The final tale in the saga of Rowan of Rin brings everything full circle. And I love it. it not only ends by giving you hope for the future, but it also completes the journey – not just Rowan’s, but also that of the Bukshah. And the Maris. And the Travelers. And the Zebak. And the people of the Valley of Gold. Which all worked in beautifully. And after closing the last page of this book, I was left with a great, big grin on my face.
The first three Rowan of Rin stories are really quite disjointed. The first features the people of Rin, the second the Travellers, and the third the Maris. But all have the common thread of the Zebak’s invasion in the past. They are all connected across their land. And it really isn’t until the fourth story that the connection between the different groups can really be enjoyed and appreciated.
I haven’t picked up this book in ages. And, after a long Saturday at work, I kind of needed something quick, easy and interesting to read. This was the perfect fit. I spent about an hour just disappearing into the world of Rowan of Rin. The fact that he is so different from everyone he knows and loves always drew me to his stories as a child (I wonder why) and Rodda has an amazing way of telling fantastic stories that draw you in from the beginning.
I keep looking at this book and thinking that I need to read it. And then getting distracted by something else. Because, well, I’m a goldfish. But I finally picked this up. And then promptly read it page to page before putting it back down. I didn’t even need a bookmark to have a pause halfway through.
I have been hunting for this book for ages. It was the first tale that through me into the world of novels and that I completely loved. This book is honestly the very reason that I became so obsessed with reading. So the fact that I have finally found a copy to revisit this made me one of the happiest girls in the world. And reading this again, also made me deliriously happy. And it also made me cry.
I have stopped and started this book a number of times. The first time, I liked it, it was a little slow to begin with, but I just had too much going on to really settle into it. The second time, I got 100 pages in and then a similar thing happened. After two weeks, and a lot of other things going on in my life, I picked it up again. It turns out like 101 pages in the pace of this story changes dramatically. And then I couldn’t put it down…
I didn’t realise that this novella fits towards the end of the Dark Heavens series, I actually thought it sat in beforehand, a bit like Small Shen. But, there is a small mention of Simone as a woman, so I figure it is much later in the overall series. That’s not to say that it really gave anything away, there is a small mention of Emma and John going out for Yum Cha with Simone, but that is the only hint of the future. And to be completely honest, you know that eventually they will get their happily ever after… Chan has just put them through too much to not give them that. Or me. I need that. I haven’t even finished the series. And I know that I need that happily ever after…
This was one of the books Mum bought me years ago, back when she still bought me books because I didn’t have the serious bibiliophilic problem that I have today. And I remember giving it to my sister to read when she was younger. It’s the reason that she too has started to create her own library – there’s just something about this fast-paced, fun and intriguing book that has drawn both of us in from the very first page.
I love the combination of mediums in this novel. Flicking between prose and images makes this journey really fun and different. Especially when you place it within the context of the Dark Heavens series. Following Gold through the years and his ability to get into all kinds of trouble is entertaining to say the least. The fact that his numerous mistakes are accompanied by actual facial expressions, well, it’s priceless.
Harding always sweeps me away on an epic journey that is both unexpected and thrilling. Somehow, she not only manages to weave an amazing world of mystery and mayhem, her trips into spirituality and the other leave you thinking about it in a way that no other author is able to inspire. The Alchemist’s Key was definitely such a journey for me, and one that was a little less in depth and intense than some of the other Traci Harding books which grace my shelves.