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Belt of Deltora300
Adin knew that he was the one who must fill the medallions in the belt.

Rowan is in need of more information! Rowan is lacking A full history with detailed events from every book in the Rowan of Rin series. Revise the first section of the History and make it longer.

Biographical information
Alternative name(s)

Little/skinny rabbit (by Strong Jonn and Sheba)
Rowan of the Bukshah
Rowan of Rin
Chooser of Rin
First-born of the Chooser




11-12 in Rowan of the Bukshah
10 in Rowan of Rin


Jiller (as Chooser)
Minna (as bukshah herder)



Physical description




Personal information

Jiller (mother)
Sefton (father)
Annad (sister)
Jonn (stepfather)
Morgan (paternal grandfather)
Else (paternal grandmother)
Joel (great-uncle)
Lieth (ancestor)


Jonn, Allun, Marlie, Zeel, Perlain, Doss, Thiery, Norris, Shaaran, Sheba, Asha, Seaborn, Ogden


The Zebak

Chronological and political information

Bukshah herder


Chooser of Rin
Keeper of the bukshah



First appearance

Rowan of Rin

Last appearance

Rowan of the Bukshah

Rowan is a boy from the village of Rin and is the current keeper of the bukshah. He is the son of Jiller and Sefton, and the brother of Annad.[1]


Early Life[]

Rowan is a timid, quiet boy born to Jiller and Sefton among the brave and hardy people of Rin. Being different than other kids, he's always been subject to jeers and taunts. Due to his personality, Rowan continued being the keeper of the bukshah despite growing older.

When he was younger, Rowan's home was engulfed in flames and his father sacrificed himself to save him. Since then he's been very aware that the people of Rin who valued his father's strength and confidence had felt the exchange of lives was unfair, festering Rowan's feelings of being a burden.

Rowan of Rin[]

Rowan is a weak and cowardly boy, scorned and dismissed by most of the people of Rin. When the stream that runs through their village dries up, the adults of Rin ask the Wise Woman Sheba for advice, for they plan to venture into the Mountain to discover the source of the problem and bring back the stream's water. Out of spite, and to teach them a lesson, Sheba provides a map which can only be read while Rowan is holding it—thus forcing Rowan to join the expedition up into the Mountain.     

Despite being terrified of the Mountain and timid due to being surrounded by adults who he fears and is usually teased by, Rowan manages to persevere as well as he can and becomes one of the last two people who remain to reach the top of the Mountain (the other being Strong Jonn). During this journey Rowan becomes more confident in himself and less timid and afraid. He refuses to return to Rin with Marlie when Jonn begs him to, and does not give up hope near the Mountain peak when Jonn does, instead fuelling Jonn's hope and helping him survive to confront the Dragon and return to Rin. In the Dragon's cave Rowan is the one who realises the reason behind the stream drying-up, and uses his skills as a bukshah keeper to calm the dragon and wrench the bone out of its mouth to end its pain. This causes the stream to be restored and Jonn and Rowan are carried back to Rin in its waters. 

After this adventure Rowan becomes a hero of the village and is no longer teased and viewed as useless and a weakling. 

Rowan and the Travellers[]

Six months after Rowan had climbed the Mountain, during spring, the Travellers came to visit–which the people of Rin notice is unusual. After his climb to the Mountain's peak, Rowan begun accepting that he isn't foolish to fear and fear can instead become strength. Still timid and shy when attention is drawn to him, he also faces the fact that he is the only one in the village with the sniffles from the slip daisy pollen.

Although initially hesitant to conclude that the Travellers bore ill intentions, Rowan slowly came to this idea as distrust grew between Rin and the Travellers. Feeling helpless against the sleeping illness, running away to seek the Travellers instead of helping his people filled him with great sorrow and pain. He was especially distressed to learn that the same may have happened to the bukshah had he countinued to usher them back to the padocks, acknowledging that they knew of danger before he did and escaped once more. When later meeting with Odgen and the Forerunners, Rowan impulsively attacked the Forerunner Zeel when he learned of her true Zebak birth before being calmed by Ogden. To make peace with the Travellers and Rin, Rowan agreed to travel with Zeel into the Pit of Unrin to find the Valley of Gold.

When attacked by many flesh-eating trees, Rowan saved and trusted Zeel without hesitation. After finding refuge up the cliff-face, Rowan disagrees with Zeel that the Valley of Gold was truly just a legend–soon reasoning the truth with the muddy gems they had with them unknowingly. Still without an answer to the mysterious sleep in Rin, Rowan soon realised the truth of the flesh-eating trees. In dread he urged the Travellers to return him to Rin, finding the village full of Mountain berries before the flesh-eating trees would emerge. After Zeel 's futile attempt to burn the trees, and Allun running into the village to try to save the people, Rowan mulled over the reason why he was never afflicted by the illness at Ogden's urging.

The answer soon came to him and he led the way for the others as he reached Sheba's hut. With the slip daisy medicine Sheba brewed in unknowing preparation, Rowan showed the others that it was the medicine to kill the trees without hesitation or fear. With each gaining their new task, the opportunity to save the village fueled Rowan in a hurry. When Ogden later recounted this in his story Rowan felt embarrassed but did not interrupt in case he would spoil it.

Since then the Travellers claim to owe Rowan a great debt for saving their adopted daughter, Zeel, and gave him a reed pipe to call them in times of danger.

Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal[]

On a day seemingly like any other, a messenger from Maris arrives in Rin. The people of Rin learn that the Keeper of the Crystal, the Maris' leader and defender of the coast, is dying and needs the Chooser to choose the next Keeper before the power from the Crystal is lost. Although thinking that he would not be involved, Rowan was shocked to learn his mother was the next Chooser–and him her heir. When he learns that Choosing the next Keeper was a dangerous task fueled by the jealousy between the three clans of the Maris, Rowan is greatly worried for his mother and defending against the Zebak before himself.

Finding Maris a strange and uncomfortable place, especially due to the Choosing and his position, Rowan was horrified to learn his mother was poisoned and greatly suspected the Maris folk—especially their candidates. After forcing the dying Keeper to give him the recipe for his mother's illness, Rowan chose to disregard the Choosing to retrieve the ingredients he needed for the antidote. As the candidates went with him, Rowan remained wary and conscious of their potential tricks and actions but still considered their suggestions about the ingredients. While they gathered the ingredients they found, Rowan always kept in mind the recipe was intended to be completed with by a Maris. When two of the candidates become injured as they collected the ingredients, Rowan tended to their wounds as they all distrusted each other.

When at last they gathered the last ingredient and fled from the Great Serpent, they reached the Cavern of the Crystal as no time remained for the trials for the Choosing. Rowan finally applied the antidote to his ill mother as the Keeper revealed that making the antidote was the trial she made for the Choosing. In doing so, Rowan became furious when he realised she was the one who poisoned his mother. With no time left, Rowan made his choice for the next Keeper of the Crystal among the candidates and gave his reasons as he sent two out. Before the candidate he chose could join with the Crystal, however, Rowan became aware of a flaw in the candidate's story of meeting the Great Serpent a year ago. In distress Rowan revealed that the candidate was brainwashed by the Zebak and urgently tried to find a solution in time for the Choosing. As being the only one left who could become the next Keeper, Rowan willingly stepped forward to join with the Crystal to save the ones he loved.

However, after his urging to the Crystal for another way, Rowan made his decision and brought the remaining candidate forward as the others despaired. As Zebak boats lined the horizon, Rowan almost doubted his decision before the new Keeper supported it. He soon watched as the new Keeper, free from the brainwashing, displayed his loyalty to the Maris and land as Rowan suspected he would. With this becoming a lesson for the Maris folk of the Crystal being more powerful than jealousy between clans, Rowan was relieved it was over and ready to return to Rin with John and his mother.

From then on he became a friend of the Maris and had a mutual connection with the Keeper of the Crystal.

Rowan and the Zebak[]

The wedding for Rowan's mother, Jiller, and Strong John of the Orchards is finally happening and many are attending in light-hearted celebration, but Rowan cannot quell and unsettling feeling. Rowan notices that Ogden, the Travellers, and Perlain also wary but keeps silent for the sake of his mother having a happy wedding. When Annad strays from the party and is snatched by the flying grach sent from the Zebak, Rowan blames himself for not being more vigilant. Although others tell him that she is gone for good and make plans to defend themselves, Rowan sets himself on journeying to the Land of the Zebak to save his sister in whatever way. When seeking Sheba for her advice, Rowan knows not to anger her but is still put off by her remarks. He is especially hesitant to owe Sheba a baby calf from the bukshah but agrees with the trade in exchange for her gift.

Without wasting any time, Rowan speeds to the coast to the sailboat Perlain prepared for them. When he learns that Perlain, Allun, and Zeel will accompany him out of their own wills he urges them to return because he believes the journey is his own whim and full of danger. After accepting that they will join him, his journey across the stormy sea makes him realise that he was a fool for thinking he could make the journey himself. When the ship is wrecked and they all wash up on the shores of the Land of the Zebak, Rowan criticises himself multiple times for being useless in his group. And when they find Sheba's gift small and useless, Rowan feels awful for the situation he put the others in and for the calf he traded in exchange.

Attempting to cross the wastelands, Rowan like his friends risks himself to save Perlain who was attacked by a ishkin hidden under the clay. When they found the right way to cross he willed himself with the others to follow Allun's jokes and taunts to keep his mind off of danger and worry. When they reached the mirror-like wall of metal that walled the Zebak city, he refused to believe Sheba had betrayed their hope and urged the others as well. After resting in a forbidden place with water for Perlain to soak in, Rowan and the others awoke to find Zeel had left without them. When later caught by Zebak, he recognises Zeel pretended to be a guard leading them to where Annad would be.

In moments of entering the place for slaves, Rowan was shocked to find the area strangely similar to Rin. He also sympathised with Norris when Thiery scolded him for impulsively knocking out the tricked Zebak guard when he found out Zeel was an imposter. When he soon met Unos, Rowan was initially perturbed but returned to pet him when it seemed disappointed, as he could not deny a creature who wanted comfort despite his appearance. Reuniting with Annad, Rowan only comforted her and let her rest before they thought of an escape plan. He was also as shocked as the others to learn that the people of Rin's shared ancestors with these people of Thiery, Norris, and Sharron.

When it was time to make a plan to escape together, Rowan urged Thiery, Norris, and Sharron to join them although it was clear it would be much more difficult–he did not want to leave them behind. Seeing his grandchildren and the opportunity to escape, Thiery gently spoke before leaving to attend to the unconscious guard hidden in the haystack. However, Thiery uses this moment to sacrifice his life to free Unos from his oath to never let her fly, giving the others a way to escape. Rowan comforts Norris and Shannon with a heavy heart. On the return to Rin by Unos, Rowan plays his part and encourages Unos to continue across the sea and land.

After moments of reaching Rin with the people welcoming their unexpected return, they soon prepare for attack as the Zebak would soon arrive. Instead of following his mothers words of taking Annad to the mill, Rowan begs for Annad and Sharron to go to safety. The two refused to do so and Rowan used the last of Sheba's gift and began urging everyone to take cover in the trees without further thought or question. As more people did as told, Rowan explained to Lann that they are making way for a lesson. Fueled by scorching anger, the Dragon of the Mountain flew down and attacked the invaders of the sky, making everyone realise that Rowan was correct to urge them away. When all was over and Sheba met with Rowan again, he was grateful for what she had done for them and became sorrowful at the thought of his trade for her gift. With Sheba preferring to take in Unos the grach instead, Rowan was satisfied knowing Unos would be well.

From his journey to the Land of the Zebak, Rowan became learned again that he, too, had a part to play and accept more of who he was. He also learned that the bukshah were wise and that the Mountain held far more lessons and secrets.

Rowan of the Bukshah[]

With a long, harsh winter striking Rin, the choice to leave or stay is announced to the anxious people. Like the others, Rowan also despairs the looming future. When others call him forward to inquire the help of the Maris or Travellers, Rowan has become more confident over the years but still does not enjoy being singled out. After the others understand that the Maris or Travellers cannot help them, Rowan is relieved when the majority vote to leave for the coast. However, when the matter of leaving the bukshah is finally brought up, Rowan declares that he would stay and care for them until the weather changes. The people who knew him well could hear the misery in his level voice as Rowan spoke of any one of the bukshah dying. The crowd soon became uncomfortable as they wonder what to do with Sheba–Rowan's heart especially sinking when John brings up that Sheba has only him she wished to see.

On the way to Sheba's hut, Rowan keeps his eyes on the ground to avoid looking at the bare trees in a white scene and Sheba's hut. Rowan remarks that he is not the same fearful boy when he first met Sheba, and that nothing she can do would be more terrifying than his imagination. However, he had since learned that despite Sheba's malicious teasing, she always told the truth. Although Rowan intended to enter the hut without fear and not fall for Sheba's tricks, he is thrown off when the door opens suddenly and he is hit with a wave of heat. He clumsily moved forward into the hut when Sheba's called out to him and was startled by Unos who was with them. In response to Sheba's sneers, which succeeded in shaking him, Rowan stayed quiet to not let her win a battle of nerves. Sheba jeers at him further and Rowan replies in agreement when she remarks he is only an instrument following her instructions. However, Rowan doesn't fully believe this to be true and his chest tightened when Sheba called him out for it. After Sheba states that she would not leave in the morning with the others, she gives him a rhyme. As Sheba hands Rowan her medallion, he notices that she spoke as if he was an equal.

After leaving Sheba's hut, Rowan deliberately slowed his steps despite knowing how anxious his family would be at home. Also knowing that they would refuse to leave in the morning if he told them Sheba's rhyme, Rowan decided to keep it a secret as knowing that those he love were at least safe would help him bear what was coming. Seeing the people gathered at the storehouse receiving small rations, and dreading the long journey to Maris, Rowan felt a thrill of terror but fought it down. Detouring to the House of Books, Rowan was drawn to their past painted on the silks and returned home after a moment. When his family ask him about Sheba, Rowan felt very lonely and weary as he turned their attention away from him. Although usually relishing his privacy after Annad moved to her own bedroom, that night his room felt especially empty. The Legend of the Cold Times and Neel's superstitious nonsense wandered around his mind but he couldn't get it out.

In the night, Rowan is plagued by an uneasy dream foretelling his, Sharron, and Norris' climb up the Mountain and awakes telling himself that it would not happen. A scream soon took his attention and he raced to the House of Books which was becoming alive with flames. When Rowan saw Sharron doing her best to prevent Neel from burning the silks, Neel leaped at him for the torch in his hands as Rowan called for John. After calling to the crowd of Neel's actions, Rowan plunged into the smoky room to pull Sharron to safety. He soothed her with words as she explained what happened, while realising Sharron would now not leave the injured Norris for the journey. However, he refuses to believe his dream was a prophecy. Becoming aware the bukshah were bellowing, Rowan left to tend to them.

Making his way to the familiar shapes through the mist, Rowan became more convinced that it was a coincedince for Sharron and Norris not to leave in the morning. When Rowan found the bukshah crowded tightly, he crooned to them before realising there was something else amiss. Calling out each of their names, Rowan fought despair when he noticed that one was missing with only one reason for it. Before he could investigate further, John called out to him and showed him a path burned through the snow from Sheba's hut to the coast. They found that as Sheba intended, she had not left for the coast with the others but rode on Unos and blazed a path to lead them. In the morning, Rowan and Sharron sent off the crowd of people leaving. As only Allun looked back at them, Rowan clarified to Sharron that they do care but did not show it as the Rin way. Rowan, understanding Sharron feeling different from those of Rin, tried to cheer her up but misspoke and brought up Neel—who was still not found. Rowan asked if Sharron would join him to feed the bukshah but understood that she would not out of fear. However, he commented that they would not harm her as they were very gentle. Rowan could not find an answer when Sharron asked why the bukshah had horns at all.

Joining the others at the bakery, Rowan informed Lann that he could not help at the moment as he needed to find the bukshah who died in the night. After feeding the bukshah, Rowan asked Star the bukshah where Twilight was. Following her, Rowan was felt teary thinking of Twilight collapsing in the snow. As he shoveled the snow aside, he couldn't stop his fear and shaking despite being familiar with death. When his spade plunged through empty space, Rowan was shocked to find Twilight at the end of a long, narrow space in the snow. He could not bring himself to break into that icy tomb and sealed the opening back with snow. The remaining day passed like a dream but Rowan spoke nothing about his discoveries in the bukshah field. He returned to the bakery for the night and fell asleep.

His eyes opened to another dream, with three figures around a tiny fire in a cave. In the dream, they asked Sharron to show them one of the silk paintings but were met with the image of a slithering mass of icy snake-like things with no eyes and sharp jaws. Rowan soon awoke to Bronden's voice, who said he was thrashing about in his sleep. But Rowan's attention was on the bukshah who he now knew were right to be wary, immediately running out to them with a torch. He ran through the freezing mist and was shocked to find Neel ahead and facing towering snake-like creatures with gaping mouths. Rowan leaped forward and tried to drag Neel up from the snow, but was knocked down before Neel climbed past Rowan only to be struck by an ice creeper. Now in danger, Rowan called out to Sharron and Bronden to stay back but they came forward with torches to help him. When Bronden was distracted a moment when Norris and Lann arrived, an ice creeper struck and Rowan threw himself forward to catch her around the knees. As the ice creeper held strong and unaffected by Lann's sword, Rowan thrust his torch into its jaws and it recoiled back. Holding their torches against the ice creepers, flames soon raored up from the feed shed and chased away the creatures. With the need to tend to Bronden's injuries, Rowan explained to the worried Sharron that the bukshah had long left before the ice creepers came and attacked Neel. When Lann spoke of Neel's misfortune, Rowan thought of vivid memories of him as well.

When Sharron confronted Rowan of knowing more than he had said at the bakery, he finally revealed Sheba's rhyme to them. Knowing they must follow the bukshah, Norris and Sharron stepped forward to join Rowan. Although Rowan tried to disagree, he could not change their mind. And when Lann brought up that they were only three, Rowan said it was enough but hesitated to explain further. The idea of being seen similar to Sheba making his stomach churn and decide to keep the dreams a scecret.

After caring for Bronden, the rest prepared for the journey and went to rest for the night. With a sleepless night, Rowan met Lann in the morning and felt apologetic for leaving her and Bronden alone. They soon arrived at Lann's house as she needed to fetch some items from a wooden chest under her bed. With a surprise, Lann spoke to Rowan about the creation of the chest and the relation with his family. Inside were the last remaining bukshah-skin warrior cloaks in Rin. Lann revealed that although they have disagreed, she and Rowan were not so different in ways that mattered, giving the cloaks to him and the others for their journey. When Lann remarked that she would have taken his place if she could, Rowan told her the truth that she could not do that even if she had the strength as it was his fate. In a moment Rowan felt a cold shudder and imagined how easy it would be to run away to the coast but soon saw a vision of the future if he did. With the clear and vivid vision, even the Keeper of the Crystal from the coast shared it. With his attention being drawn back to reality, the urge to flee vanished and left a sour shame in its place.

At dawn the three left following the bukshah tracks in the snow. After filling their flasks with water, they soon realised who their fourth member to join them would be as Zeel flew to them from Maris. Rowan tries to convince her to leave the dangerous journey but she, too, decides to go. As they began their journey up the Mountain, Rowan dwelled on the idea that each of them had a part to play. Coming to a rocky archway, a question from Sharron prompted Rowan's medallion to burn hot. Rowan clutched at it to pull it away but words split out of his mouths before he fainted. Although sleep tempted him, he soon awoke with the thought of the bukshah.

In the place past the archway, Rowan, Zeel, and Norris were struck under hallucinations of their hated enemies and cured by Sharron's tears. Instead of seeing his friends, Rowan saw a Zebak guard, a flesh-eating tree, and an ice creeper. After tending to their wounds for a moment, they resumed their journey following the trail. With the need for shelter and fire before nightfall, Rowan saw a vision and blurted out about a cave on the clifface ahead. When Zeel suspected he was hiding something, Rowan hesitated to say anything more which caused Zeel to snap at him and prompt the medallion again. Once hearing the rhyme, Zeel prepared to fly and Rowan argued desperately for her to not to do so due to the danger. Zeel soon farewelled him and he returned the same, but he still felt dread for the future he saw. When at last Norris fell in despair, Rowan steeled himself to call Norris a coward in hopes of urging him forward. At the cliff-face with a cave higher than they could reach, Rowan could not deny Norris' offer of using him to climb into the cave despite his injuries. Before they could all enter the cave, ice creepers soon came and Rowan hurried to light torches, cursing himself for his clumsiness in doing so.

In the cave they tried to make themselves comfortable but felt the looming dread before them. Rowan offered to take the first watch for the night. When ice creepers began scrabbling overhead, Rowan prompted a conversation with Zeel to mask the sounds. After Sharron mistakenly showed one of the silks, their surroundings rumbled and the fire went out. Rowan had another vision in his dream before waking to darkness. He immediately went to light a torch but Norris scolded at him to put it out before it ate the remaining air they breathed. After exiting through the collapsed snow, Rowan began seeing shadows that plagued him until his friends pulled him out of his sick dizziness. Although Sharron, Norris and Zeel knew he was hiding something it was not the right time and place for his explanations. The group left to follow the bukshah trails to a grove of trees.

Sensing the bukshah close by, Rowan tried to call out to Star but did not receive a response. Rowan wanted to plunge into the forest at once but did not want to risk his friends, who would certainly follow him, to go into danger heedlessly. It was only when Norris promptly the medallion that they knew what they must do, with Rowan's friends ready to support him if he fell. Remaining vigilant, the group entered the grove and soon spotted and glimmer of light ahead. Rowan had to force himself not to run ahead but began moving faster as the clearing became closer. They were soon alert when Sharron screamed and brought their attention to the star-shaped creatures on their bodies. Realising the tree bark were blood-sucking creatures, they rushed to the clearing to find the bukshah collapsed and covered in them. Rowan quickly went to Star and became hopeful when he found even the youngest bukshah still alive. Rowan tried to call the others to help but was shocked when he learned that nothing they did could get the creatures off.

They despaired for a moment before finding the true cure underneath the dead tree Star seemingly tried to move. With the creatures dying due to the hot water underneath, Rowan helped Sharron carry Norris to be healed in the water. When Star herded the others and plunged into the small pool herself Rowan fearfully dove for her. He was only pushed up and to the side of the pool by Star to make way for the herd. After resting for the night in the grove, Rowan quickly roused the others when Star woke him before dawn, trusting their instincts as they intended to move forward. When they stopped at level place surrounded by cliff walls, Rowan prompted the medallion himself and realised it was at last time to part with his friends.

Naturally, they opposed him and he tried to convince them to leave by revealing the secret of his dreams that had long plagued his mind. When the others consoled him otherwise, Rowan was humbled and could not forbid the others from their decisions despite how wrong it felt. Climbing up the rocks, Rowan's mind was on the bukshah and he almost slipped, forcing him to pay more attention to climbing than other things. When they soon found the truth of the ice creepers inside the Mountain, they desperately climbed back down as the ice creepers chased. Reaching the bukshah, Rowan understood that the bukshah would not let them out of their tight circle but did not know why yet. When earthbound thunder finally struck, the group could not stand the sound and the vibrations. It soon felt like a dream to Rowan as he climbed up the revealed stairway with the bukshah, aware that his friends were following him but did not turn to look.

Reaching the entrance to the Mountain's heart, Rowan urged the bukshah to leave as he thought of what he needed to do. After making their way down the stairs, Rowan stared down into the round hole in the floor. Voices from his memory called his attention and Rowan readied himself to jump, with Zeel and Norris doing the same. However, Sharron argued that throwing themselves into the heart would not do anything and Rowan realises that she is right. Repeating Sheba's first rhyme, Rowan brought attention to each of them having made a sacrifice in some way already—his being the friendship between them. At last Rowan realised what they were supposed to do all along and rushed back to the bukshah, moving the rocks to let them pass.

With the buskhah fulfilling their ancient instinct to feed on the material of the ice creepers' nest, the group understand how the first Cold Time came and what happened to the bukshah afterwards. Rowan remarks that he is ashamed he did not think there was a reason for the bukshah to stray from Rin the winter, despite knowing they are wise not stupid. Now with one more mystery remaining, Rowan led the others to the vision he saw before he ran out of the cavern. After uncovering the lost history of the past, they make their descent back to Rin. When Sharron asked Rowan for why Sheba told him only he could lead the quest, Rowan answered that it was because he is the keeper of the bukshah, who love and trust them as much as he does in return; because he is a dreamer the medallion would accept him, and because Rowan has had much practice in thinking of new ways to solve problems. Rowan adds that it was also because he had friends who would follow him, who were also needed for the quest to succeed. Back in Rin, they are shocked to find that a few people had returned to wait for them. At last, the people could truly come home, in more ways than one.

Physical appearance[]

Rowan is described as being a scrawny, weak boy. His skin is pale white.[1][2][nb 1] His hair is depicted as being dark brown across all book cover illustrations, although the actual colour is never specified in the books. It is implied that Rowan is 10 years old in Rowan of Rin, where it is later implied a few years have passed until the events of Rowan and the Bukshah.[1][nb 2]


Rowan is first introduced as a weak and cowardly boy who feared everything and could only tend the gentle Bukshah. As dreamy and quiet as he was, Rowan was also perceptive of people's emotions when it was not the way of Rin to express their emotions vulnerably. Despite this, Rowan shows great loyalty and love for those close to him and willingly faces his fears when he must. He even dislikes the thought of others in danger even if they and teased him. Rowan is also sensitive to feeling like a burden. Over time, however, he became more confident and comfortable as he learned to accept his differences.


As much as Rowan lacks strength he makes up for with his wit and understanding.

In Rowan of Rin, Sheba gives the group climbing the Mountain a map that is only visible in Rowan's hands.

In Rowan and the Travellers, Rowan is afflicted with sniffles due to the pollen from the slip daisies blooming. Sheba gives him medicine made from slip daisy roots to help him.

In Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal, the dying Keeper gives Rowan a vision of the recipe of the antidote to save his mother. After the new Keeper is chosen, Rowan has a strange connection with the Keeper and the Crystal due to almost becoming the new Keeper.

In Rowan and the Zebak, Sheba gives Rowan special sticks to burn and her medallion, which he uses to pass along her rhymes each time they need.

In Rowan and the Bukshah, Sheba gives Rowan her medallion once again, giving him the ability to temporarily have prophetic dreams and rhymes in her stead.





Rowan's mother who married his father, Sefton. As a person of Rin, she knows how to keep her emotions controlled. Rowan knows that it was hard for her to be patient and understanding with him being different to herself and Annad but she cares and worries for him very much. Jiller is also from the line of Chooser who choose the next Keeper of the Crystal when it is time, as such Rowan is the Chooser's heir if anything happened to her during the Choosing.


Rowan's younger sister who acts more like the brave people of Rin than him, although still a child. Although knowing that bravery and strength are important traits, Annad trusts and cares for Rowan deeply.


Rowan's father who died saving him when he was a young child. Since that day Rowan felt that his father's life in exchange for his own was unworthy, especially due to the remarks from the others who did not look fondly to his kind and quiet nature. Rowan still remembers him as a brave and strong father who loved him greatly and was well liked in Rin.

Strong John of the Orchard[]

Initially, Rowan didn't think well of the relationship between John and his mother. Over time, he grew to understand that John would not replace his father in Rowan's heart—instead being accepted with a bigger heart. Rowan's grown to trust and depend on John, knowing that he would return the same for him.


Joel is Rowan's grandfather's brother who died when he was young. Rowan relates to him when told that although his grandfather cared deeply about Joel, the taunts and bullying for his nature eventually led to his death. Before his death he crafted a joint wedding present for the wedding between Morgan and Lann—which never happened after Joel's death.



To Rowan, Sheba was a figure of children's nightmares despite the aid she brings to the village. Understandably, his first meeting with her was full of fear. As her grew more accustomed with her rhymes and jeers, he also better understood that despite her malicious teasing she always spoke the truth.


As an old warrior who values bravery and strength, she didn't look very favorably at Rowan. As Rowan acheived great things time and time again, Lann learned to accept him. She reveals to him in Rowan and the Bukshah that had things been different with his grandfather, she could have become his grandmother. When she describes what happened to Joel, Rowan understands that Lann likely saw his similarities with him. Rowan also understands that Lann makes decisions for the best of the village. Lann also revealed to him that although they disagreed, they were not so different in ways that mattered.


Rowan had always seen Allun as someone different from the people of Rin, suspecting that even he understood what the taunts and jeers of his peers was like. Allun confirmed this on their journey up the Mountain. Since then, Rowan understood that Allun always put up a joking facade but will also fight for his peoples if needed.


Timon, like the other kids in Rin, is Rowan's teacher who taught children under the Teaching Tree. Rowan finds that Timon was unexpectedly connected to his family through the Choosing.


Rowan thinks Marlie is a strong woman of Rin but their journey up the Mountain made him realise that she herself had fears of her own like him.


Rowan thinks Bronden is a strong-headed woman and found that she had her own weaknesses when they journeyed up the Mountain.


When Rowan first met him in the Land of the Zebak, Rowan recognised his similarities to the strong and brave people of Rin. He empathised with his feeling of being different to the people around him. They both consider each other to be a good friend.


When Rowan first met her in the Land of the Zebak, Rowan was surprised to find her personality similar to his. After rescuing Sharron and her brother from the Land of the Zebak, they consider themselves to be oddities among Rin but not so rare as there were two of them. They consider each other to be a good friend, with Sharron usually trusting Rowan without question. Sharron and Rowan especially share the same trait of facing their fears when danger comes to people they love.



Seeing Ogden as the mysterious story-teller of the Travellers, Rowan was shy when he spoke with him directly for the first time. Over time, Rowan has grown to understand that Ogden is very wise and may even know more than he tells. In return, Odgen has faith in Rowan.


Rowan was initially interested in each of the Forerunners when he first saw them. When he later realised she was Zebak-born he attacked her out of anger and despair due to the illness that befell Rin. In an act to make peace and show that the bond between Rin and the Travellers was unbroken after much distrust, Rowan entered the Pit of Unrin with Zeel to find the Valley of Gold. Since then, Zeel and the Travellers claimed they owed a debt to Rowan for saving Zeel from the flesh-eating trees.

The first and only time Rowan saw Zeel in tears was in Rowan of the Bukshah, as they uncovered the remains of the past.



Rowan's first impression of Perlain was interest in his first time meeting a Maris man. Although strange, Rowan accepts his hospitality and advice regarding being wary during the Choosing. When Rowan decides to rescue Annad from the Land of the Zebak, Perlain thinks it is a crazy idea but still prepares a sailboat and travels with Rowan despite the danger. In the Land of the Zebak they show their trust and friendship as they accomplish challenges in their way.

Seaborn of Fisk[]

Initially wary of each of the candidates for the Choosing, Rowan thought he resembled John. Seaborn later considered him a friend after the Choosing and invited Rowan to his wedding.

Asha of Umbray[]

Initially wary of each of the candidates for the Choosing, Rowan thought she resembled Jiller. Asha later thanked him for his decision in choosing another to be the next Keeper as she accepts she would have done the same as the old ways instead of tried new ones.

Doss of Pandellis[]

Initially wary of each of the candidates for the Choosing, Rowan thought he resembled himself. After the Choosing, Doss and Rowan become connected by the power of the crystal and share understandings with each other.


Rowan of Rin[]


  • As Rowan cares for the bukshah, he has memorised each of their names.
  • Rowan feels so close to the bukshah that he was known to not even stand the thought of any dying.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rodda, Emily. Rowan of Rin. Scholastic Australia. 1993.
  2. Rodda, Emily. Rowan and the Travellers. Scholastic Australia. 1994.

See also[]

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