Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda
Emily Rodda’s Rowan of Rin series is a gentle and exciting introduction to traditional fantasy. The series consists of five books, each a different story that subtly builds on the previous instalment, and they are all collected here in this special hardback edition.
Rodda has deliberately kept the fictional world of Rin small. The names are uncomplicated variations on common terms. There are no Cthulhus or Azaghâls here – truly a blessing for any parent reading this aloud to their children. There are only a few fantasytype creatures, all of which are easy to imagine and not intended to be terrifying (the small village of Rin is mercifully free of Dementors). And the stories themselves are simple, established adventure tales: in the first book, Rowan of Rin, a reluctant child hero climbs a mountain, defeats the dragon (by gently removing a bone stuck in its tooth) and saves the day in a manner that celebrates kindness (killing the dragon would have doomed the village).
I first stumbled across Rowan when I was 10 years old and I have loved him ever since. A quiet, shy, ‘skinny rabbit’ of a boy, he’s one of my favourite fictional characters of all time and was the first character to show me that you can’t be brave if you’re not scared first. Though Rowan never becomes the strong, take-charge person his village expects all citizens of Rin to be, he certainly becomes more comfortable and confident in who he is and the village in turn becomes more accepting.
The Rowan of Rin series is perfect for any child who is eager to read Harry Potter but isn’t quite ready yet. For ages 7+.