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Windhaven by George R.R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle

Review by Liara

The World
Windhaven is a very watery planet, inadvertently settled by a colony ship that somehow didn't make it to its destination. Scattered over islands in an ocean that is too dangerous to sail for any distance, the colonists fashioned wings out of their salvaged spaceship and developed a system of flyers to be the main communication between islands. Since there was very little technology, it was almost more of a fantasy setting than science fiction. The world was simple, but interesting.

The Characters
The book is entirely from the perspective of Maris, a flyer. I liked her, and it was nice to get to know her over the many years covered in the book. The other characters are Maris's family, friends, other flyers, etc., and they were fine, but Maris got all the attention.

The Plot
...was pretty simple. Since the planet is poor in metals, there is no way to replace or make more of the precious wings. They are passed down in families and jealously guarded. Maris loves flying more than anything -- but her half brother hates it, and he inherits their father's wings. Maris' challenge to tradition shakes the entire society of Windhaven, both flyers and landbound.

Comments
First of all, Martin fans: this was not at all like A Song of Ice and Fire! In fact, it reminded me strongly of Anne McCaffrey's best Pern books -- the flyers were like dragonriders, the setup of the world was similar, and the entire tone of the book just seemed like Pern (the good ones, mind you :-)). It wasn't a long, heavy, complex book, but it was fun; I really enjoyed it. 4 amulets.


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