Rosemary Kirstein Books

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Author Rosemary Kirstein did not consider writing to be her day job, and she produced work at a slow rate until she decided to quit said day job and just focus on her writing. She was born in the state of Massachusetts, the first child of her German immigrant born in the United States. She grew up in Connecticut and studied music education at a local university for awhile before she dropped out and decided to study songwriting and being a musician.

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Order of Steerswoman Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Steerswoman 1989 Description / Buy
2 The Outskirter's Secret 1992 Description / Buy
3 The Lost Steersman 2003 Description / Buy
4 The Language of Power 2004 Description / Buy
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Kirstein’s sister got her interested in reading science fiction, as Kirstein was big into science books, but had read every single one that her library had. So her sister decided to make her read a book that Robert A. Heinlein had written called “Podkayne of Mars”. She worked as a folk singer in the eighties, and held some different odd jobs before becoming a computer programmer. Kirstein worked in the field of information technology for fifteen years, in different positions to support herself; these jobs include user training, technical writing, programming, and tech support.

Rosemary writes science fiction and is the author of the “Steerswoman” series. Her sister had her go to a writing convention and the guy who ran it was named Barry B. Longyear. She gave him a story that he told her to submit to a publication known as Asimov’s. Which she did, and they bought it. Kirstein believes that going to the workshop helped her out a lot and Longyear was a great teacher.

The Steerswoman is the series that really put Rosemary Kirstein on the map and it has really grabbed an audience. Rosemary has said that she tried to put every fantasy trope that she could fit into the story, but then try and put her own spin on it, subverting the tropes 180 degrees. The cliche of the “classic barbarian sidekick” was turned into a woman in her books which has since become a quite popular trope, but when she wrote the character it was still a fairly original take on the subject. The series is quite popular in the UK.

They are four novels in the series right now, but Kirstein has said she has plans for seven with a prequel thrown in as well. The last book was published in 2004 with the fifth book being in the process of being written. Kirstein has said that the book is “currently in a state of chaos”, but that is often the case with books in a series and should be considered a good sign. The book should be coming out extremely soon with book six not too far behind it.

Rosemary maintains a blog at her website where she keeps fans updated on the books as well as her other projects. There is a “secret project” that she has been hinting at for a long time as well as a young adult series set in the Steerswoman universe. The first chapter of which was read at ReaderCon and can be found at her website.


For those looking to get into Russell Blake‘s work, this next section will help with that. It will look at the novels: “The Steerswoman”, “The Outskirter’s Secret”, and “The Lost Steersman”.

The Steerswoman: The first novel in the “Steerswoman” series that was released in the year 1989. A steerswoman must answer with only the truth to any question asked. There may be no refusing a question, and she must share her knowledge with any who ask for it. It goes both ways though, if she asks of you, you must answer. You will get no answer should you lie or not answer a question from a steerswoman, as they will never answer even the most basic of questions that you ask one. They go around searching and learning and they share what they know freely. That is, until one named Rowan finds an innocent and lovely and inexplicable little object. There are things that Rowan learns that are odd and dangerous, and she may have to fight for her life on this one. Maybe even lie. There is one knowledge that the steerswoman have never gotten to know and that is magic.

The Outskirter’s Secret: The second novel in the “Steerswoman” series that was released in the year 1992. A pair of shining lights hang up above, and help everyone mark the seasons and time. Rowan discovered some broken blue jewels that obviously came from magic, she knows that a Guidestar has fallen. She knows this through investigating matters. There were more than just two lights up there above the opposite side of the world, and something caused the Guidestar to fall. All Rowan knows is where the Guidestar was, but to get there she had to cross the Inner Lands and go deep into the Outskirts, which is a wild and deadly place. With her, is Bel, who is an Outskirter herself. The warrior poet and the steerswoman are making the trip together, which is something that may make things a lot easier. They have a chance of getting past the tribes of barbarians, the cruel landscape, and bizarre wildlife that is native to this part of the world. There are secrets in the Outskirts, and each step they take that brings them closer to the Guidestar leads them to learn something new.

: The third novel in the “Steerswoman” series that was released in the year 2003. Slado is a secret master wizard and caused the massacre of some Outskirter tribes. He also was behind the fall of the Guidestar. These are things that Rowan finds out. No one knew who he was before this, especially not any steerswoman, nor that these wizards answered to any single authority. Rowan must find him. Her journey takes her to Alemeth, a seaside town that contains records that will help give her some clues on her search. She finds Janus, someone she did not expect to meet up with again. Janus is a steersman who resigned from being a steersmen but gave no explanation as to why he would do so. It gives her hope, running into Janus, but he has changed and he is now a dark shattered spirit.

When Does The Next Rosemary Kirstein book come out?

Rosemary Kirstein doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Language of Power and was released on August, 31st 2004. It is the newest book in the Steerswoman Series.

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