Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal is a fantasy novel written by Emily Rodda. It is the third book in the Rowan of Rin series.
Rowan and his mother have been called to Maris to choose the new Keeper of the seaside village's precious Crystal, a dangerous task Rowan's family has been bound to for generations.
But this time, something goes terribly wrong. Rowan's mother is poisoned and near death, and Rowan must find the antidote, outwit a deadly sea serpent, and pick a new Keeper -- before it's too late.
In the village square, the people of Rin gather after hearing the bell ring, to witness the arrival of a Maris messenger. The messenger, who calls himself Perlain, warns that the Crystal is dimming. Lann assures him that the Chooser has heard the summons, and will obey it, no matter the danger.
Perlain wishes to leave straight away for Maris, despite his dehydration, but Lann objects to it, and promises that the Chooser will leave at sunset. To Rowan's shock, it is Jiller who agrees.
Confused and afraid, Rowan follows his mother and Jonn to their home to prepare for the journey, and begs Jiller to tell him what is happening. Jiller however refuses to speak, instead staying grimly silent. It is Jonn who speaks, telling Rowan to wait until they are alone, for Jiller will not speak about this until then. Feeling very bewildered at the turn of events, Rowan is filled with questions he does not voice. He recalls a memory, of sitting under the Teaching Tree during a lesson in which Timon spoke about the history of Maris and the Keeper of the Crystal.