Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Rowan - Anne McCaffrey

The Rowan
Anne McCaffrey
Ace Publishing
Copyright: 1991

The product description:
The Rowan was destined to become the greatest Prime Talent in human history, facing a lonely existence of servitude. Until she receives a telepathic plea from across the stars from a Prime named Jeff Raven-and falls in love with him. 
Although The Rowan came out in 1991, the kernel for this story was written much earlier, in 1959, that being the story Lady In The Tower, which can be found in the collection, Get Off The Unicorn. That story appears about midway through the book, and is the first meeting between The Rowan and Jeff.

I've been thinking about this novel for a little while now, since I finished reading it, and the best way I can think of to categorize The Rowan is that it's a combination of science fiction and romance novel, as it's setting is science fiction, but the focus is really that of the eventual relationship between the two characters. And yet, that doesn't quite cover it either, as the first half of the book covers The Rowan's childhood and coming of age.

One really neat little thing I noticed this time around (it wouldn't have been possible to notice more than a couple of years ago) was the presence of the barquecats in this story. What's so neat about it is that it's something of a connection for two of Anne McCaffrey's more recent novels: Catalyst and Catacombs, which are all about the barquecats.

Beyond that, the book The Rowan is really a central point for several other books. It starts the sequence for the Tower and the Hive series, but it's also the same world that To Ride Pegasus and Pegasus In Flight are set in - the early days and the discovery of Talent.

I do have to say that I really love the new cover art for The Rowan, and also for Damia. I haven't seen it for any of the other books in the series, but I hope they re-issue them with similar artwork.

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