Windhaven Mass Market Paperback – Apr 29 2003
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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. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
This book was nice change of pace for me. It wasn't too long and the characters were fairly entertaining. Wasn't engrossing or thought provoking just an entertaining short novel.Published on Feb. 19 2004 by John Bennett
I enjoy Anne McCaffrey books,and I really enjoyed WINDHAVEN. I could not put it down.Published on Dec 2 2003
Windhaven is the story a one person's life in a fantasy setting. It is not a bad story, just not a great one.Published on Sept. 12 2003 by Julie Phillips
Anne McCaffrey told this story first, and much better, with her Dragonriders of Pern series. Several plot elements within the two stories are so similar that Martin and Tuttle must... Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2003 by M. Walters
I had read this book 20 years ago and had almost forgotten how wonderful it is. After just rereading it i cant emphasize what a unique story it is. Read morePublished on Dec 7 2002 by P. Robinson
The 1st 2 parts of this novel (previously published in ANALOG magazine as "The Storms of Windhaven" & "One-Wing") brilliantly Dliver the kind of mood,... Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2002 by Tracy Deaton
This is a pretty novel but not at all to my liking. It is so slow and unengaging at the start and seemed to be just an extension of the hang gliding experience. Read morePublished on Feb. 26 2002 by A. G. Plumb
Every time I walk into a book store, I scan the shelves of new releases for the name George R. R. Martin, so I was pleasantly surprised when my wife pointed this book out to me. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2001