The planet of Windhaven was not originally a home to humans, but it became one following the crash of a colony starship. It is a world of small islands, harsh weather, and monster-infested seas. Communication among the scattered settlements was virtually impossible until the discovery that, thanks to light gravity and a dense atmosphere, humans were able to fly with the aid of metal wings made of bits of the cannibalized spaceship.
Many generations later, among the scattered islands that make up the water world of Windhaven, no one holds more prestige than the silver-winged flyers, who bring news, gossip, songs, and stories. They are romantic figures crossing treacherous oceans, braving shifting winds and sudden storms that could easily dash them from the sky to instant death. They are also members of an increasingly elite caste, for the wings—always in limited quantity—are growing gradually rarer as their bearers perish.
When possibly your favourite author has written a recommendation for a book you kind of have to read it! I could certainly see why Anne McCaffrey would feel that way about it as there are several ingredients of this book that resemble her excellent Dragonriders of Pern series.
This was an interesting read with a unique world and a well developed lead character. Maris starts off young, naive and altruistic but over the course of her life becomes a strong, world changing figure.
This book is actually a collection of 3 separate volumes, charting different periods in Maris’ life and the switch in years can be a little jarring – I sometimes felt that I would have liked to read more about what happened in the time the authors skipped. This is especially true of the period leading up to Maris actually becoming a Flyer.
Readers who come to this book because of A Song Of Ice and Fire should be warned that this tale has far less action and violence than that series – most of the ‘big moments’ of Windhaven are political maneuvering rather than battles.