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Windhaven [Format Kindle]

George R. R. Martin , Lisa Tuttle

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Maris rode the storm ten feet above the sea, taming the winds on wide cloth-of-metal wings. She flew fiercely, recklessly, delighting in the danger and the feel of the spray, not bothered by the cold. The sky was an ominous cobalt blue, the winds were building, and she had wings; that was enough. She could die now, and die happy, flying.

She flew better than she ever had before, twisting and gliding between the air currents without thought, catching each time the updraft or downwind that would carry her farther or faster. She made no wrong choices, was forced into no hasty scrambles above the leaping ocean; the tacking she did was all for joy. It would have been safer to fly high, like a child, up above the waves as far as she could climb, safe from her own mistakes. But Maris skimmed the sea, like a flyer, where a single dip, a brush of wing against water, meant a clumsy tumble from the sky. And death; you don't swim far when your wingspan is twenty feet.

Maris was daring, but she knew the winds.

Ahead she spied the neck of a scylla, a sinuous rope dark against the horizon. Almost without thinking, she responded. Her right hand pulled down on the leather wing grip, her left pushed up. She shifted the whole weight of her body. The great silver wings -- tissue thin and almost weightless, but immensely strong -- shifted with her, turning. One wingtip all but grazed the whitecaps snapping below, the other lifted; Maris caught the rising winds more fully, and began to climb.

Death, sky death, had been on her mind, but she would not end like that -- snapped from the air like an unwary gull, lunch for a hungry monster.

Minutes later she caught up to the scylla, and paused for a taunting circle just beyond its reach. From above she could see its body, barely beneath the waves, the rows of slick black flippers beating rhythmically. The tiny head, swaying slowly from side to side atop the long neck, ignored her. Perhaps it has known flyers, she thought then, and it does not like the taste.

The winds were colder now, and heavy with salt. The storm was gathering strength; she could feel a trembling in the air. Maris, exhilarated, soon left the scylla far behind. Then she was alone again, flying effortlessly, through an empty, darkening world of sea and sky where the only sound was the wind upon her wings.

In time, the island reared out of the sea: her destination. Sighing, sorry for the journey's end, Maris let herself descend.

Gina and Tor, two of the local land-bound -- Maris didn't know what they did when they weren't caring for visiting flyers -- were on duty out on the landing spit. She circled once above them to catch their attention. They rose from the soft sand and waved at her. The second time she came around they were ready. Maris dipped lower and lower, until her feet were just inches above the ground; Gina and Tor ran across the sand parallel to her, each beside a wing. Her toes brushed surface and she began to slow in a shower of sand.

Finally she stopped, lying prone on the cool, dry sand. She felt silly. A downed flyer is like a turtle on its back; she could get on her feet if she had to, but it was a difficult, undignified process. Still, it had been a good landing.

Gina and Tor began to fold up her wings, joint by foot-long joint. As each strut unlocked and folded back on the next segment, the tissue fabric between them went limp. When all the extensors were pulled in, the wings hung in two loose folds of drooping metal from the central axis strapped to Maris' back.

"We'd expected Coll," said Gina, as she folded back the final strut. Her short dark hair stood out in spikes around her face.

Maris shook her head. It should have been Coll's journey, perhaps, but she had been desperate, longing for the air. She'd taken the wings -- still her wings -- and gone before he was out of bed.

"He'll have flying enough after next week, I expect," Tor said cheerfully. There was still sand in his lank blond hair and he was shivering a little from the sea winds, but he smiled as he spoke. "All the flying he'll want." He stepped in front of Maris to help her unstrap the wings.

"I'll wear them," Maris snapped at him, impatient, angered by his casual words. How could he understand? How could any of them understand? They were land-bound.

She started up the spit toward the lodge, Gina and Tor falling in beside her. There she took the usual refreshments and, standing before a huge open fire, allowed herself to be dried and warmed. The friendly questions she answered curtly, trying to be silent, trying not to think, This may be the last time. Because she was a flyer, they all respected her silence, though with disappointment. For the land-bound, the flyers were the most regular source of contact with the other islands. The seas, daily storm-lashed and infested with scyllas and seacats and other predators, were too dangerous for regular ship travel except among islands within the same local group. The flyers were the links, and the others looked to them for news, gossip, songs, stories, romance.

"The Landsman will be ready whenever you are rested," Gina said, touching Maris tentatively on the shoulder. Maris pulled away, thinking, Yes, to you it is enough to serve the flyers. You'd like a flyer husband, Coll perhaps when he's grown -- and you don't know what it means to me that Coll should be the flyer, and not I. But she said only, "I'm ready now. It was an easy flight. The winds did all the work."

Gina led her to another room, where the Landsman was waiting for her message. Like the first room, this was long and sparsely furnished, with a blazing fire crackling in a great stone hearth. The Landsman sat in a cushioned chair near the flames; he rose when Maris entered. Flyers were always greeted as equals, even on islands where the Landsmen were worshipped as gods and held godlike powers.

After the ritual greetings had been exchanged, Maris closed her eyes and let the message flow. She didn't know or care what she said. The words used her voice without troubling her conscious thought. Probably politics, she thought. Lately it had all been politics.

When the message ended, Maris opened her eyes and smiled at the Landsman -- perversely, on purpose, because he looked worried by her words. But he recovered quickly and returned her smile. "Thank you," he said, a little weakly. "You've done well."

She was invited to stay the night, but she refused. The storm might die by morning; besides, she liked night flying. Tor and Gina accompanied her outside and up the rocky path to the flyers' cliff. There were lanterns set in the stone every few feet, to make the twisting ascent safer at night.

Revue de presse

Praise for Windhaven:

"A powerful flight of the imagination ... wrought by a pair of writers noted for excellence."—Roger Zelazny

"Told with a true storyteller's voice: clear, singing, persuasive, and wonderfully moving. They have made a mythic land and peopled it with unforgettable characters. It is a book for adults and children who have dreamed of flying with their own wings, and for story listeners of all ages for whom dreams are as potent as realities. A truly wonderful book."—Jane Yolen

"It's a romance. It's science fantasy. It's beautiful."—A.E. van Vogt

"The pace never slackens, shifting easily from moments of almost unbearable tension to others of sheer poetry and exhilaration. Martin and Tuttle make wonderful professional music together."
-- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

For George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones:

"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant."-- Robert Jordan

"A grand feast and pageant: George R. R. Martin has unveiled for us an intensely realized, romantic but realistic world."-- Chicago Sun-Times

A Clash of Kings:

"Destined to be one of the best fantasy series ever written."-- The Denver Post

"Rivals T. H. White's The Once and Future King."-- The Des Moines Register

For Lisa Tuttle's The Pillow Friend:

"A disturbing novel about dreams and wishes, a nightmarish distaff monkey's paw of a book that it's impossible to forget. Lisa Tuttle remains our preeminent chronicler of family madness and desire."-- Neil Gaiman

"Stunning. This novel shows us that what we hide from ourselves, and what we make up, may be more real than reality itself."-- Library Journal

Lost Futures:

"Lisa Tuttle's best fiction is like a slow settling of vast planes of thought and emotion -- luminous, quiet, wry and often bitter. The edges almost always admit other worlds, sometimes horrific, whose full import may be revealed, fully and skillfully, in a single, telling line."-- Kathleen Ann Goonan, The New York Review of Science Fiction

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 4910 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 416 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0553577905
  • Editeur : Bantam (29 avril 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°215.696 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 étoiles sur 5  85 commentaires
52 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Martin = quality 12 juin 2001
Par Patrick Landy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Don't buy this book expecting the Song of Fire and Ice. This is a much simpler story or collection of stories depending on your point of view. The story revolves around the life of Maris a land-bound who wishes to join the fliers (society's elite), and it is broken up into three sections at different stages of her life. As with his other books, Martin lays out the issues and lets the reader decide if the heroine's actions are for better or for worse. Much as with real life, the answer is not always clear. I thought the main point of this story was the idea that an individual's action have reprecussions. You can't just change one thing and expect everything to stay the same.
The characters in this book are simple, but developed enough in the time you read about them to develop an attachement to them. I thought the characters also acted realistically in many different situations.
I have read already a negative review of this book and I had to laugh. Just in general, can we stop comparing every fantasy novel to Tolken please! Yes, we all know how good Tolken was. And, yes The Lord of the Rings will probably sit atop the fantasy book pile for the rest of eternity as king, but let's give it a rest.
This book is a good, short, simple, light fantasy story. If you have not read any of Martin's Song of Fire and Ice, I would highly, highly recommend it.
33 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A pleasant flight 12 août 2001
Par Anna Keaney - Publié sur Amazon.com
It seems unfair (or perhaps just ignorant) to criticize a book based on its author's other works, but Windhaven's faults are made all the more apparent because thanks to "A Song of Ice and Fire" we know what George R.R. Martin is capable of. If Windhaven were simply different because of style, approach, or content, it wouldn't be so easily comparable to his latest works. As it is, the same elements are there: a unique world, sympathetic characters, attractive yet conflicting philosophies. But unlike in "A Song of Ice and Fire," it's not taken far enough, and the reader never inhabits the story in the same powerful way.
The world of "Windhaven" is engaging; a mostly oceanic globe dotted with island archipelagos. The seas connecting these scattered homes are perilous, and ship travel chancy and slow. The bulk of inter-island contact is made via Flyers; an elite group of men and women trained to ride the constant winds on wings made from the remnants of the spaceship which first landed there. Flyers in Windhaven are nobility of sorts, with the precious wings handed down to the firstborn of each generation. The rest of the population is "land-bound," with a Landsman leader for each island, but mostly appearing to be merchant and peasant classes.
Maris is one of these peasants; a fisherfolk daughter. Although she is land-bound she worships the flyers and eventually gets the use of a pair of wings. As it happens she is a brilliant flyer, no happier than when in the sky. However, the surrogate father who lent her wings eventually has a trueborn son, and plans to strip Maris of both wings and title of Flyer, as tradition mandates.
Here begins the argument that takes one form or another in each of the book's three sections; should wings and flyer's privilege be inherited or earned? Maris's stepbrother has no interest or ability in flying, and Maris has both. Why should she or any other land-bound be denied the wings simply because of her birth? The first section, "Storms," describes her struggle to break tradition and become a flyer, the second section, "One-Wing," delves further into the flyer/land-bound conflict with a controversial land-bound flyer (Val), and the third examines flyer and land-bound rights in "The Fall."
The stories are lightly interesting, but are overly simplistic. Maris's argument to become a flyer is far too easily accepted in such a supposedly tradition-bound society. Val is distasteful but has "childhood trauma" reasons for being so, so is rendered far less potent. And in "The Fall," the weakest of the three, land-bound and flyer politics are muddled, people's actions and reactions unclear. Without giving away the story, a group of flyers gathers over a tainted city, circling in black, never seeming to rest. It's supposed to be a disconcerting image, meant to rattle the city's ruler and get him to yield to their terms, but it's never clear why it should. The flyers do not attack, do not say anything; they do nothing but fly. If the Landsman were to wait long enough, one would think the flyers would eventually have to go home; it wouldn't make sense that they would stay away from their duties for so little purpose indefinitely.
This is the main problem of "Windhaven"; a lack of power. We know people are experiencing life-altering issues, but they're presented so simply that they have little strength to move us. The conflicts between the different aspects of society (flyers, land-bound, Landsmen) would be interesting but are never truly explored. They're only mentioned in order to manufacture conflict between flyers. Martin's latest books brilliantly examine different sides of the story with the effect of tearing the reader in two, not being able to say what is right or wrong. "Windhaven" just glances in the direction of such conflict, choosing a simpler, more pat resolution.
It's always interesting to read an author's earlier works and watch the writing change over the years. A major change is dialog; Martin's years in television and movies have drastically improved his character's speech since "Windhaven." One thing that hasn't changed is his ability to open his world to us. The flying sequences are bright, while the land and seascapes come easily to life. If you don't look too deep, "Windhaven" can be a pleasant glide over a colorful map. It just isn't as interesting when you land.
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Freedom of Wings 3 août 2004
Par Darryl Fabia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
In the world of Windhaven, freedom lies in wings. The area is composed of islands, some farther from others. Ships take time to travel and can't risk the open seas due to storms or fierce sea monsters. To relay messages quickly, the people of the islands rely on flyers, those who use an apparatus called wings to soar from isle to isle.

Maris is a young land-born girl who loves to watch the flyers. By chance, she is taken in by one and is allowed to use the wings, learning to fly as she grows older. But because she wasn't born into the family, her younger brother is the one who will inherit the wings and gift of flight when he comes of age.

"Windhaven" is divided into three central stories (as well as an introduction and epilogue) detailing the life of Maris as she changes the world, for better or for worse. She dreams of being a flyer and will go through anything to achieve that dream. She loves flying, and the threat of that freedom being taken away frightens her.

This book touched me. Realizing how much Maris loves flying and then realizing how it's going to be taken from her is heart-breaking, and her determination is endearing. A diverse cast of characters from different points in Maris's life flesh out the story with strong personalities. Maris meets friends and foes of both flyers and land-bound, trying to sort out the problems of her world and the barriers between people, even under the threat of death and exile.

I felt a personal connection to the descriptions of Maris's flights. One of my old childhood fantasies was to have wings and be able to fly, to feel the air around me and see everything below. This book grabbed onto the old love, making the story all the more endearing.

There are a lot of garbage fantasy books out there. Too many authors have their teeth clenched onto Tolken and won't let go. I was pleased to find this book so original and enchanting. George Martin and Lisa Tuttle know the secret to good fantasy is the magic of characters. The flights across Windhaven are fantastic through Maris's eyes and a reader wishing to experience an excellent story should read "Windhaven," and see through Maris's eyes like I have.
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Quirky, but fascinating 18 octobre 2000
Par David Rasquinha - Publié sur Amazon.com
The great thing about George R.R. Martin is his uncanny ability to write superb books in different sub-genres. Windhaven is a classic tale of a pebble generating massive waves in a placid pond. Till Maris rebels, the placid populace of Windhaven never thinks to question the feudal hold of the flyers and their hereditary rights. Even Maris rebels not so much on general principle but because she is personally impacted. However as the story progresses, she grows in maturity till by the end, her battle is totally on account of principle. As with change in any feudal society, you have the classic instances of resistance by vested interests, friends unable to understand, relationships being broken because the non-revolutionary partner cannot or will not mature along with the rebel, the sheer horror when choosing principle over sentiment can mean the end of a lifelong friendship. Science fiction or fantsay may be the genre, but Martin's stregth is the painting of Windhaven, its way of life, its people. There are no "bad" characters as such, just ordinary people, each with their own circumstances and motivations. Here is Martin's forte: in explaining the various motivations, he brings the characters to life and makes it easy to identify with this world, totally alien as it may be. The juxtaposition of the familiar and the strange is so well done as to be almost seamless. The end too is inspired. This is not the traditional "lived happily ever after" tale. As with most events in the book, the end is bitter sweet and reflective of real life. Recommended to any fan of good reading, science fiction of otherwise. Thios is an author who is much under-rated.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Fun, Quick Read 22 octobre 2001
Par Erin Spock - Publié sur Amazon.com
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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