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ROWAN AND THE ICE CREEPERS by Emily Rodda

ROWAN AND THE ICE CREEPERS

By Emily Rodda

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-029780-8
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Rodda’s usually absorbing series about a humble animal tender who repeatedly saves his isolated people loses some steam in this new episode. When a preternaturally savage winter forces the folk of Rin out of their homes, Rowan stays behind—impelled by both a vague rhymed prophesy and by the sudden advent of huge, toothy snow worms dubbed “ice creepers” to follow his beloved, ox-like bukshah up into the looming mountains. Accompanied by three friends met in previous adventures, he survives numerous hazards, including attacks from ice creepers (who die instantly at the touch of fire), leech-like creatures (who die at the merest touch of water from a conveniently placed spring), two wonderfully well-timed landslides, and a miraculously harmless slosh through a river of molten gold. Ultimately, he discovers that the bukshah play an important role in fighting the ice creepers, and learns more about his people’s troubled past too. Like her countryman Garth Nix, Rodda creates genuinely creepy creatures—but here she’s lost the knack for making them credible threats, or of moving her heroic characters along without contrived help from powers unknown. Disappointing. (Fiction. 11-13)