Rowan and the Travellers, by Emily Rodda

The secret enemy is here,
It hides in darkness, fools beware!

The people of Rin tolerate Sheba only because they need her potions. They are scared of her and avoid her until they need her skills. So, when she is troubled by dreams, Rowan is frightened by her prophesies. Sheba recites a rhyme to Rowan, a rhyme which troubles him, though he can make no sense of it.

When the Travellers arrive in the village, Rowan and most of the other villagers are excited. But when strange things start to happen, Rowan remembers Sheba’s words and wonders if the Travellers are the enemy mentioned in the verse.

When the other villagers of Rin are mysteriously struck down and the travellers disappear, it is up to Rowan to solve the riddle and save his people. But first he must decide if the Travellers are enemies or allies.

Rowan and the Travellers is a gripping sequel to Rowan of Rin. Emily Rodda tells a tale of fantasy and adventure, entwined with themes of friendship, trust and courage. In choosing Rowan, seen in ordinary times as a weakling, as her hero, she presents young readers with an image of strength beyond the purely physical. Suitable for readers aged 10 and over, the Rowan books make an excellent introduction to the fantasy genre.

Rowan and the Travellers, by Emily Rodda
Omnibus Books, 1994