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I read the second short story 'One-Wing' when it was first issued in Analog and was swept away to the planet of isolated islands, Windhaven. With an acute shortage of metal, and unceasing winds, the fastest way of communication between islands is by flyers. These trained people use hang-glider type metal wings strapped on to themselves and carry messages.

Traditions have built up as to who can fly and the oldest son usually gets the wings handed down. A girl called Maris rebels in the first story, 'Storms of Windhaven' and says the wings should belong to those best able to use them, as any pair of wings lost in the sea cannot be replaced. She sets up a Woodwings training school and manages to get an agreement on competitions for new flyers.
In 'One-Wing' a brooding man called Val seems determined to win his wings at any cost. He doesn't mean any harm to others, but he knows he's the best and the contest is over several days. Maris has to hold it all together and win her own wings despite the resentment of traditionalists.
And the final story 'The Fall' was written to complete the book and shows how it all plays out over time.
This is very well written and I have not been able to get into anything else by Martin so it may appeal to fans of Tuttle as much as Martin. There is no high-fantasy element, what you see is what you get. The characterisation, detail and atmosphere are excellent.
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OK, this is a book that was originally printed in the early eighties and whilst it is showing its age, it’s a title that still works remarkably well. It’s quirky, has something a bit different for fantasy fans and when added to prose that’s reasonable alongside characters that more than keep the readers interest, all round generates a title that was a fun read.

All round, a novel that I think is trading more on George’s current fame (due to the Game of Thrones TV series) rather than giving the readers the very best but it’s a solid enough book to keep you going.
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on 20 January 2014
As the title says this is a beautifully written book but DO NOT buy it if you are looking for something similar to Game of Thrones. Whilst it is still firmly in the Fantasy genre the story, the characters and the writing are all far gentler with little by way of blood and thunder. Rather it is a deeper and more meaningful book as it follows one woman's fight against ancient customs.
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on 9 August 2005
Georgge RR Martin's characterisation is simply the best in the business, and this collaboration with Lisa Tuttle simply can't be put down. It usually takes me a month or so to get through a novel, and I finished this in 2 days (errrmmm nights) flat. The author's ability to make you engage and feel for the characters is awesome, and the history and imagery of the world of Windhaven is excellent.
I've passed the book on to many friends who have been similarly impressed - buy it, you won't regret it.
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on 18 April 2010
A weak story, not terribly well written or thought out. Reminiscent of Anne McCaffrey, I'm afraid - and not even at her best.

If you are considering buying this book having enjoyed George RR Martin's other works, I'd move on, if I were you. Some of George RR Martin's 'lesser works' are well worth the time - Fevre Dream is great, Tuf Voyaging is surprisingly good fun - but this one is not worth the effort.
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on 24 February 2015
A beautiful re print of a fantastic book.
George RR was but a lad when he and Lisa Tuttle collaborated on this superb "other world" story.
The world is splendidly realized and the evolving story thoroughly gripping.
It does not have the sex and violence of GoT but that is no detriment.
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on 12 December 2000
I hadn't read anything by Lisa Tuttle before, but I am a big fan of George R.R. Martin.
Windhaven is a masterpiece.
It reminds me of another wonderful book, 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull', by Richard Bach.
I felt like I flyed with Maris, carried by the winds, enjoying the freedom of the sky. Although this is a short book, the characters are psychologically well portrayed, so that you will fell you shift your sympathy from one character to the other as the story goes on, but it's the description of the complex relation between the caste of the flyers and the 'land-bound' what really impressed me.
In conclusion I recommend this book, and I suggest you start training hard and save money for the purchase of a hang glider :)
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on 26 April 2010
I like George R R Martin's other works but this was awful. The characters were badly drawn, the background and culture of the people had little development and overall it made me feel like I did not care what happened next which was not helped as the story dragged too. I struggled on to the end because I thought there might be something in there to redeem it. It is a shame because I liked the idea of this book with the flyers and the tradition of passing the wings on to the next generation.

The most helpful thing I can say is give this one a miss and read the series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' instead.
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on 12 March 2015
Great book!
A great story about life for me!
Will read it again and again to savour Mary's life and our flight trough the islands of our personal histories.
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on 6 April 2016
Have not listened to it or read it yet, but Mr Martin produces great work
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