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Rowan Hood Returns Hardcover – June 16, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Rowan Hood
  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; 1St Edition edition (June 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399242066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399242069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,896,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–Rowan Hood, the famous outlaw's bold, brave, and sensitive daughter, founds her own band of cohorts in Sherwood Forest to avenge her mother's death. Princess Ettarde, Lionel, and Rook have been featured in separate books in the series and many of the plot elements from the earlier titles carry over into this concluding volume. It opens in spring with Etty's arrival and her revelation to Rowan of the names of her mother's murderers. The teen decides to seek vengeance, severely testing the loyalty of each member of her band. Rowan is gathering coltsfoot when she senses a profound change. Her special powers seem to be waning and she is filled with a sense of foreboding. Once she sets her course, to return to Celandine's wood, her little band undertakes a long and perilous journey. The talents of each member are called upon as they venture through a landscape filled with bounty hunters, man traps, bad weather, and poor cover. The young outlaws and Rowan's uncanny wolf-dog, Tykell, defy capture, witness two knights' fight to the death, and call on the aelfin folk for guidance. As 15-year-old Rowan faces not only physical dangers, but also the detrimental effects of revenge seeking, she approaches adulthood and an awareness of how best to use her powers. Springer weaves enough of the previous stories in for readers new to the series to follow the action, but this final volume is best read as the satisfying conclusion to the saga.–Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. Subtitled The Final Chapter, this fourth (and presumably last) entry in Springer's Tales of Rowan Hood series brings the Sherwood Forest story cycle satisfyingly full circle, returning the narrative focus to Rowan herself. Bounty hunters continue to harry Robin Hood's daughter and her band of good-hearted outlaws, but the most prominent conflict here is internal: Rowan has discovered the identities of those who murdered her mother (a "forestwife" healer) two years ago. Overcome with "an inner darkening, a chill in her bones," the stricken teen sets out to exact vengeance. Rowan's friends suppress concern over their leader's uncharacteristically grim outlook and violent intent, lending support--both emotional and physical, as her injured legs seem to weaken inversely proportionate to her fury--and bearing witness as she feels her way back to her true purpose in life. Slender but deeply felt, and dense with detail that reflects and extends the richness of the interior landscapes traversed, this brings a favorite medieval adventure series to a brooding but graceful close. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amy Aldrich on June 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There is just a bit of sadness in reading Rowan Hood Returns as it brings to conclusion a simple but charming series featuring Rowan Hood of the Rowan Wood (daughter of Robin Hood). Both my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed this series (and read through it quite quickly). We enjoyed reading each book in turn, learning a bit more about each member of her band of outlaws and their exploits. In this final book, we return (having come full circle once again) to Rowan, formerly Rosemary (she changed her name when her mother was murdered and she set out to find her father, the infamous outlaw Robin Hood). As we join the merry band once again, Princess Etty returns having learned the name of the killers of Rowan's mother. Having already sensed that "something" was about to happen, Rowan's heart fills with anger and rage and she vows (once again) to avenge her mothers' death. The band sets out...because none will allow the still injured Rowan (injury occurred in the first book) to make the journey herself. For all the action of this book, the true conflict is mainly internal. Rowan must explore within herself the conflicting emotions...she is a healer, the daughter of a woodwife, yet her gifts have all but fled as anger filled her and as she journey's forward, she seems hindered at every step. Her legs betray her, she can hardly walk, the trees and vines practically assault her...as if they do not want her to go and in her own heart she is conflicted between waiting to help and heal people and an overwhelming desire to put an end to the men who heartlessly killed her mother. How will it all end and will she ever find peace again if she takes the life of another in anger? Young readers will delight in discovering how all the details come together in the end.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is truthfully one of the best books I have EVER read, next to Midnight for Charlie Bone (Jenny Nimmo), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J.K. Rowling), Molly Moon's Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure (Georgia Byng), Lionboy: The Chase (Zizou Corder), and Charmed Life (Diana Wynne Jones). Maybe it's even better than those. It is about a fifteen year old girl who you will be familiar with if you have read the last four Rowan Hood books (Rowan Hood, Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest; Lionclaw; Outlaw Princess of Sherwood; and Wild Boy.) Her real name is Rosemary, but she changed it to Rowan when she became an outlaw and met her real father, Robin Hood. Why did she do this? Her mother was horribly killed by people who Rowan does not know of. In a previous book, Rowan's legs were broken and weakened by a horrible invention of yeomanly England called a man-trap. In a different book, Ettarde, the princess of Sherwood, goes home with her mother. However, at the beginning of this book she returns with the news that she has found the names of those who killed Rowan's mother, Celandine, of Celandine's Wood. Rowan, in the other books, is gentle and kind, with a bow and arrows made of aelfin flint (she is part aelfin.) She also has the aelfin powers of healing, sensing her father, Robin hood, and speaking to the Rowan trees and the rocks and the springs. But when Etty returns with this news, Rowan's powers disappear and her legs grow weaker than they were (which is fairly weak.) She can no longer walk, but her fury rages on. She commands her cohorts, Lionel, Ettarde, Rook, and Beau to go to Celandine's wood and find the four men who Ettarde has named: Guy Longehad. Jasper of the Sinister Hand. Hurst Orricson. Holt, also Orricson, brother of Hurst.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julie VINE VOICE on August 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Though predictable, this book delivers a satisfying story about a young woman's journey to find justice and ultimately healing for the wounds to her spirit. Rowan Hood's mother was slain, but now she knows the names of the four evil men who did the deed. The knowledge sends her off with 4 friends to find these men.

I have not read the first 4 in the series, though I will probably seek them out. Enough information is provided to draw in new readers.

The narrative style is decent and easy to follow. Definitely a worthwhile read suitable for children, young adults, and adults who love fantasy stories.
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More About the Author


"Conform, go crazy, or become an artist." I have a rubber stamp declaring those words, and they pretty much delineate my life. Conforming was the thing to do when I was raised, in the fifties. Even my mother, who spent her days painting animal portraits at an easel in the corner of the kitchen, tried to conform via housecleaning, bridge parties, and a new outfit every spring. My father, who was born into a British-mannered Protestant family in southern Ireland, emigrated to America as a young man and idolized the "melting pot" because at last he fit in. Once in a rare while he recited "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" or told a tale of a leprechaun, but most of the time he was an earnest naturalized American who expected exemplary behavior of his children. My mother was a charming Pollyanna who would not entertain negative sentiments in herself or anyone around her. As their only girl and the baby of the family, I was coddled, yet hardly ever got a chance to be other than excruciatingly good.

My "conform" phase lasted right into adulthood. When I was thirteen, my parents bought a small motel near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and I spent most of my teen years helping them make beds and clean rooms. I did not date until I went to college -- Gettysburg College, all of seven miles from home. it was the height of the sixties, and I grew my hair long, but eschewed pot, protests, and "happenings." Instead, I married a preacher's son who was himself conforming by studying for the ministry. Within a few years I was Rev. Springer's wife, complete with offspringers, living in a country parsonage in southern York County, PA.

Here beginneth the "go crazy" phase.

Because I had never been allowed any negative emotions, I began to hear "voices" in my head. First they whispered "divorce" (not permissible), and later they hissed "suicide". They scared me silly. I couldn't sleep; images of knives and torture floated in front of my eyes even during the daytime; something roared like an animal inside my ears; my wrists hurt; I saw blood seeping out of the walls; panic jolted me like a cattle goad out of nowhere. Is it necessary to add that I was clinically depressed? The doctor gave me Valium and sent me to a shrink. The shrink took me off the Valium and told me I had a problem with anger. (No duh.) The next doctor zombied me on the numbing antidepressants which were available at that time. The next shrink said I had an adjustment problem. And so on, for several years, during which I somehow managed to stay alive, take care of my kids, handle the vagaries of my husband, sew clothing and grow vegetables to get by financially, cook, can preserves, show up at church, do mounds of laundry and publish "The White Hart" and "The Silver Sun"--yet not one of the doctors of shrinks ever suggested that I might be a strong person, let alone a writer. All of them were intent on "helping" poor little me "adjust" to being a housewife, mother, and pastor's wife.

Eventually I became resigned to the fact (as I perceived it) that I was an evil, sinful person with horrible things going on inside my head, and I stopped trying to fix me. I stopped going to doctors or therapists. Somehow I found courage--or desperation--to stop trying to conform or adjust or live a role.

"I am going to start taking an hour or two first thing in the morning to do my writing," I said to my husband.

"Fine," he said. He had reached the point where he would agree with whatever to humor the neurotic wife; to him it was just another of my brain farts. But to me it was the most important sentence I ever spoke. With that statement I stopped being a housewife who sometimes stole time to write, and I started being a writer.

Conform, go crazy--or become an artist.

By becoming a writer--by becoming who I truly was--I became well.

It was so simple. Although it did take years, of course; it takes a long time for good things to grow. Trees. Books. Me. Odd thing about books; they not only nourish growth but show it happening. In "The Black Beast, The Golden Swan" and many other of my early novels, you can see me dealing with the yang/yin nature of good and evil, struggling to accept my own shadow. In "Chains of Gold" and "The Hex Witch of Seldom" I start writing as a woman, no longer identifying only with male main characters. In a number of children's books I come to terms with my own childhood. And in "Apocalypse"--whoa, what a fierce, dark fantasy novel, the first thing I wrote after my income from writing enabled my husband to leave the ministry. I hadn't thought of myself as repressed when I was a pastor's wife, but obviously something broke loose when I shed that role. "Larque on the Wing"--whoa again, another breakthrough book that spiraled straight out of my muddled middle-aged psyche and took me places I'd never dreamed were in me.

It's been a long time since those days when I thought I was an evil person. I know better now, and I love and trust me even to the extent of writing "Fair Peril"--a more perilous novel than I knew at the time, interfacing all too closely with my life. Written two years before the fact, it foresees my husband's infidelity and my divorce. The most painful irony I've ever faced is that once I gained my selfhood, I lost my lifelong partner. He had supported me through episodes that would have sent most men screaming and running, but once I became well and strong, he transferred his loyalty to a skinny, neurotic waif all to similar to the young woman I once was. After supporting him through twenty-seven years of stinky socks, automotive yearnings, miscellaneous foibles, and the career change that put him where she could cry on his shoulder, I found this a bit hard to take. But I wouldn't go back to being Ms. Pitiful. Not for anything.

Now married to a rather remarkable second husband, after living 46 years in Pennsylvania I moved in 2007 to the Florida panhandle, where I spent a year living in a small apartment above the aforementioned husband's hangar in an exceedingly rural (swamps, egrets, snakes and alligators) airport. Now we have a real house about a mile from the airport on higher ground featuring tremendously tall longleaf pine trees with rattlesnakes and scorpions underneath them. Life is an adventure and I mean that sincerely.