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The Rowan

(The Tower and the Hive #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  15,214 ratings  ·  393 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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Cheri Thornton-Conner So far as I know (darn it) that book is one of just a couple of Anne McCaffrey's that are NOT digital. Neither are her romance books (Stitch in Snow…moreSo far as I know (darn it) that book is one of just a couple of Anne McCaffrey's that are NOT digital. Neither are her romance books (Stitch in Snow and Three Women -- or those separate stories, "Mark of Merlin", etc...). I would really love to see those!(less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Kogiopsis
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
Jamie
Dec 13, 2010 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
...more
kat
Feb 05, 2015 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
...more
Stephanie
Sep 21, 2012 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
...more
Summer
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 ...more
posthuman
Jan 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
I was surprised to learn this book was published in 1990. Judging by the cover artwork, anemic female lead and awkwardly drafted prose, I suspected it might have been a quickly thrown together pulp paperback from the early 1950s. The premise is interesting, but most of The Rowan reads like an unfinished early draft, or excruciatingly bad fan fiction grafted on top of a ridiculous Roger Corman movie.

This is my first time reading anything by Anne McCaffrey. All I knew of her was that she wrote a
...more
Andy
Sep 17, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Even the critical reviews here on Goodreads point out that at least the book starts off well. I would have to disagree. Apart from the absurdity of people moving spaceships with their minds is the bizarre writing style. The author uses lots of ten-dollar SAT words but then employs basic vocabulary in confusingly imprecise fashion, for example calling a 3-year-old an "infant" (in conversations where a pediatrician is present). If you are going to dig through the dictionary, then look at the ...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,
...more
keikii Eats Books
To read more reviews in this series and others, check out my blog keikii eats books!

97 points, 5 STARS!

Quote:
Instead, she had gone from one lonely tower to another. Yegranis long and lonely road had been before her a long and lonely time.

Review:
I absolutely loved reading The Rowan. It was like this book was specifically created to hit all of my "Oh my god, I love it!" buttons. It is slow paced, taking the reader through the life of The Rowan. Perhaps a bit slower than some readers might
...more
Maggie K
Oct 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh.
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
...more
Jim
Mar 19, 2008 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
...more
Wealhtheow
Jul 30, 2007 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!
Sandy
Not a bad book, the writing just isn't to my taste. This author's books have always been hit and miss for me. Some suck me right in but the writing in a lot of them feels sterile. Unfortunately, this was one that just didn't work for me.
Sarah
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read quite a few of Anne McCaffrey's Pern books when I was a teenager but I've not read anything of hers in years so I was quite excited to give this series a try when my friend told me it was one of her favourites. I actually read this when I was visiting my friend back in June so I've really left it too long to write a comprehensive review but I did really enjoy the world that the author has created here.

Set in a distant future where humans have colonised planets across the universe some of
...more
Karen’s Library
As I seem to do with each reread, I've once again devoured this book. My binge reading of the Pegasus series and now the sequel series is continuing.
Carolyn F.
Audiobook

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
...more
Caro
Jul 17, 2011 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
...more
SSShafiq
Oct 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
One of the first sci-fi books I ever read largely due to the cover. Covers help people!

Re-read August 2019

I had read this book around 95 or so - a couple of years after this was published it turns out. I got it from my high-school library mostly due to the cover which had this imposing picture of a woman with a cute cat / leopard (see hardback cover). I remember quite a bit of the story but never finished the series as my library didnt have the rest. So when I recently saw the awfulness that
...more
Jean
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan
Feb 08, 2010 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
...more
Estara
Nov 29, 2011 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
...more
C.
May 26, 2008 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 fictionI consider this book to be more of a futuristic fantasy than hard science fictionbut she is fantastic at showing you who a character is as a person, and
...more
Charlee Allden
Feb 16, 2013 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 McCaffreys 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 Id already been readingromance. The Rowan catapulted to the top of my all time favorites list and heres ...more
IJM
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chinook
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasnt quite as obsessed with this series as McCaffreys Pern, but Ive read it a good half dozen times - just not in some years. By some weirdness of publishing rights, its somehow only available as a ebook in the UK. Irritating because Ive actually wanted to start a reread for a good year now and even caved and bought a second paperback copy of the book in Denver, but I find it so hard to read tree books these days. I started it today when Maddie was having some downtime on her tablet, read all ...more
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
Rebecca
Jul 29, 2012 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 ...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 ...more
Emma
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Anne McCaffrey book I've actually finished (I started Pern twice when I was younger but always got distracted by other books).
Overall the coming-of-age setup for this book was more interesting than the actual series plot which as of the end of book 1 is just "generic aliens attack because they're evil or something; manic pixie dream boy arrives on the scene; main character gets pregnant and decides to have as many kids as possible for no reason because the rest of the series is going
...more
Debrac2014
3.5 stars!
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Science Fiction A...: * November Theme Read-The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey 37 64 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
...more

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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