Kirstein, Rosemary: (04) The Language of Power

Rosemary Kirstein’s The Language of Power is the fourth and most recent Steerswoman book. This time, the subject is a closer look at the wizards, as Rowan investigates an anomaly: a wizard who, at a significant point in history, changed overnight from capricious to kindly, and drew the attention of a Steerswoman—but died before she arrived.

This starts a little slowly, but kicks into high gear roughly halfway through with the first of three wonderfully tense sequences in a row, and culminates in another revelation that opens the world up even further for the reader. (However, I do not recommend reading this as a substitute for a nap, lest you completely misunderstand said revelation the way I did initially.) The book also contains the fine, compassionate characterization that I have come to expect, including another detailed look at a town and its social dynamics.

A spoiler post follows.


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  1. Kate,
    You’re much more tuned-in to the world of fandom than I am — have you heard anything recent about when the next Steerswoman book might arrive? It has now been more than 4 years since The Language of Power came out.
    The last I heard was more than a year ago, to the effect that Kirstein had publicly read an excerpt from her next book, which was NOT going to be The City in the Crags, and was still sufficiently early in development that it might yet be rewritten from first-person to third-person.

  2. Thanks, Kate.

  3. I met Ms. Kirstein at Boskone. No ETA, but you may find the report interesting. ‘Ware spoilers for the series halfway down, if someone reads this who hasn’t read the books yet.

  4. Thanks for the update, Kate.
    As a variation on “the storyteller’s bowl”, I wonder if The Internet ™ could provide enough willing funds to buy her a 3 or 4 month leave-without-pay from her job? Probably not, if it’s a good job, unless a white knight of a wealthy patron came out of the woodwork.
    (Sadly, being the patron of a single artist is probably not a tax-deductible charitable act. That’s just wrong.)

  5. Not to mention that not all jobs would _let_ you take that kind of leave . . .

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