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on 8 February 2016
As with the previous three books, this is a hugely clever and enjoyable read. The pacing (with one exception regarding the dragons) is must improved compared to the previous two books and William and Bel return - which is great - but sadly Zenna (the Steerswoman from book 3) is not present and is only mentioned in passing.
The book is mainly set in Donner so the story comes full circle location wise as this is where book one was partially set. The series can be placed in the sub genre of 'mystery fantasy' and for me that's my favourite type; I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Rowan's attempts to learn more about Wizards and their history by chatting to the locals and I loved that more was revealed about their machinations and the greater world and plot in this book; the most since book one. The blend of sci fi and fantasy is stupendous and I think that Rosemary Kirstein is a superb author who has created a fantastic world and characters in a very unique untapped genre.
Unfortunately, there is no resolution to the overall story and after coming this far I feel a little let down. You read because you want an absorbing beginning, middle and end to a story, but it seems there will be no end. This book was written years ago, so I'm extremely dubious that a fifth book will appear.
It's a real shame because the author created a great world but it's incomplete. In my opinion there was too much procrastination in books two and three, preventing the story from moving forward sufficiently, which is a shame. 8/10.
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on 5 July 2016
Another brilliant book from Rosemary Kirstein - I can't wait for the next one. My only complaint is that the inhabitants of Donner are rather too brave and rather too supportive - but I want to live there!

If you want a well written, absorbing, well plotted and intriguing series, this is the one for you - only problem being that we are waiting for Rosemary to finish the next one.....
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on 7 December 2015
This book was right back on form and I devoured it in less time than I would have believed possible. I love the level of descriptive detail which Ms Kirstein gives us, you can see everything that hapoens. Wonderful writing.
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on 11 July 2014
Another brilliant stage of the quest of Rowan the Steerswoman to find and hold to account Slado, the seemingly evil master wizard. In this book a lot of progress is made and a lot of questions answered, mostly because an old friend reappears, and since they have been apart he has gained a lot of knowledge of 'magic'. Again, the characters are vivid and thoroughly portrayed, the plot twists and turns and keeps you turning pages to find out what happens next. I've come to love all the characters in this series, and am desperate to know what happens next.

Please Rosemary Kirstein, finish the next one soon!
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on 12 December 2014
The only thing that I disliked about this book was finishing it all the time knowing that the next in the series is not available.
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fourth novel in a series by rosemary kirstein, set in a primitive world that is recognisably ours a long time after something destroyed civilisation as we know it. The main character is rowan, a woman from a group called the sterswoman. These are people who travel the lands seeking out knowledge. Over the course of the story so far, rowan has been trying to find a magician [or scientist, as you will] who has some sinister scheme in mind.

The latest volume of the tale involves her and her friend bel, a warrior woman who makes a welcome return after missing most of book three, in a town trying to get information they require. an old friend reappears to help them, but a few surprises await.

You could possibly get into this book if you haven't read the preceding ones, but I recommend starting with them because this is just so very good it's a pleasure to read the whole tale. Rosemary Kirstein writes excellent and very readable prose and her main characters are well drawn and engaging. The nature of rowan's world makes for an intriguing ongoing story. And it's not over yet! This is book four in a series, and we had to wait almost ten years between two and three.

A very good fantasy novel and well worth getting. Please don't make us wait ten years for volume five!
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on 19 January 2016
All of these books about Rowen the Steerswoman are superb.
We do like intelligent women!
Ms.Kirsten is a fluid and elegant writer and her plots are interesting and original.
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