The steerswoman centered her chart on the table and anchored the corners around.
–Rosemary Kirstein - The Steerswoman, 1989, 2013
The Steerswoman Series : 1
From Mount TBR – rec’d by Renay
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. With one exception, they are pledged to always answer any question put to them with as truthful a response as is possible within their own limitations. However, they also require anyone of whom they ask questions to respond in the same manner, upon penalty of the Steerswomen’s ban; those under the ban do not receive answers from the steerswomen. (blurb from Goodreads: The Steerswoman)
This was such an enjoyable read. Rowan, the main character, is entertaining, engaging, and believable. She is the Steerswoman of the title, and her curiosity is piqued when she encounters blue jewels unlike any others she has come across in a variety of places. She wonders where they came from, and how the came to be so scattered across the world. She can’t quite work it out, but as she investigates she realises that someone really doesn’t want her to know.
And knowledge, the gaining and the sharing, is of utmost importance to Rowan and the other Steerswomen and Steersmen. That, and truth, are at the heart of who they are. To have people seek to hide knowledge goes against everything they believe in.
And I have to say I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. That it was all about sharing knowledge and wisdom, working together to solve problems. And that it didn’t focus on rivalries and competition as a way of succeeding. That more than anything is why I enjoyed this book so much, it seems somehow a hopeful and positive view of the world. Even if it is threatened in the story.
I also really enjoyed the world building and how little things are revealed about the possible history of this world. Show Spoiler ▼
I also thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between Bel and Rowan, they start out as strangers, but both have a similar desire to learn about the world and that is the key foundation of their friendship. They have their differences, and certainly see the world in different terms, but what they share is enough to cement their friendship.
Overall a really great read, although this is one off Mount TBR that gets instantly replaced with the followup, The Outskirter’s Secret.