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The Other Wind

by Ursula Le Guin

Although this is the fifth book in a series, it can certainly be read on its own. Even if you don't like fantasy, try this - it gives reality a different shape and is a beautiful story.

Extract

Sails long and white as swan’s wings carried the ship Farflyer through summer air down the bay from the Armed Cliffs toward Gont Port. She glided into the still water landward of the jetty, so sure and graceful a creature of the wind that a couple of townsmen fishing off the old quay cheered her in, waving to the crewmen and the one passenger standing in the prow. He was a thin man with a thin pack and an old black cloak, probably a sorcerer or small tradesman, nobody important. The two fishermen watched the bustle on the dock and the ship’s deck as she made ready to unload her cargo, and only glanced at the passenger with a bit of curiosity when as he left the ship one of the sailors made a gesture behind his back, thumb and first and last finger of the left hand all pointed at him: May you never come back!

Parallels

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
 

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