Rowan of Rin – The Journey, by Emily Rodda

Since 1996 Australian children have followed the fantasy adventures of Rowan of Rin by one of Australia’s favourite children’s authors, Emily Rodda. Rowan is an unlikely hero who emerges, through the five books which make up the series, as a brave and strong leader. With his friends he experiences thrilling adventures and, along the way, comes to have faith in his own abilities.

Now, Scholastic has released the five books which make up this wonderful series as a single hard cover offering at the reasonable price of $29.95. For collectors and lovers of fantasy this is a real treat.

Individual Reviews of the Five Rowan stories can be found here on the Aussiereviews site:

Rowan of Rin (1993)
Rowan and the Travellers (1994)
Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal (1996)
Rowan and the Zebak (1999)
Rowan of the Bukshah (2003)

Rowan of Rin: the Journey, by Emily Rodda
An Omnibus Book from Scholastic Australia, 2004

Rowan of the Bukshah, by Emily Rodda

Winter has come to Rin – and it is refusing to go. This is the coldest winter in livng memory and the people will die if it does not ease. When the decision is made to leave the town and head for the coast, Rowan decides he must stay with his beloved Bukshah. But first, he must consult Sheba, to learn what message she has for him.

As before, Sheba has a rhyme for Rowan, a rhyme he does not understand. It seems sacrifice is needed. Rowan sets out on the most terrifying quest of his life, aware that he may not return. Will he have the strength to do what must be done?

This is the fifth and final book in the Rowan series, and Rodda does not disappoint. Favourite characters from previous episodes work alongside Rowan to face his biggest challenge yet, and all dig deep to find the answer to Rin’s problems. A satisfying conclusion to the series.

Rowan of the Bukshah,by Emily Rodda
Omnibus, 2003

Rowan and the Zebak, by Emily Rodda

On his mother’s wedding day Rowan senses danger but dares not say anything, for fear of being wrong and spoiling the wedding. When his sister Annad is snatched by a flying creature, Rowan blames himself and sets out on a quest to save her.

Annad has been taken to the land of the Zebak, Rin’s powerful enemy and Rowan and his friends have only a series of strange riddles and a mysterious package to guide them. When they find Annad they also uncover another secret.

This is the fourth book in Emily Rodda’s much-loved series. Rowan is an unlikely hero – once seen as a disappointing weakling by his people, he has come to be respected for his courage in the face of that weakness. The first book in the series was judged CBC Book of the Year in 1994, and the second and third books also received acclaim.

A great introduction to the fantasy genre for 8 to 12 year olds.

Rowan and the Zebak, by Emily Rodda
Omnibus, 1999

Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal, by Emily Rodda

The Crystal dims.
The Chooser is summoned . . .

When a messenger bears this strange message from the far-off land of Maris, Rowan doesn’t realise the impact it will have on him – and on those close to him. His mother, it turns out, is The Chooser and Rowan, as her first-born, is the next in line. Together they must travel all the way to the sea to help the Maris peopl choose their new leader, the Keeper of the Crystal.

Along the way, Rowan learns of his mother’s role as The Chooser, and of the responsibilities he must take on should anything happen to her. Little does he expect this to occur.

In Maris, though, nothing is as Rowan expects, and soon he finds himself faced with challenges and decisions previously unimaginable. Can he find the courage and wisdom to make these decisions, and fulfill all his obligations?

Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal is the third title in this popular series from author Emily Rodda.

Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal, by Emily Rodda
Omnibus Books, 1996

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