messages, songs, and stories between the isolated islands of Windhaven. She convinces the flyers to break their ancient dynastic traditions for a selfish reason--to gain a pair of wings. In so doing, however, she opens the skies to all the hopeful land-bound, with serious social and political repercussions for both populations.

Each of the five chapters relates a different incident in Maris's struggle to first become a flyer and to then open the skies, and the flyers' minds, to the rest of the land-bound. They are told in sequential order as Maris ages, but resemble short stories featuring the same character more than chapters in a novel. Although the background in each certainly enhances the understanding of the following one, this knowledge is not at all essential to appreciating each chapter as a discrete entity that can stand alone.

Windhaven is a thought-provoking book, challenging us by depicting the potential consequences when young idealists break ancient traditions. The authors gave us a heroine, a planet, and a story that teach as they entertain. --Diana M. Gitig --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Rereleased 20 years after its initial publication, this gentle tale of a woman's quest to live out her dream to fly by award-winning authors Martin (Sandkings, A Storm of Swords) and Tuttle (Lost Futures) concerns the hard choices that come from having a vocation. On stormy Windhaven, the descendants of long-ago stranded star sailors live on widely separated islands. Lacking metals to sustain industrial technology, the inhabitants depend on flyers, humans with wings made from the original star sail, to bring news and carry messages, uniting far-flung communities. Maris, a land-bound female adopted into a flyer family, loves to fly. But when her stepbrother, Coll, turns 13, he stands as first-born to inherit the irreplaceable wings, even as he dreams of being a traveling singer instead. When Maris tries to resolve both quandaries by stealing the wings, she challenges not only flyer law but the basic assumptions of Windhaven society. Establishing competitions to win wings and training academies for students from non-flyer families, and defending a "made" flyer accused of treason for stopping a war, Maris faces the lifelong consequences of talent come into conflict with privilege. Although Martin and Tuttle make the correct choices rather clear, they never ignore the costs. With a well-constructed plot (with only minor slips in logic) presented in prose that reads as fantasy, the book will appeal to a YA audience in addition to Martin and Tuttle fans.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
MARIS RODE THE STORM ten feet above the sea, taming the winds on wide cloth-of-metal wings. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By Katie on Oct. 27 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Agreeably not ASoIaF, this book is still not to be ignored. If it weren't for the high standards we have set for GRRM, this book would have a higher rating. Slower action, but this book really made me think. What would happen, say, if I couldn't ride horses anymore, the one thing I love to do? Maris dreamed of being a flyer since being a little girl. She thought that what you dreamed, you could make reality. She was right. With her father dead, he mother gladly gave her into the care of a flyer, one who flies on metal wings above the storm-wracked islands of Windhaven, delivering messages. When her adopted father's son comes of age, there is a new struggle. Coll, her adopted brother, doesn't want the wings. Maris does. And defying the odds, she changes the system, allowing those of low birth to compete, and have a chance to become a flyer. But then she is forced to help a boy who hates flyers as much as they hate him gain his wings. Fast forward, the most significant scene of all happens. Maris falls. She can never fly again. She no longer feels she has a place with other flyers. This book opened my eyes to the world around me. If you want something that makes you think, laugh, and cry, and reasses your values and how much things mean to you, while telling you the life of an extrodinary character who lead a specatular life, pick up Windhaven. You won't be disappointed.
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By Heather Hall on Sept. 15 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If like myself, you have enjoyed Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Series and been completely blown away by the honesty of his characters, the brilliance of his politics and spent countless hours awake at night, unable to sleep because you just HAVE to know what happens next, please don't read this book. George R. R. Marin may have the utmost respect for the talents of Lisa Tuttle, but after reading this book, I can't say I share his opinion. The concept is good but the characters are flat. Half-way through the book I no longer cared what they thought or what happened to them. I just kept reading in hopes that Martin would pull some of his last minute magic....and it never came. It isn't terrible or full of typos, it is just so typical template fantasy that any ASoIaF fan is going to be frustrated. There is nothing outstanding about this book. If Terry Pratchet were no longer funny and clever or Neil Gaimen were no longer quirky and dark they would lose what distinguishes them from the first time SF/Fantasy author who doesn't know what he/she is doing and there would be no reason to read them. If you are new to the genre, there is nothing wrong with this book, but if you are looking for something more i advise you not to waste your time.
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By ocelot on June 30 2002
Format: Hardcover
Windhaven is an ocean world: there's very little land and it's widely scattered. Sea travel is exceedingly dangerous due to weather and hostile native fauna. Fortunately for communications, low gravity and high air density make it possible for humans to fly, using what are essentially strap-on glider wings made of irreplaceable metallic cloth of some kind. Possession of wings is hereditary and this unsurprisingly defines the planet's aristocracy.
The book is a series of short narratives about periods in the life of a woman who changed the world. Unfortunately, apart from the setting, and the fact they're ostensibly about the same person, there's little or nothing that ties the narratives together into a whole: each narrative is self-contained and they don't build on each other well. Worse, the plots of each of the individual narratives are simpleminded. You don't make sweeping changes in a sociopolitical system by standing up in front of everyone and saying "This is unjust." Even if everyone were to agree -- and they don't, even in the book -- it's just not that simple.
The characterizations are weak as well: apart from the heroine, everyone is either a bit part, a one-dimensional caricature, or in one case a cheerful nonentity meant to serve as someone else's foil. Meanwhile, the heroine totally fails to engage, or at least totally fails to engage me; by the end of the first narrative I had completely stopped caring what happened. It's hard to say precisely why, but I think it's because she's too passive.
Finally, while the setting is an interesting idea, the execution leaves something to be desired. The details as described are aerodynamically unlikely; fine, this isn't so important -- I don't demand that SF be "hard". But it's disappointing.
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By Erin Spock on Oct. 21 2001
Format: Hardcover
I choose to read this book out of admiration for George R.R. Martin's other works.
On the whole, I enjoyed this book. The world was well developed and consistent. You understood and believed the sense of tradition/history that influenced the characters. I was impressed with this aspect.
I also appreciated that this book focused solely on the viewpoint of one character -- something a little different from the norm. It introduced others, and got the reader interested in them -- but the main focus was on Marin.
As a woman, I appreciated the authors interpretation of Marin. I have found in my readings that the authors either dislike women or idolize them -- but rarely do they portray them believably. This follows true for the other works I have read by Martin.
I am not familiar with Tuttles other works -- but, based on the plot aspects that did not follow Martin's style, I was reminded of Mercedes Lackey. The plot was somewhat simplistic and predictable -- but enjoyable nonetheless.
I recommend this book as a fun, quick read -- but nothing to take seriously or get excited about.
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