Cover image for The tower and the hive
The tower and the hive
McCaffrey, Anne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 302 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"An Ace/Putnam book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy

On Order



At last, Anne McCaffrey returns to the far-flung world of The Rowan and Damia. For generations, the descendants of the powerful telepath known as The Rowan have used their various talents to help mankind. Some share The Rowan's telepathic strength, others can teleport through space, others are empathic healers. As more planets are colonized by humans, and the known universe becomes ever more spread out, the family has grown powerful. They have led Earth to ally itself with the peaceful alien Mrdini, and together the two races have held back the predatory Hivers, who once laid waste entire planets. Like all powerful families, the Rowan's descendants have also made enemies. Especially on Earth, there are those who charge that the treaties with the Mrdini gave away too much, and that the Mrdini receive more than their fair share of new living space as habitable planets are discovered. There are also complaints that the Hivers should have been exterminated, rather than contained and studied, and that such concentration of power in the hands of one family is dangerous. The Rowan and her daughter Damia, with their beloved husbands and extended families, have seen their share of personal tragedy and loss. Now, with their goals of peace and plenty apparently in sight, they face whispering campaigns, sabotage, and even assassination attempts aimed at destroying all they have worked for. Like all powerful families, the Rowan clan has also made enemies. There are those who say the treaties with the Mrdini gave away too much--especially, that the Mrdini get more than their fair share of new living space as habitable planets are discovered--that the Hivers should have been exterminated by now, and that far too much power is concentrated in one family.The clan has two goals to keep the peace: to help the Mrdini control population growth, so that newly discovered planets are distributed more evenly, and to put a final halt to Hiver advances. They are confident of success--if they can survive sabotage and assassination attempts aimed at destroying all they have worked for. Click here to enter a free book giveaway at!

Author Notes

Anne McCaffrey was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 1, 1926. She received a degree in Slavonic languages from Radcliffe College. She worked in advertising for Helena Rubenstein from 1947 to 1952.

Her first publication was a short story in Science Fiction Magazine, and her first novel, Restoree, was published in 1967. She is a well-known author of over 100 books, mostly science fiction, including the Dragonriders of Pern series, the Crystal Singer series, Acorna's Children series, The Twins of Petaybee series, and Barque Cats series. She won numerous awards including the Hugo Award for Best Novella for the short story Weyr Search in 1968 and the Nebula Award for Best Novella for Dragonrider in 1969. In 2006, she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. She has also written books under the pseudonym Jody Lynn. She died of a stroke on November 21, 2011 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

After five years, McCaffrey at last returns to the popular saga begun in The Rowan (1992), to conclude it with a story that follows events in Lyon's Pride (1994). Pace and suspense both quicken as the human-Mrdini alliance comes into closer contact with the combative Hivers. The alliance manages to infiltrate the hives and record their goings-on in order to understand the insectoid creatures and, perhaps, to learn how to communicate with them. The alliance's daring forays are interwoven with the rapid settling of worlds cleansed of or abandoned by Hivers and with the efforts of disgruntled, racist humans to sabotage the Talents' schemes to maintain peace between humans and the Mrdini. Those plans include helping the Mrdini discover how to control rampant population growth, so that the newly opened worlds can be fairly shared. The new settlements, of course, also increase the demand for the Talents to transport supplies. Will there be enough Talents to staff the new towers that send and receive transported goods? McCaffrey maintains the high quality of characterization of humans and aliens alike, and, once again, she skillfully interweaves the plot threads, making it easy to follow the action on all fronts. A rousing conclusion to a most satisfying series. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)039914501XSally Estes

Publisher's Weekly Review

Heres a happy ending to McCaffreys futuristic Rowan (aka the Talent) series (Lyons Pride, etc.), as Humans, their allies, the Mrdini, and the insectoid Hivers, who menace both, find ways to coexist. The main heroes are the Talented members of Federation Teleport and Telepath, dominated by the family that began the organization, but increasingly including different blood lines. McCaffrey provides an introduction, What Has Gone On Before, but its nearly as confusing as it is helpful. Fortunately, the narrative offers bountiful explanations of salient events and relationships, so all becomes clear as the story progresses. Few surprises are on hand, but the relationships among the parapsychically gifted Humans at FT&T are particularly well drawn, including the romantic subplots. Indeed, procreation is key, as readers follow the family dynasty of FT&T, the search for a solution to Mrdini overpopulation and the link between the Hivers queens and their spread to new worlds. The novel lacks the profound imagination of alien minds thats a hallmark of much recent SF, but it also avoids the kill-the-bugs outlook of such SF as Starship Troopers. Readers looking for intelligent, heroic adventure will find it here, and Rowan fans will be especially pleased at this felicitous closing of a popular SF series. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

YA-McCaffrey wraps up her saga of the Rowan and her offspring, three generations of parapsychics, as they try to defeat the alien Hiver menace while trying to thwart various intrigues from within. The Hivers, insectlike aliens, seek out planets to settle, destroying the life already there. Not as strong as the previous novels, this one meanders at times. However, readers will enjoy McCaffrey's fluid writing style and the continued development of the newer characters in the series. The Tower and the Hive does not stand well alone, even with the "What has gone before" summary. Nonetheless, libraries with a following for this popular series will want to purchase it.-John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.