Synopses & Reviews
Rosemary Kirsteins acclaimed epic continues, as a servant of truth journeys through a world where the powerful rule by lies.
The steerswomen were seekers, collectors of knowledge, and whatever they learned was free for the asking. The wizards also had knowledge- the knowledge to command nature itself-but they jealously guarded their dark wisdom. The two groups have been at odds for centuries:
They do not agree, they do not converse, they do not associate.
Now the steerswoman Rowan has uncovered evidence that the master wizard, Slado, is conjuring dangerous spells in shadow, devastating the distant lands called the Outskirts and changing the course of the world. Rowan has no choice: Slado must be stopped . . . if he can even be found.
Following a dubious clue, Rowan and her friend Bel, an Outskirter, have come to the city of Donner, seeking answers from the past for a danger in the present. But the secrets go deeper than Rowan had ever imagined, compelling her to wonder: What if all this time she has been asking the wrong questions?
"Like its predecessor, The Lost Steersman (2003), Kirstein's highly entertaining fourth book in her Steerswomen series offers plenty of humor and intrigue while seamlessly blending fantasy and SF. Steerswoman Rowan, who travels the world collecting and disseminating information, has come to Donner to investigate the wizard Kieran, who died 42 years earlier when an orbiting Guidestar, responsible for clearing land for the nomadic Outskirters' herds, fell from the sky. Rowan knows the Guidestar was destroyed by the master wizard Slado, once Kieran's apprentice, but the generation-old issue has now become even more important, because Slado recently used Guidestar magic to destroy three Outskirter tribes. Rowan needs to learn all she can about Slado and his allies but that means avoiding Donner's current wizard, Jannik, and working with William, a runaway wizard's apprentice who has secrets of his own. Kirstein deftly captures the joy of Rowan's 'eureka' moments as she learns to view magical power in a revolutionary way. Especially well done is the scene where she grasps the concept of programming, then proceeds to work out the steps of a list of instructions on dragons to fool a herd of the deadly beasts. This is fiction for readers who appreciate clever world-building and surprises as much as they like action and character. Agent, Frances Collin. (Aug. 31)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The next novel in the series about the steerswoman's quest to uncover the secrets of her world, following The Lost Steersman.