She hurried to the porthole and looked out. The sky was filmed with cloud through which the sun glowed sullenly, casting an eerie yellow light. The sea was dull and oily-looking. At first she could see nothing unusual. And then she began to pick out dark shapes beneath the surface of the water, many, many dark shapes, and as she realised what they were, the hair on the back of her neck began to prickle.
‘Turtles!’ she whispered.
Although the Star of Deltorahas managed to escape Illica, Britta is still in danger. She must stay in her cabin, safe from the moody distrust coming her way from the ship’s crew, who think she is a witch and the reason the voyage has been beset with problems. In spite of Britta’s protestations, the ship is being surrounded by turtles, seeming to want to steer the ship. Britta soon realises that the Staff of Tier has sensed her, and wants her to come to the Hungry Isle. Could it be that her secrecy has lead her and her friends, including Trader Mab, into terrible danger?
The fourth title in the Star of Deltora series, The Hungry Isle provides a gripping climax to the journey that Britta and her fellow would-be Trader’s apprentices have been on. Britta has managed to keep her true identity – as the daughter of the hated Dare Larsett – a secret, but when everything hangs in the balance, the secret is no longer hers to keep.
Best read after the first three titles, The Hungry Isle is a satisfying conlusion to the series.
The Hungry Isle, by Emily Rodda
And at that moment, Britta threw caution to the winds. She tore her eyes from the model ship and looked up at the old man staring at her so anxiously.
‘I will be at the Traders’ Hall tomorrow,’ she said. ‘How can I resist?’
‘Hooroar!’ Gaptain Gripp bellowed, punching the air. ‘Did you hear that, Bosun? She’ll try for it! An’ you mark my words, Bosun, she’ll do us proud! She’ll show those other traders’ daughters a thing or two!’
For as long as she can remember, Britta has wanted to be a trader like her father. But since his quest to find the Staff of Tier brought disgrace to his name and to his family left behind, that dream has seemed unreachable. Now, though, she has a chance. There is a challenge to select the apprentice to the Trader Rosalyn. and Britta is eligible – as long as the townspeople don’t realise who she is. Determined to be selected, Britta risks everything for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Shadows of the Master is the first in the new Star of Deltora series. Set in the same reality as the Rowan of Rinn and The Three Doors series, this new series promises to be as much loved as its predecessors. Readers will bond with the resourceful Britta and her efforts to follow her dreams in spite of her insecurities. Other characters are also intriguing, and it will be interesting to see how her fellow apprentices – three every different characters – develop across the series.
While young fantasy fans are likely to appreciate the book, it also likely to appeal to those who are perhaps less familiar with the genre, because it is both accessible and well-paced, at a length that is not too daunting.
A gripping introduction to what promises to be an excellent series.
Shadows of the Master, by Emily Rodda
Omnibus Books, 2015
This book of tales contains the secret history of Deltora. That is a startling claim, I know, but it is true.With these words, Josef, the Palace librarian, begins this magnificent volume, a boon for fans of the Deltora Quest series. Presented in large format hard cover, this is a collector’s item which provides the history of Deltora prior to the events of the fifteen books of the Deltora Quest series.
Deltora fans will learn about the origins of the Shadow Lord and the Ak-Baba and about the Masked Ones. They will also read about how Adin collected the gems which make up the Belt of Deltora. There are nineteen tales here, providing background history and recounting Adin’s adventures as he collects the gems. Each story is self-contained, but are best enjoyed in order, as the plot builds on previous tales.
This history is gorgeously complemented by full colour plates illustrated by Marc McBride. Filled with dragons and the other mythical creatures of Deltora, each is finely detailed and lavishly coloured.
Fans of the Deltora series will be delighted with this new offering. Those who’ve not yet read the series will be inspired to do so.
Tales of Deltora, by Emily Rodda, illustrated by Marc McBride
Lief hit powdery earth, and rolled. The song of the Sister was like a knife cutting into his brain. He groaned in agony and curled himself into a ball, his eyes screwed shut. But still he gripped the Belt of Deltora, gripped it so tightly that his hands ached and slowly, slowly the soothing power of the amethyst, the strength of the diamond, gave him the will to open his eyes.
Since 1997 kids from all over the world have been following the adventures of Lief and his friends Barda and Jasmine as they have sought to restore Deltora to its former glory. At every step they have had to triumph over evil. Now, in the final instalment of the third series, the friends’ quest reaches its terrifying end.
In Sister of the South the companions return to their home, the city of Del, where they believe the last of the Shadow Lord’s evil creations – the Sister of the South – lies hidden in the heart of the city. From the moment he reenters Del, Lief feels a terrible sense of foreboding, but he knows he must go on. Surely destroying the Sister of the South will mean an end to the evil influence of the Shadow Lord. But there is something else troubling him. What was Josef, the palace librarian, trying to tell him before he died? Could Rowan be about to make the biggest mistake of all?
Whilst young fans will be saddened by the ending of such a succesful series, they will not be disappointed by this final installment. The book has twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and a satisfactory ending, which is less predictable than expected.
Sister of the South: Deltora Quest 3 #4, by Emily Rodda
Scholastic Press, 2004
King Alton of Deltora had a son. Who was this?
How do Grade One Ols always travel?
Who were Berry, Lewin and Jay?
The Deltora Quest series are amongst the most popular children’s fantasy titles in Australia and overseas. Now young fans can test their knowledge of the entire series with The Authorised Ultimate Deltora Quiz Book. With questions for each book from Deltora Quest 1 and 2 and for the first two books in Deltora Quest 3 (there are more titles still to come), as well as for the Delotora Book of Monsters and some questions which cover the whole series, there are over 1000 questions sure to test even the best-read fan. The arrangement of questions in chronological order encourages readers to reread the books or, if they’ve not yet read them, to read each book before attempting the questions.
This would make an excellent addition to a school library and, where the books are being read in class, would be fine for classroom use.
The Authorised Deltora Quiz Book, by Tamelas
Scholastic Press, 2004
The third installment of the third and final series of Deltora Quest adventures rolls on, with Lief, Barda and Jasmine out to find the third of the Four Sisters, evil creations of the Shadow Lord which have been poisoning the land of Deltora.
This time the friends must fight even harder to achieve their goal. It seems the Shadow Lord is following their movements and is determined to put a stop to their quest. It will take all of their strength and courage to reach their goal and destroy the third sister. When the three are separated, Lief and Barda must gamble for their freedom, whilst Jasmine calls on some of their old friends to help her to find them.
As with the earlier titles, this is a story sure to appeal to young fantasy readers. With plenty of action and mystery, there are also codes to crack and the familiarity of friends from previous titles in the series. Fans will be left waiting eagerly for the next installment to be published.
Isle of the Dead, by Emily Rodda
The popular Deltora Quest series continues with this, the second book of the third series.
Lief, Barda and Jasmine have reunited and have already managed to defeat the sister of the east, one of four evil creations left by the Shadow Lord to poison the land. Now the trio must seek and defeat the second Sister – the Sister of the North, hidden in the mountains which border the Shadowlands.
Together the three cross Deltora, helped by friends both old and new, and by the sleeping dragons they awaken. But along the way Lief and his friends have to face some of their biggest challenges.
The Deltora Quest series has attracted a strong following among young fantasy fans. It is an excellent introduction to the genre, with plenty of action and easy to follow plots which stand alone as well as developing the ongoing story.
Shadowgate: Deltora Quest 3, by Emily Rodda
Emily Rodda is one of Australia’s most acclaimed and succesful authors of fantasy for children. Her popular Deltora Quest books are now in their third series, and Dragon’s Nest, the first installment in the series, is sure to satisfy young fans.
Lief, Barda and Jasmine reunite when they realise that the Shadow Lord, who they previously defeated and banished, has left behind the seeds of death, hidden around the kingdom. These four creations are slowly killing the land, foreshadowing a return by the Shadow Lords. The three young heroes must find and destroy them if they are to ensure a better future for Deltora.
Rodda tells a good tale, which is accessible to young readers. Even those with little experience of the fantasy genre will be drawn into the adventures of Lief and his friends.
Dragon’s Nest, by Emily Rodda