Broadside No. 14 – Rosemary Kirstein

Ahoy there me mateys!  Welcome to the fourteenth broadside – the Rosemary Kirstein edition.  Now this author only has written one series called the Steerswoman series.  I read the omnibus eons ago and loved it.  The physical book lives on me shelf in me quarters.  Unfortunately this series seems to have been lost in the shuffle of time and does not have the hype it deserves.  So imagine me surprise when when of me favourite crew members Sarah @ brainfluff mentioned it.  Not only did I find out there were kindle versions but apparently the series has four books!  I have only read the first two.  So I thought this broadside would be a great opportunity to mention them to me crew.  Plus I now have a hankerin’ to reread the first two books and get me greedy hands on the second two books . . .

Please note: All book descriptions are from the author’s website and the book title links lead to Goodreads.

the steerswoman (book one)

Okay it has been long enough the details of this novel have washed away with the tide.  However some broad strokes remain.  One of the elements of this series that I remember adoring was the extremely strong place women hold in society.  As Goodreads states, “Steerswomen, and a very few Steersmen, are members of an order dedicated to discovering and disseminating knowledge. Although they are foremost navigators of the high seas, Steerswomen are also explorers and cartographers upon land as well as sea.”  The steerswomen can only speak the truth and must answer any question ye ask.  In return, if asked a question by her ye must answer or be cut off from steerswomen’s knowledge.  In me early sci-fi and fantasy reading, it was hard to find women as main characters, much less strong, intelligent ones.  The world that Kirstein set up was fascinating.  From interpersonal relationships, to magic, to the hunt for truth, I loved this. novel.  Need more proof?  Check out this review of book one from me matey Sarah @ brainfluff.

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:


If you ask, she must answer. A steerswoman’s knowledge is shared with any who request it; no steerswoman may refuse a question, and no steerswoman may answer with anything but the truth.

And if she asks, you must answer. It is the other side of tradition’s contract — and if you refuse the question, or lie, no steerswoman will ever again answer even your most casual question.

And so, the steerswomen — always seeking, always investigating — have gathered more and more knowledge about the world they traveled, and they share that knowledge freely.

Until the day that the steerswoman Rowan begins asking innocent questions about one small, lovely, inexplicable object…

Her discoveries grow stranger and deeper, and more dangerous, until suddenly she finds she must flee or fight for her life. Or worse — lie.

Because one kind of knowledge has always been denied the the steerswomen:


the outskirter’s secret (book two)

Again fuzzy on details but I thought book two was more awesome than the first one.  Need more proof?  Check out this review of book two from me matey Sarah @ brainfluff.

The author’s website has this to say about the novel:


Two shining lights hung above, motionless in the night sky as the constellations slowly passed behind them.  The common folk knew them well, and used them to count the hours, mark the seasons.

But when the steerswoman Rowan discovered a number of broken blue jewels of clearly magical origin, her investigations led to a startling discovery: a Guidestar had fallen.

There were more than two; the others hung above the opposite side of the world; something had caused one of those to fall.

But what? And what might it mean?  Rowan had no answers…

But she knew one thing: where the fallen Guidestar was located.  To reach it, she must cross the Inner Lands and pass deep into the wild and deadly Outskirts.

Rowan’s travelling companion, Bel,  is an Outskirter herself.  Together the steerswoman and the warrior-poet have a chance of surviving the cruel landscape,  the barbarian tribes, and the bizarre native wildlife.

But there are more secrets than one in the Outskirts: and each step closer to the Guidestar brings new truths, leading to the most startling secret of all…

So that be me introduction to Rosemary Kirstein’s novels.  Be on the lookout for second reflections of books one and two here on me blog as well as insights into the next two when I get me hands on ’em.  If ye haven’t read any of her novels I would suggest ye hoist those sails and get moving!

To visit her website go to:

Rosemary Kirstein – Author

To see a complete list of all books she has written visit:

Rosemary Kirstein – Books

To add this author or her novels to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

If ye missed me other author broadsides:

Garth Nix – No. 1

Sharon Shinn – No. 2

John Scalzi – No. 3

Tamora Pierce – No. 4

Brandon Sanderson – No. 5

Robin McKinley – No. 6

Michael Crichton – No. 7

Mercedes Lackey – No. 8

Dean Kootnz – No. 9

Justine Larbalestier – No. 10

Neil Gaiman – No. 11

Kate Elliot – No. 12

George R.R. Martin – No. 13

18 thoughts on “Broadside No. 14 – Rosemary Kirstein

  1. Hmm…might give this one a go. The Steerswomen kinda make me think of the Aes Sedai, women with powers who must always speak truth, from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.


      1. Yea, you probably won’t like it. I’m tempted to give up on it (again) myself. Some of the characters are so annoying…I bet you’d make them walk the plank.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah man. Everytime I decide to, I get curious about the story all over again. The story is interesting, but those characters…and the dialogue…aargh! Torture.


  2. Thank you so much for the shout-out, Cap! And I’m entirely with you – she is very underrated. I’ve got the next two books in the quartet and am hoping to read the third one, The Lost Steersman, this coming month.

    Liked by 1 person

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