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The Rowan Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (September 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441735762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441735761
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Rowan, a powerful but lonely psychic in charge of the Federal Telepath & Transport service, touches minds and falls in love with another of her ilk who needs help fighting extraterrestrials. "In this sensitive portrayal (expanded from the author's first published story, 'Lady in the Tower') McCaffrey draws a warm and vivid picture of a struggling frontier society," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Rowan, a telepathic, telekinetic three-year-old, is the sole survivor of a mining disaster on a frontier planet. As she matures, her powers grow until she becomes one of a handful of "Primes" with the Federal Telepath & Teleport network, the organization responsible for telecommunications and shipping of cargo throughout the galaxy. Rowan finds herself alienated from humanity and her coworkers due to her unique talents and tremendous responsibilities until she senses Jeff Raven, a fellow talent, on the fringes of explored space. A bonding develops between the two when they are thrown together to help defeat aliens bent on destroying the human race. The Rowan was expanded from the short story "Lady in the Tower" in Get Off the Unicorn (1984). While not as strong a love story as The Ship Who Sang (1976, both Ballantine), McCaffrey weaves believable characters with a well-written story to produce this entertaining science fiction romance.
- John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Anne McCaffrey, the Hugo Award-winning author of the bestselling Dragonriders of Pern® novels, is one of science fiction's most popular authors. With Elizabeth Ann Scarborough she co-authored Changelings and Maelstrom, Books One and Two of The Twins of Petaybee. McCaffrey lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on April 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When my grandmother gave "The Rowan" to me (I love books), I turned it over and read the back. I was skeptical and not sure about it. I am not in to sci-fi but more into fantasy. I took it with me to my highschool testing and when I was done with it I took it out and started reading. When it was time to go on testing I couldn't put it down. I found the inter-space world Anne McCaffrey created had intwined me and caught me in its wondrous atmosphere. The story of a young powerful teleknetic orphan held me on the edge of my seat. The emotions and experiences of the young girl soon known as the Rowan wow'd me and made me see sci-fi in a new light. I keep it among my other favorites such as: Dragonlance series, the Chronicles of Narnia, and the Myst series. Amazing like no other book I couldn't believe how it still held my attention months later as I wondered about some of the events. The advanced world of earth and outer colonies was the future and AM had brought it to life with the powerful teleknetic minds of the FT&T it made me wish for more. The colorful worlds and wonders of the Rowan and her story is a true work of art. If you want to start a great series start reading the "Rowan" series. Truly excellents books probably Anne's best works ever.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Matteson VINE VOICE on April 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Although there are actually about 3 "prequels" to this book including "To Ride Pegasus", "Pegasus in Flight" and "Pegasus in Space", the prequels are several generations before "The Rowan" but do give a nice background/foundation. I highly recommend reading the prequels as they are a nice series in and of themselves.

The Rowan is orphaned at 3 years old on Altair during a horrible mudslide which wipes out her family and an entire mining camp except her. She is heard and rescued because she is a very strong "Talent" -- a person with strong psi skills and in this case, telepathing (as well as telekinesis and teleport as shown later in the book). Her mental crying and shouting is heard throughout the planet by even minor Talents. The Prime, Siglen, on Altair has an inner ear condition which makes her violently ill when trying to travel in space. Siglen has inhibited all of the Primes (a T-1 or strongest of the Talents) she has trained so far and when they propose to send the Rowan to Earth for training she scares her as does the Rowan's past experiences. Thus Siglen and a host of other nurse/psychologists/engineers train the Rowan until she is ready for a Tower of her own.

She lands a post on Callisto, a moon of Jupiter, where there is a domed environment. The Rowan being very temperamental takes a few years to get her staff together finally setting on Afra of Capella for her T-3 assistant. She is contacted by a untrained Prime on the far out colony world of Deneb which is being invaded first by bio-warfare and then missiles by ruthless aliens. Even though she hasn't met this new Prime, she is drawn to him by his sense of humor and voice and charm. Jeff Raven, the new Prime, is not inhibited and can easily 'port himself to Callisto so they finally meet.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nina M. Osier on June 2, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Years ago, I read a story by Anne McCaffrey that she later expanded into this novel. From there she went on to write a series of books about the dynasty of telepathic/telekinetic "Talents" founded by Altair's Angharad Gwyn (a/k/a "the Rowan") and Deneb's Jeff Raven. I've somehow managed to read Book One of the series last, but the story on which McCaffrey based it was so memorable that I almost thought I'd read it already. Until I noticed its copyright date, and realized that couldn't be true!

Orphaned at age three, little Angharad Gwyn has her memories of those first years of her life blocked by rescuers who desperately need to silence the child's telephathic cries for her dead parents. Since she therefore can't even remember her name, she comes to be called "the Rowan child" - for the mining company whose remote work site has fallen victim to a landslide, of which this little girl is the sole survivor. Hers is the strongest Talent that the Human colony-world Altair has yet bred, and she's immediately marked for training as a tower-dwelling Prime. She'll spend her adult life shifting cargo containers and passenger vessels, and military units as well, from one star system to another. Instantly, across light years of space. The Rowan's future looks bright, but lonely; because when Primes travel between worlds, they suffer horribly. Everyone knows that's true. Everyone, that is, except Jeff Raven - a "wild" Talent on far-off Deneb, who calls out to the Rowan for help when an alien invasion force bears down on his colony.

This is classic McCaffrey. Science fiction romance, published before anyone identified the sub-genre as such, with an intriguing "villian" in the alien invaders whose nature the rest of the series continues to explore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Isabelle Archer on September 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Rowan is my favorite science fiction book of all time. I can't tell you how many times I've read it. I own three copies, a new paperback, a paperback that's falling apart and a hardcover that took me forever to find. There is something about this book(indeed, about all Anne McCaffrey books)that reaches out and grabs you and makes you think, Oh, why can't I just leap into this book and meet those people!
The book is set sometime in the future and humankind has spread out into space with the aid of the Talented, people with incredible mental abilities, like telepathy, telekinesis, and clairvoyance. The Rowan was the victim of a terrible accident as a child and a whole planet heard her telepathic cries for help. She has the potential to be the most powerful Prime Talent ever. As she grows into her amazing abilities, she grows away from others. She discovers that her powers isolate her from everyone around her. One evening, a telepathic distress call from an unknown Talent of Prime ability shakes her whole universe. And that's how she meets Jeff Raven, a charismatic young man from distant Deneb. The Rowan stands beside him against a mysterious alien threat to his planet and realizes she never wants to leave him, that she loves him, and he will move solar systems to have her in his arms.
These characters are wonderful! The romance between the Rowan and Jeff Raven is so touching, yet it is written in such a way that it's not too sweet. It's practical and forthright, a wonderful narrative. And let's not forget gruff Reidinger and gentle Afra and Rascal, supporting characters that make the book what it is.
I've read the entire series and not one measures up to this one. If I could, I would beg Anne McCaffrey not to end it with The Tower and the Hive, which I think is the last. The Rowan is the book that convinced me I wanted to be a writer. Read it. Read it many times and find in it what I've found. It's a wonderful story.
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