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The Rowan (The Tower and the Hive #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  13,518 Ratings  ·  310 Reviews

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.

Hardcover, 235 pages
Published August 20th 1990 by Putnam Adult (first published 1990)
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Look, I read a lot of McCaffrey when I was younger; I adored Pern, enjoyed Acorna, and even attempted Acorna's Children despite my deep fear of plagues and dislike of plague plots in fiction. I never got around to The Rowan, I think largely because it had Sexy Women on the front and I knew that, as a middle schooler, that was not the kind of book I should be carrying around. But nearly 10 years down the line here I am, having tracked this book down in a quest to whittle away at my To-Read shelf. ...more
Dec 13, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Originally read: Many years ago (early/mid 90's)
Re-read: Sept 2016

This was the first book I ever read by Anne Mccaffrey. And I was hooked from the very beginning! A great science fiction with just a touch of romance. Well, more romance in the second half I should say. The series focuses heavily on telepathy, and psychokinesis. Those that have these abilities are known as Talents. Rowan is one such person.

The story starts the the girl (to be known as Rowan) at a very young age. This book follows
Summer Ann
The Rowan is about a woman who was found orphaned as a baby on a small mining planet. Her entire town was destroyed during a mudslide leaving her as the only survivor. She may not have survived anyways due to her being trapped inside a vehicle under the mud. However, Rowan has incredible psychic powers in telepathy and telekinesis which caused people from other planets to hear her crying. She was eventually saved and placed with someone to watch over her. Due to her strong powers, they thought t ...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
So of course I'd read this before, many times — I used to love it, even. I saw it at the library's jumble sale, along with a bunch of its sequels. It was cheap and I was gripped by nostalgia, what can I say.

You can guess by that opening that I'm a bit embarrassed. Well, I am. How did I ever think this was a great romance? Look at it as the story of a charismatic megalomaniac coming along at a time and with the Talent to be helpful to humanity and feed his ego at the same time, and not a romance,
Sep 21, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was 7 or 8 years old. I have read it EVERY year since. I love this book. I sincerly hope that they never make a movie about this book so that they cannot ruin it for me.
The thing that I love the most about her is that she is strong and fierce, but also soft and feminine. That is how I strive to be. She has influenced me throughout my adolescence and I will continue to read her story probably for the rest of my life. I will give this book to my children to read. I h
Maggie K
Oct 24, 2011 Maggie K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am so annoyed I wasted a whole day on this book. But, I am even more annoyed that is was voted the book of the month under Women in Sci-Fi.
This is space romance. Telekinesis and TElepathy joined in one person, albeit on a space station, does not Science Fiction make, even if there is an alien invasion. And no, I do not beleive in 'Love at first mind-brush'.

To be fair, this book starts well. A small child is the only survivor of a landslide, and her anguished mental state calls for her re
Feb 05, 2015 kat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Ohhhh goddamnit McCaffrey I just don't know.

So the first like 3/4 of this book is actually surprisingly great and features some really good female characters and The Rowan is powerful and sometimes scary and ... it actually had me going like maybe it is actually possible for McCaffrey to write a good story

and then Rowan falls in love "at first sight" with this powerful stranger telepath dude and like

Okay, actually, I am okay with this, because you just like fused minds with him and so I can get
Jul 30, 2007 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Rowan is an orphaned girl with incredible psychic power and a cute little psychic pet. Oh the pain she suffers from being an orphan! Oh the oppression of being so powerful! Oh the agony of no one understanding your Speshulness!
Mar 19, 2008 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I can't help it, I love these books. I have read this one four times now over a 17 year period. I highly recommend the Pegasus series followed by the Rowan series.

Told in the timeless style of Anne McCaffrey, The Rowan is the first installment in a wonderful trilogy. This is sci-fi at its best: a contemporary love story as well as an engrossing view of our world in the future.

The kinetically gifted, trained in mind/machine gestalt, are the most valued citizens of the Nine Star League. Using ment
Carolyn F.

2-1/2 stars.

What I liked about this book? I especially enjoyed the whiny heroine having fits all over the place. NOT!

That's one of the reasons for this low rating. The mind meld stuff was so boring to me but that might have to do with it not being easily transferable to audiobook. I'll let that be another excuse why I didn't like the book very much. I never got into the hero either, very egotistical, but then what can you expect from a man who everyone likes.

So I don't think I'll read/
Jul 17, 2011 Caroline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, space
I have to admit that when I first read the blurb I thought it would be a very complicated sci fi story and that I wouldn't love it as much as Anne McCaffrey's dragon books. Well... I was WRONG! This is one of the best book (and series) I have read in a long time. It ranks close to Harry Potter, if not higher. And I stand by what I just said.

Anne McCaffrey wrote two series in the Talents universe which involves Earth functioning thanks to the Talents of telepathic or telekinetic persons in an int
Jun 05, 2013 Jean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan G
Feb 08, 2010 Ryan G rated it liked it
The Rowan, and it's sequels, are comfort reading for me. I'm not a huge science fiction fan, nor am I really a fan of Anne McCaffrey. I've tired to read the Dragonriders of Pern books, but really can't get into them at all. But there is something about this series, these particular characters, that I can't seem to ever let go of, and choose to revisit every once in a while.

I'm sure part of it's because the Rowan, whose real name ends up being Angharad Gwyn, and her sense of isolation and lonelin
Nov 29, 2011 Estara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Tower and Hive series
Recommended to Estara by: auto-read series
I picked this as my first reread of her books - not because I don't have loads of others I could reread but I have realised that I know the plots of almost all books still to a pretty large degree of detail - although my last time rereading is probably ten years in the past.

That's because I discovered her as one of the major female sf&f authors in print in the UK when I went over there for the first time as an au-pair in 88/89. And even in Germany's university towns later one I could get her
May 26, 2008 C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is one of my favorite novels, even though it is definitely not one of the best novels I've read.

When I read anything, I tend to enjoy it more when the character development is strong enough that I care about what the characters think and feel, and especially what happens to them.

Anne McCaffrey may be weak at creating actual science fiction—I consider this book to be more of a futuristic fantasy than hard science fiction—but she is fantastic at showing you who a character is as a person, and
Jul 27, 2007 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
McCaffrey tends to over-do her female leads sometimes, and the Rowan and Damian are prime examples of this (no pun intended). I still liked the books very much however because they're an easy fun read. They're more sci/fi-romance-adventure really.
Amy mcmillen-smith
I have always had a lot of books even as a child but when I was in school I stopped reading till I was 20 and this was the first book I picked up it was my moms and she was so happy I had started reading again that when I looked like I was bored she would ask me where I was in the book and then give me a hint as to what was to come needless to say I finished it and went right to get the next one it got to the point where I got lost in my books for weeks and I have a huge collection now the only ...more
I don't know about this one. It was in my "To Read" pile and I didn't even glance at what it was about before I started it. I was expecting science-fiction and was somewhat surprised when extrasensory perception appeared very early on in the story, followed closely by a bunch of machine-augmented telekinesis. There wasn't a great deal of explanation about how this all worked (although it started out in a promising vein with the description of the "Goose Egg" device used to detect "talent", as th ...more
Mike Franklin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Douglas Milewski
The Rowan (1990) by Anne McCaffrey is an expansion and continuation of the Rowan story found in Get of the Unicorn, a collection of stories written in the 1960's.

There are two ways to expand a story: rewrite it or extend it. Anne chose to extend, keeping her story from the 1960's intact. This choice that Anne kept all the weirdness and kludginess in the original SF romance story, with all the complication of setting up a larger story around it. Because of this decision, and her limited narrative
Jun 11, 2013 Swankivy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My mother knew I liked science fiction so she went out and bought me a book that had a dragon on the cover. It turned out to be some random book in the middle of a series by Anne McCaffrey (her Pern series). I didn't want to start in the middle of a series so I looked for other books by this author and ended up stumbling onto this one, and even though it wasn't related I started reading it because it was apparently about telepathic people. I liked some of the ideas (having the Rowan discovered a ...more
Charlee Allden
Feb 16, 2013 Charlee Allden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, favorites
The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey is the first novel I ever read that I could not put down. I read it straight through cover to cover. I do that fairly often these days, but at the time it was an event that rocked my world. I once heard a male sci-fi author call McCaffrey’s books a gateway drug for getting girls into sci-fi, but for me this book clued me in on what was missing from the sci-fi books I’d already been reading—romance. The Rowan catapulted to the top of my all time favorites list and here ...more
Sep 21, 2011 Willa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rowan is the first book in "The Tower and the Hive" series (also known as "The Rowan" series) by Anne McCaffrey. It is set in the universe of the "Pegasus" trilogy, against a backdrop of a technologically advanced society in which telepathy, psychokinesis and other psychic Talents have become scientifically accepted and researched. Telekinetic and telepathic powers are used to communicate and teleport spaceships through space, thus avoiding the light barrier and allowing for the colonization ...more
Gillian Murrell
I was really disappointed I'm my re-read of this book after having loved it when it first came out. This time around I could not look past the sexism, I felt like I needed to put an apron on and go cook a scrumptious meal for my man who has worked so hard all day just like me but he deserves a rest and a massage while I praise him up to make him feel important. All the while trying not to get angry that he has been given a job better suited to me as I am far more qualified but because I will be ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, 2015
Final in my re-read of the Talents series. I'm not a fan of the subsequent Tower and Hive series -- too much xenophobia and entomophobia. I think this was the first one I had encountered when I was discovering McCaffrey in the early 90s, which explains why I was so surprised by how humble and kind Peter Reidinger was compared to his sixth namesake.

I agree with some of the other reviews that indicate this is a iffy re-read more than 20 years after it was written. I'm becoming more bothered by the
Jul 29, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The only reason I picked up this book was because there was a short story in Get off the Unicorn and it peaked my interest - I was NOT a reader. I read this book and loved it and it basically was the spark that started my love of reading. While it reads almost like a biography, going from infancy through to marriage and all the struggles in between of a talented girl and the expectations thrust up on her, the world Anne McCaffrey has created and her characters leaves you wanting more. I have rea ...more
Martina the Book Fairy
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I first read it when I was 13 or 14 and continued to pick up Anne McCafrey's entire catalog afterwards. I've read it every few years since (I'm now 34) and still adore it! I even have a signed copy from when I met Ms. McCaffrey back ing 2005. Sadly, the reason I picked it up again was because Ms. McCaffrey passed away just a few days ago - on November 21, 2011. It seemed fitting to read it again now as a celebration of her life and the role she played i ...more
May 25, 2014 TC rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lots of plot errors that make you wonder if it was edited, and the dialogue from the alpha male characters made me roll my eyes in despair. If we assume these men (Reidinger, Turian and Jeff) are AM's idea of strong, desirable men, then I can't help feeling she was not as anti the 1950s style of Sci Fi as reported (her apparent reason for writing Restoree).
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
When I first read this book I was blown away. I loved it and I re-read this over and over again. I loved the Rowan. She was amazing. I liked her power and her loneliness with isolation was sad. Even though this is a FT&T story, I felt it was more romance. I would classify this as a young adult book. Then again, I read it when I was a teenager.
Jocelyn Montalvo Cullum
I registered a book at!
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Science Fiction A...: * November Theme Read-The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey 37 63 Nov 22, 2011 03:56PM  
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Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High Scho
More about Anne McCaffrey...

Other Books in the Series

The Tower and the Hive (5 books)
  • Damia (The Tower and the Hive, #2)
  • Damia's Children (The Tower and the Hive, #3)
  • Lyon's Pride (The Tower and the Hive, #4)
  • The Tower and the Hive (The Tower and the Hive, #5)

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