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The Language of Power by Rosemary Kirstein
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The Language of Power (edition 2004)

by Rosemary Kirstein

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2531464,647 (4.23)12
Member:jjmcgaffey
Title:The Language of Power
Authors:Rosemary Kirstein
Info:Del Rey (2004), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, Read, ebooks, Working on, Cover maybe done
Rating:****
Tags:Fic, SF, __need_review, !dunno, __check_cover, !Po, __make_cover, _import171115

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The Language of Power by Rosemary Kirstein

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» See also 12 mentions

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I forget who recommended the first book in this series, The Steerswoman, but when I came across a copy in a local charity shop, I bought it, later read it… and liked it so much I went and tracked down the remaining Steerswoman books (only the first was ever published in the UK, so I had to buy US editions… and there was such a long gap between books two and three that the first two were re-issued in an omnibus edition.) The Language of Power follows directly on from The Lost Steersman, but none of the books really make much sense unless read in order from The Steerswoman. Rowan is back in the seaport of Donner, trying to make sense of the events recounted in previous book. But her efforts to track down the records of a previous Steerswoman draw unwanted attention from the wizards… but then she stumbles upon Will, the boy genius who was taken on as apprentice by a friendly wizard, and it seems they’re trying to figure out the same things. These books are hugely likeable, and the presentation of science fiction as fantasy is perfectly pitched. It’s not a new idea, by any means – even Robert Jordan used it, for example – but Kirstein’s talent is in presenting understandable science fiction to the reader, not a handful of sf buzzwords or well-worn tropes, in such a way that it’s obvious this is sf to everyone except the characters. Sadly, the story is not yet complete and the recent installments have taken a while to appear. But it’s worth hanging in there, because these books are lots of fun. ( )
  iansales | May 4, 2017 |
Much better than book 3. A far deeper glimpse into the world of the wizards than we have seen so far, answering many suspicions and guesses from previous books. Like book 1 & 2 sets up and solves a compelling mystery while moving the overall story forward. Will be back for the next book. ( )
  bhutton | Oct 19, 2016 |
A would read again.

One of my favorite series. ( )
  adamwolf | Jun 7, 2016 |
This, the 4th book in the Steerswoman series, absolutely does not finish the story. I really do hope that Kirstein does finish it - and that we're not in for another 11 year wait, as there was between the second and third books. Although this is a good bok, and an excellent entry into the series, I was also disappointed that it does not deal with some of the most dramatic revelations of the previous book at all. (Intelligent aliens! Possibly threatened by humanity's existence on the planet! What to do?) Instead, Rowan is back to trying to go up against the mysterious wizard Slado, trying to divine his motives and figure out his 'magic' - which, to us, looks an awful lot like technology. Again, this is an excellent book - and it's a pleasure just to be able to spend more time with Rowan - but hopefully the next installment is on the way!
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Another strong entry in the Steerswoman series. Unfortunately and frustratingly the last. I have some ideas about what's going on but it's still very sad to not having more to read about Rowan. ( )
  kenzen | Feb 23, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034546835X, Paperback)

Rosemary Kirstein’s 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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:02 -0400)

"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?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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