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Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal
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Gr 4-6-In this third book in the series, Rowan and his mother journey to the Maris folk on the coast so that she can choose the new Keeper of the Crystal, who will lead the Maris when the old Keeper dies. His mother knows that death is a distinct possibility but must fulfill her duty or else the Crystal will die and the Maris will no longer be protected against attack from the Zebak. When she is poisoned, Rowan breaks a 1000-year-old tradition by refusing to choose a candidate using the customary tests. He insists that the three candidates accompany him to an island to get the rare ingredients for an antidote to the poison. With their reluctant aid, he gathers what he needs, though it means plunging into one peril after another. Having survived both savage beasts and deadly political intrigues, he has one more test in store, for at the last possible instant, he realizes that the newly chosen Keeper has been bespelled by the Zebak. In this suspenseful, clever story, Rodda gives her young hero a generous supply of courage and wit, which proves helpful when he is faced with a series of catastrophes. Rowan's inner, if not outer, stature grows in each individual episode of this well-written, entertaining series.-Janet Gillen, Great Neck Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Back for a third installment in Emily Rodda's Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal, the hero faces his greatest challenge yet when the poisoning of his mother thrusts him into the role of selecting a new "keeper of the crystal" as he also attempts to find a life-saving antidote for his mother. ( Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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