All knowledge of the natural world and its geography, plants, animals and people comes from the steerswomen's explorations. In the first volume of Rosemary Kirstein's fantasy series, The Steerswoman's Road, Rowan, the steerswoman, began to learn more knowledge that had been forbidden. Now in the THE LOST STEERSMAN (4.5), she seeks to stop the wizard Slado from using that knowledge—magic—to destroy the world. First, she must search through centuries of accumulated records to find proof that magic exists at all. Kirstein creates an intoxicating world in this series, a medieval culture where satellites are seen in the sky and come crashing to earth. Rowan is a strong and fascinating heroine in a world which looks to women for its strength. She is surrounded by a cast of colorful and diverse secondary characters and a world drawn so finely that the sights and smells come alive in the mind of the reader, who eagerly will look forward to the next volume in this saga. (Sep., 432 pp., $14.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum