Le Guin is a gift, an American Treasure. When I run across something of hers' I haven't read I get that hidden treasure revealed feeling. "The Other Wind" did not disappoint- I didn't want it to end. Thank you dear lady.
A man who dreads sleep because he visits the wall between the dead and the living is seeking help. He lost his beloved wife to whom he was bound by heart and mind. When she calls to him from death he visits the wall, touches her hand and she kisses him. From there on, whenever he sleeps the dead call to him asking to be freed.
Alder is a minor sorcerer who is kind and thoughtful. His talent is useful to those around him. He's a mender. He can mend broken fences, pottery, harness, whatever people need. However, his fear of sleep and dreaming is robbing him of time for his talent.
Traveling from place to place and person to person seeking help, he finally finds someone who can help him sleep by taking his talent. It's no matter he says. However, this is not the final solution. Only this humble man can save the land. There are dragons, a strong young king, a princess and Alder. What they have in common is to be seen.