Book Review : Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
Rowan’s father died in an accident while saving his family’s lives. Rowan is reluctant to be with others and is frightened of everything. The bukshah are gentle animals that Rowan tends in their fields, with Star being his favorite. One day the stream that flows out of the mountain slows to a trickle and finally stops. Without the water the bukshah will perish as will the people of Rin. Sheba, the medicine woman, gives the adventurers a riddle to warn them of the dangers of the forbidden Mountain as they travel to discover the source of the river’s problems. Sheba insists that Rowan be among those traveling up the Mountain to discover if there is a dragon at the peak. Rowan agreed to go to save Star.
“Seven hearts the journey make. Seven ways the hearts will break. Bravest heart will carry on, When sleep is death, and hope is gone. Look in the fiery jaws of fear, and see the answer white and clear, then throw away all thoughts of home, for only then your quest is done.”
Adult Point of View
Emily Rodda’s books are great for young readers who want adventure and new worlds to explore. Rowan of Rin is a quest book, but it also teaches that there is more than one kind of strength and the importance of kindness. Rowan realizes that he can be afraid and still do hard things when it is required of him.
“And I am not the bravest heart. I fear everything! Everything!” (said Rowan)
John’s pale lips curved. ‘Yes, Skinny Rabbit. So you do,’ he murmured. ‘Fearing, you climbed the Mountain. Fearing, you faced its dangers. And fearing, you went on. That is real bravery, Rowan. Only fools do not fear.'” (p. 131)
The characters are each fairly distinct to help the reader keep track. The main characters include Strong Jonn of the Orchard, Marlie the Weaver, Bronden the Woodworker, Val and Ellis, the twins who own the Mill, Allun, who is half Traveler and half from Rin and finally Rowan of the Bukshah. Sheba, who is very much like a witch, tricks the company into having to take Rowan because the markings on the map will only work when it is held by him. After each obstacle another small warning appears to help direct them. As Sheba had predicted each one of the strong members of the group slowly leave to return to the valley, defeated by the horrors on the Mountain.
I highly recommend this book for kids about 3 – 5th grades. Another series written by Rodda that I highly recommend is the Deltora Quest series. I believe even reluctant readers will become intrigued as there is high adventure, philosophy and monsters.
From an enjoyment standpoint Rowan of Rin deserves many stars, from a literary point of view not so many. The object of wonderful little books like these are to help children develop a love of reading, hence I am leaving it starless and will let you choose its ranking.
– the Mother
Child Point of View
I thought it was cool. I liked Rowan because he was small and scared of everything. I liked the dragon best. It was confusing sometimes, like the make-believe animals (bukshah must be like really big sheep or cows). I don’t know if the berries they brought down will be good to eat. I recommend this book for boys and girls.
5 out of 5 stars
– the boy (9 years old)