The Outskirter's Secret by Rosemary Kirstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Outskirter's Secret (Steerswoman Series book 2)by Rosemary Kirstein
This is the second of the epic Steerswoman series. Though the novel is large it's not as large as some epic fantasy, but the scope of the world building is quite epic. A dystopic world of magic and technology twined together by forgotten knowledge and a strange new world that seems to have emerged after a disaster that took away the moon. This, the second in the series of Steerswoman takes the reader into the Outskirts where strange and deadly creature dwell; in search of answers to the secret of the gems that might have come from a fallen Guidestar.
Somewhere in the dangerous land lies the answer to a question that has put Rowan and her friend Bel in danger. Now Rowan will travel with Bel to Bel's part of the world in hopes of answers and a chance to add to her knowledge base. As a steerswoman she seeks knowledge and truth and must also impart this to anyone asking of her as long as they agree to answer her questions. Where she's dwelled before, steerswomen are well known and revered for this; but in the outskirts she may have to prove her worth. Every day she has new knowledge and new misgivings about the Outskirters; the people of her friend Bel.
This novel answers a few questions from the first novel and adds yet more so that the reader is compelled to continue the series.
One interesting and well crafted part of this story involves a character that Rosemary Kirstein manages to withhold information about; in such a crafty manner that it doesn't matter that the reader is a slight bit misled, because she uses it to show how different the culture is on this world and how much two cultures of the world differ from one another. The outcome is predictable and yet startling all at the same time while leaving at least one character stunned.
Once again this is a superbly well written novel that is well paced while it weaves a strange and dangerous world around such well crafted complex characters.
Lovers of SFF and paranormal should love this; although the magic most often looks like technology that's been forgotten, there are many creatures of paranormal nature that show up throughout.
I'm looking forward to the third book though a bit leery that there might be two more after that.
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