Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Windhaven” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.63  ·  Rating details ·  5,124 ratings  ·  453 reviews
George R. R. Martin has thrilled a generation of readers with his epic works of the imagination, most recently the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling saga told in the novels A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords. Lisa Tuttle has won acclaim from fans of science fiction, horror, and fantasy alike— most recently for her haunting novel The Pillow Friend. Now together they gi ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by Bantam (first published 1975)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Windhaven, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Joanne The lightweight fabric the wings are made from is the remenants of the solar sails from the space ships which brought their ancestors to the world.…moreThe lightweight fabric the wings are made from is the remenants of the solar sails from the space ships which brought their ancestors to the world. They were cut up and used to make the wings, but the world they crash landed on does not have the natural resources to reproduce the wings. Therefore, the wings are heirlooms in the flyer families, and if they are lost or damaged beyond repair then that that's it.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Tomer They can free their hands if needed. For long flights they mention taking nuts and water. In addition if you keep in mind the fears from potential…moreThey can free their hands if needed. For long flights they mention taking nuts and water. In addition if you keep in mind the fears from potential attacks from the air {in case they decide to carry arms}. They can carry packages, for example when they carried the child to safety or even when they bury at sea, by first carrying the body of the dead, before dropping it.
As for the material of the sail, I assume they had cutting tools that were lost over time.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,124 ratings  ·  453 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Windhaven
Tatiana Dengo
This was an unexpected yet welcome find at the bookstore, since I had never heard of this book before, and I've wanted to read more George R. R. Martin books that AREN'T from "A Song of Ice and Fire." Not familiar with Lisa Tuttle's writing, so I can't tell who influenced which ideas/events/characters, but Martin's plot-twisting ingenuity definitely shines through.

The story is not an ordinary take on flying humans. Usually these stories place people up in the clouds somehow, in floating islands
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
An early 1980s collaboration between a now-famous author and a less famous one, Windhaven demonstrates that the young George R.R. Martin had talent for world-building and character-driven storytelling. While not as sprawling and a whole lot less violent than A Game of Thrones, it’ll probably appeal to anyone who liked his more family-friendly Hedge Knight novella.

The story takes place on a distant, windswept ocean world, where humans lost advanced technology generations ago, but were
Ivana Books Are Magic
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Maris has got to be one of the most amazing female protagonists in the history of this genre. She is certainly what I think about when I think about a strong female lead. Her personal development during the course of this novel is nothing short of pure perfection. I mean Maris is an awe-inspiring woman and yet she feels very real during every step of the way. She is wonderfully written and totally convincing. She starts off as a young lady that is determined to change the world she lives in (and ...more
This fantasy appears to me to be in the tradition of Ursula Leguin, replete with a coming of age story bound up with social development issues, moral choices, and fable-like messages. The descendents of marooned starfarers inhabit a world of many small islands. Aside from sailing in an ocean with dangerous sea monsters, the only link between islands is via a cadre of flyers who use wings made of metal struts and special indestructible cloth left over from the ancestors. The aristocracy of flyers ...more
This was my first George R.R. Martin book and it definitely won't be the last, I assure you.

Windhaven is relatively short for the average fantasy book and yet I was SO connected, so enthralled with the characters, the world, the system...EVERYTHING. This is the type of fantasy novel I yearn for when I think of the genre.

What sticks in mind is the way the authors deal with our protaginist: Maris. She's quite immature to begin with which goes hand-in-hand with her age and we watch her grow over/>
Windhaven is a good read but not one that got a lot traction for me. I listened to the audio book and narrator did good job bringing the story to life.

The planet Windhaven is place where star travelers crash landed. Salvaged from the ship were the materials to make wings so that some of the population could fly on the planet's strong and almost never ending winds. Eventually, the planet's islands were colonized and vital messages are carried by "flyers" to the people who inhabit the islands.
Alexander Stormborn
It was an interesting book with a unique world, but although original I did find it lacking. It never had a clear direction other than recounting the protagonist's life and no real antagonist other thab tradition and society. Maybe some people would like this but it made me feel detached from the story.
Jul 22, 2007 rated it did not like it
If like myself, you have enjoyed Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire Series and been completely blown away by the honesty of his characters, the brilliance of his politics and spent countless hours awake at night, unable to sleep because you just HAVE to know what happens next, please don't read this book. George R. R. Marin may have the utmost respect for the talents of Lisa Tuttle, but after reading this book, I can't say I share his opinion. The concept is good but the characters are flat. Half-w ...more
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Everyone knows George R. R. Martin from his A Song of Ice and Fire series, yet a lot of his other books are fun reads as well. I admit that I have only read a handful of his standalone novels, but what I’ve read have been – mostly – good reads. Windhaven is another book to add to the list of non-ASOIAF books people should read if they’re a fan of Martin’s work.

Truthfully, this wasn’t a book I was going to go out of my way to purchase. I’d seen it whilst browsing online on more than o
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I didn't love this one, but I liked it well enough. It is probably the only GRRM story I've read that I didn't absolutely love.

I really enjoyed the premise. The descendants of "star sailors" (astronauts whose ship crashed on a watery planet) use the remnants of the original space ship as wings to fly between islands. There are only so many wings, and the "flyers" have a very special position in society.

The whole story just didn't grab me as much as they usually do. It's s
Guys - I couldn’t finish it. It is descriptively well written. It’s an interesting world. But it’s so slow & there is no character development in the first 150 pages, so I’m just calling it.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alex by: Graeme Dunlop
Awesome YA SF/F with a complex female protagonist.

This is set on a planet with a crashed seed ship. It’s resource poor so society has technologically devolved. The solar sail that brought them here has been taken apart and built into one-person wings. The open seas are dangerous (Here There Be Dragons) so flyers using the wings are the best method to keep the scattered islands connected.

The story follows Maris, who wants to be able to keep flying and not have to pass the
Quintin Zimmermann
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quaint tale in a truly unique and magical world, replete with well-defined characters that grow from cradle to grave.

My sole complaint is that this novel is divided into three distinct parts with major jumps in the time line. This can be rather jarring as it reads like three distinct novellas, instead of a composite novel.
I wouldn't say this is something to write home about as it just felt a little lacklustre and mediocre.
The premise was very good as it seemed a bit more original than the usual flying humans trope. As a whole, though, I think this book could have been better. I quite liked Part One and if the story had been left at that point, I would have been happy. But for the most part, I sometimes found it slow while at other points, I felt like plot points were being skipped or given very little page
Shivam Kalra
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent, excellent read. I don't know how a book is co-authored. From what I could reckon, the prose, writing style, and the art of storytelling, even the characters, reeked of George RR Martin. It has several things which I noticed could have been influences for A Song of Ice and Fire series to follow some 15 years later. Each story in this fixup novel makes your adrenal gland release more hormone than the story before it did. Windhaven is an exemplary example how you can write an impeccab ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I am not familiar with other works of Lisa Tuttle, but I felt this book had a great balance, with just a tiny speck of science-fiction \ fantasy to set things up and let the story take over. It was very well executed with some round figures developing over time, making mistakes and carrying enough meaning over cultural \ society issues that still plague us today. Originally I had expected some more fantastic elements to be involved, but the story did not require any to soar into the air and be c ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Really something different than your average YA fantasy novel. Some characters were a bit hard to grasp, but in general I really loved the interactions between different parts of the world. The world building itself is really well executed. Plot-wise it could have been more interesting, but all in all this was a book I enjoyed reading.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot like Earthsea, and far more fantasy than the science fiction it claims to be. But a lovely book... a compilation of three short novellas tied into one novel.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All the stars in the world for this one. Amazing.
The Grand Shuckett
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it
As a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I was eager to read something else by the marvelous George R. R. Martin. As captivating as that series is, I was sure that anything else he wrote would be just as amazing.

What I Liked:

The world that George R. R. Martin created in A Song of Ice and Fire is so phenomenal, complex, and wonderful that you wonder if he could ever have the capacity to do it again. Well, Windhaven proves his skill. The cultural background and histor
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
For as long as she can remember, fisherman's daughter Maris has wanted to fly. Adopted by on of the fabled flyers, she is given a taste of soaring through the skies using the wings passed down from generation to generation in flyer families. Now that her younger brother, her adoptive father's true son, is coming of age, however, Maris will have to give her wings up - never mind that her brother doesn't even want them and she could not imagine a worse fate than remaining forever grounded. So Mari ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Windhaven is an amazing 35yrs old story/adventure waiting to be discovered.

Divided in 3 parts plus prologue and epilogue, the story advances at a steady pace. The third part being possibly the slower one and my least favourite.

Having to pick one, I would choose the second part as the one I liked most. This section is where all the action occurs and where the most interesting characters are introduced. Where you get the feel of the world and what it means to fly.

One possi
Aug 12, 2008 rated it did not like it
Disappointment is not the right word however dispair is. There is not enough melodrama in the world to explain how awful this book is.

I am sure that I am not going to be alone in reading the 'Ice and Fire' books in awe at the characters, the comlexity, the story line. Geroge R R Martin's volume after volume of brilliance.

I then picked this up...I wanted to like it because of who wrote it but I did not believe in the characters, the plot was flimsy, the premise worse and I
Jiayun Yun
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
I liked the book because it was very real, in the sense that there weren't cliche elements such as ultimate triumphs of good over evil, and the exploits of the characters weren't entirely smooth-sailing. The book conveyed how there will always be disappointments in life, and things can't always turn out the way you want, no matter how much you want them too. And because it was so real, the story was really moving and several times I stopped reading to jump around with excitement. :)

Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, 1970s, ccl
Four star the first time I read it, but didn't get far on a recent reread attempt. Good early vintage Martin.
Cheryl Hall
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very nice read.

Although not quite as rich as A Song of Ice and Fire, I still greatly enjoyed visiting another of George R R Martins worlds.
Kenya Starflight
While I have yet to dive into George R. R. Martin's most famous work, "A Song of Ice and Fire," I have enjoyed other books by him -- Dying of the Light, Fevre Dream, and The Ice Dragon. And while "Windhaven" is a joint effort by him and another author, I had enough faith in his writing to give it a shot. Having finished it, I have to say that it was an enjoyable story, but definitely one of his early works and not as enjoyable as his other novels.

The world of Windhaven is a world of islands and storms.
S.J. Higbee
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story charts the fortunes of Maris, who we first meet as a small child, foraging for anything of value on the beach when she makes a life-changing encounter. She meets a flyer called Russ who picks the child up and treats her dream of being a flyer as something more than just the imaginings of some land-bound brat. He eventually adopts her and trains her – until unexpectedly, he has a son. Maris helps to bring the motherless boy up, until the terrible day when she is forced to hand over the ...more
Review is always available on my blog The Shameful Narcissist Speaks.

This book is actually an amalgamation of three novellas: "Storms," "One-Wing," and "Fallen." A great deal of time passes in between them, though they do follow chronologically. The basis of the story reminded me a bit of Zilpha Keatley Snyder's Green Sky Trilogy (which begins with Below the Root) where fantastic tales are told about "sky sailors" flying to this world. In Windhaven, they crash landed long, long ago and were unable
Joana Veríssimo
I gifted my brother this book years ago and I finally got to read it too and it was so GOOD!!!
The story was so well told, divided in three distinct moments (plus an epilogue) and they just read so well - each part tells a full story :) All these "episodes" were all set in different moments of Maris' life and you really get to see her grow up (her and the people around her), but besides seeing individual characters change, you also see the world of Windhaven change and how decisions in that
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Урок первый: Не проклинай своего директора (Академия Проклятий, #1)
  • Hellstrom's Hive
  • The Book of Swords
  • Ιστορίες μαθηματικής φαντασίας
  • enathanpal Unai Velven
  • Planet of Adventure (Planet of Adventure, #1-4)
  • பால் நிலா
  • உயிராக நானே உறவாகினேனே
  • A Treasury of Science Fiction
  • maivizhi mayakkam (மைவிழி மயக்கம்)
  • வெண்மையில் எத்தனை நிறங்கள்
  • The Silver Bough
  • Mounangal Avalathu Mozhiyagum
  • காணும் யாவிலும் நீயே : KAANUM YAAVILUM NEEYEE
  • Królestwo popiołów. Część 1 (Szklany tron, #7A)
  • ベルゼブブ嬢のお気に召すまま。 6 [Beelzebub-jou no Oki ni Mesu mama. 6] (As Miss Beelzebub Likes, #6)
  • On Top of Everything
  • Ветрената мелница
See similar books…
George R.R. Martin was born September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father was Raymond Collins Martin, a longshoreman, and his mother was Margaret Brady Martin. He has two sisters, Darleen Martin Lapinski and Janet Martin Patten.

Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. He began writing very young, selling monster stories to other neighborhood children for pennies,
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“It was the feel of it, the love of it, not the thought: it was instinct and reflex and knowing the wind, and Maris was the wind.” 3 likes
“For as long as this song is sung they'll know about you - the girl who wanted wings so much she changed the world.” 2 likes
More quotes…