The Final Chapter
by Nancy Springer, published 2005
“Like a larger embrace, her comrades encircled her. Far more than the strands of the ring bound them all together. And it was this thought that made Rowan’s heart feel warm and full.”
After enjoying the first book in the Rowan Hood series, I searched for the next, and only when I got home from the library did I realize I selected the last of the four. And yet, as I read it, it didn’t seem to matter. I fully appreciated this last book, despite missing out on some of the earlier adventures. It was also satisfying to see how this series of children’s books would conclude.
This particular book was interesting in that Rowan loses touch with her magical powers for most of the book, as she seeks vengeance. Without saying it directly, young readers are allowed to explore the price one pays for carrying hatred in their hearts. It was also finally very uplifting at the end to see the transformation that Rowan undergoes, along with the return of her healing powers.
Most of all, I was touched by the depiction of loyalty in this children’s book, and the way Rowan’s tribe sticks by her no matter what. Even when one of them leaves, you know in your heart they are not really leaving, and of course, the boy had gone for help.
The book has a bit of fighting in it that makes it a little too violent for my tastes for younger children, but I think 10 and up can handle it quite well. A nice concluding book to a satisfying children’s book series.