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Gen's Shelves

Occasional rambles about books I felt strongly enough to review, when I had free time enough to do it.

Currently reading

The Isle of Glass
Judith Tarr
The Broken Crown
Michelle West, Michelle Sagara
Deep Atlantic: Life, Death and Exploration in the Abyss
Richard Ellis
L'élégance du hérisson
Muriel Barbery
Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century England
Keith Thomas
A History of Ancient Egypt: From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid
John Romer
Tiger, Tiger
Lynne Reid Banks
Julie E. Czerneda
Tomorrow's Magic
Pamela F. Service
Marie Brennan

The Steerswoman's Road

The Steerswoman's Road - Rosemary Kirstein I'd been hearing for years about The Steerswoman as a thoughtful fantasy book deeply beloved by a lot of people whose taste I respect. I finally got around to reading it, and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Rowan and Bel are fascinating, three-dimensional characters, and so is everyone else, even the minor characters. More than that, I deeply respect Rosemary Kirstein's worldbuilding here. There's genuine culture clash, and genuine culture variation -- not only do different individuals view things differently, but no culture is a monolith. Every adult character actually acts like an adult, pausing to think things through and weighing duty versus emotion versus morality in responsible ways. It makes me sad in a way that that's so rare in fiction, but it was so refreshing here. And, of course, Rosemary Kirstein is excellent at giving you sudden gutpunches of plot reveals that are, in hindsight, very much built upon groundwork she laid when you weren't looking.

This is actually a compilation of the first two books of this series: The Steerswoman, and The Outskirter's Secret. I'm glad of that, because I devoured both, and was delighted to get to do so sequentially! Now, of course, I need to get my hands on the next two.