Deltora Quest | Book Series Review

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Complete Series (21st Anniversary Edition) by Emily Rodda

SERIES: Deltora Quest (Books 1 – 8)

LENGTH: 736 pages

GENRES: Fantasy, Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, Fiction

PUBLISHER: Omnibus Books (Scholastic Australia)

RELEASE DATE: 2021 (Original editions published 2000)


A special 21st anniversary edition of the best-selling first series of Deltora Quest from award-winning master story-teller Emily Rodda…

Three companions – Leif, Barda and Jasmine – are on a perilous quest to find the seven lost gems of the Belt of Deltora. Only when the belt is complete will the evil Shadow Lord and his rule of tyranny be overcome. Set in the fantasy world of Deltora, a sprawling kingdom of magic and monsters, bordered by the sea and a vast, curving mountain range, beyond which is an unknown territory called the Shadowlands. The adventurers must solve puzzles, clues and mysteries to fulfil the quest.

The much-loved first series of eight books is bound in this volume, celebrating 21 years of Deltora magic and mystery.

My Review

So… This review took forever. Sorry about that. (And it wasn’t because I didn’t like it – quite the contrary actually.) The next one hopefully won’t take as long, haha.

This series… This series was something I’ve wanted to read for a long time. As the thumbnail alludes to. But I didn’t discover it until I was about thirteen, and I felt at the time that I was too old to give it a shot. I was also super afraid of being judged by my peers, and I didn’t really have a subtle way of acquiring a chance to read them. I’d suspected that I’d like this series though, so it’s rested in the back of my mind for over a decade.

And now, I’m an adult with no shame and an Amazon account, so both of the perceived hurdles of my early teenhood are gone. So, I read it.

And I really enjoyed it. Yes, it is very clearly a series of books written for ten year olds, and there was a lot of awkward, stilted dialogue (and the author has something against contractions), and there were a couple of huge plot holes, but it was otherwise very enjoyable. I think Deltora Quest is very good. Especially if you consider it’s meant for kids who don’t really notice or care about that stuff. I would’ve given it five stars, had I read it as a tween, and I still rated it pretty highly now.

A long time ago, like on Wikipedia or something, I read that this series was inspired by the videogames that Emily Rodda’s children played. I have no idea whether this was true or not, but I certainly believe it’s possible. The series entire structure is extremely comparable to several fantasy games – The Legend of Zelda in particular comes to mind. (And this is why I’ve always suspected that I’d like it.)

The Characters and Setting

The main characters were pretty likable, though they were a bit simple. They made a lot of very stupid decisions that I’m surprised at, concerning two of them are sixteen (Leif and Jasmine) and one is an adult at least in his thirties (Barda). Though this kind of decision-making did decrease a fair amount in the last couple of books, so I guess that’s character growth.

I thought that Leif was a decent protagonist, and is easy for the reader to root for. His cleverness and sneaky streak were also fun, and I wish they appeared more. Barda worked well as the wiser mentor figure (when he wasn’t being stupid), and he also worked great as the muscle of the group. Jasmine was a great female character, and was definitely the most useful member of the trio in several situations.

I found the setting to be extremely rich and immersive. It’s a credit to Rodda’s writing that this is so despite how short these books are, as well as all of the locations visited. I really loved it.

The Other Stuff

There were also a lot of surprisingly darker aspects throughout. I often forget how dark children’s/middle grade sci-fi and fantasy can get, and Deltora Quest once again reminded me. There’s quite a bit of dying and almost-dying going on, as well as a cult in one of the books, mind control, and some pretty gruesome descriptions. It was a pleasant surprise to read.

However, the “key quest items” that the trio retrieved at the end of each book began to get overpowered. Actually, no, some of them kind of started out overpowered. Leif used the topaz in particular in nearly every book, almost every time he wanted to think up a plan. I just kind of wish he used his own mind as it was and his own ingenuity. It kind of felt like he was “cheating” some a few of these moments.

My Individual Ratings for All the Books in Deltora Quest

So yeah, I quite enjoyed this series, and it was a long time coming. Here are my ratings for each individual book in the series.

There was the topaz, symbol of faithfulness, gold as the setting sun.

The Forests of Silence by Emily Rodda

There was the ruby for happiness, red as blood.

The Lake of Tears by Emily Rodda

The opal, symbol of hope, sparkling with all the colours of the rainbow.

The City of the Rats by Emily Rodda

There was the lapis lazuli, the heavenly stone, midnight blue with pinpoints of silver like the night sky.

The Shifting Sands by Emily Rodda

For honour there was the emerald, green as lush grass.

Dread Mountain by Emily Rodda

There was the amethyst, symbol of truth, purple as the violets that grew by the banks of the river Del.

The Maze of the Beast by Emily Rodda

And for purity and strength there was the diamond, clear and sparkling as ice.

The Valley of the Lost by Emily Rodda

Where this story began, so it will end.

Return to Del by Emily Rodda

Closing Thoughts

Deltora Quest is a great little fantasy series. I definitely recommend it to kids, and honestly, anyone could read it. It’s kind of trope-y, and there’s a fairly obvious hero’s journey, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.

As always, thank you to everyone so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day/night! Sorry again for the long wait between book reviews. Life kind of happened.

See ya ~Mar


Molly Moon Series | Bookish Christmas Gifts (Christmas Special)

So, like Thanksgiving, I wanted to do something a little special for the holiday. For Christmas, I’ve decided to post about books that I’ve received as gifts, particularly from different Christmases (though, once I run out of Christmas books, I’ll have to branch out to Books I Got As Gifts Just In General, haha).

For the first Christmas post, I wanted to share a series of books that I unwrapped under the tree… I want to say Christmas 2005? I’m pretty sure that’s it, yeah. This series was the first three books in Georgia Byng’s Molly Moon series.

This series was seriously special to me. I actually first read the first installment, Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism before Christmas of that year. It was in our school library, and I remember seeing someone reading it in like October 2005. I asked if I could borrow it for a sec to read the front flap (it was a hardcover edition), and then decided to read it after she finished it and returned it to the library.

And then I read it, loved it, reread my favorite scenes, and then checked it out again like six weeks later to do the same thing again. My parents – sorry, “Santa” – could see how much that I enjoyed the book, and got me a copy of my own for Christmas that year.

As well as the two sequels that had been released.

And I proceeded to devour both of them during the rest of winter break that year.

So yeah, I really liked this series. Even though, looking back, Molly Moon (the character) was totally “not like other girls,” very overpowered, and even a little Mary Sue-esque; the plot was fun, the writing was engaging, and I liked the setting and magic system (before it started getting ridiculous in like book four or five, but this is really only about the first three books, so we’re going to ignore the rest of the series).

Now, admittedly, I haven’t read any of these books in years – though I do remember a lot about them. But because of this, I can’t really say if this series is nearly as interesting or engaging for older teens or adults (probably not). I’m mostly just reminiscing about my favorite bookish Christmas gift(s) ever. Because this series definitely was that. There’s a few reasons why I still remember this Christmas so vividly, even after all of these years, and the Molly Moon series is definitely one of them. So even though I can’t tell you how it compares to modern middle-grade/younger YA, I do recommend it, based on how much I enjoyed and reread it, to tween-age girls.

So, to close off this post, I’m going to end it with the info and synopsis of the first book. What books are your guys’ favorites that you’ve gotten for Christmas? Did you read the Molly Moon books growing up? Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everybody!!

Title & Author: Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng

Series: Molly Moon [Book #1]

Length: 384 pages

Genre: Supernatural

Release Date: 2002

Book Description

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hypnotism

Molly Moon is no ordinary orphan. When she finds a mysterious old book on hypnotism, she discovers she can make people do whatever she wants. But a sinister stranger is watching her every move and he’ll do anything to steal her hypnotic secret…

Books I’m Thankful For: Magic Treehouse

It’s a day late, technically, (unless you’re one of those individuals that does Thanksgiving on Black Friday) but I wanted to start a series where, every year on, or very close to, Thanksgiving, I do a post thanking a book from my past.

So today, I’m gonna talk about the one that started it all: the book that got me into reading. If I’m being perfectly honest, though, it’s actually a series. Anyway, I’m gonna sing the praises of the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne.

The first four books in the Magic Treehouse series, in chronological order from left to right.

About the Magic Treehouse

First Book’s Title: Dinosaurs Before Dark

First Book’s Publication Date: July 28, 1992

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Myth, Children’s Fiction

Length of First Book: 80 pages

Book Description for Dinosaurs Before Dark

Read the #1 bestselling chapter book that started it all! Magic. Mystery. Time-travel. Get whisked back in time in the magic tree house with Jack and Annie!

Where did the tree house come from?

Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark…or will they become a dinosaur’s dinner?

The Magic Tree House series has been a beloved favorite for over 25 years and is sure to inspire a love of reading—and adventure—in every child who joins Jack and Annie!

Why I’m So Thankful for This Book (Series)

These books are very, very special to me. I hold them extremely close to my heart, despite the fact that I haven’t even spared any of them a passing glance in years. But I’ve never forgotten what this series has done for me as a writer, and most especially, as a reader.

The Magic Treehouse series not only ignited my passion for reading at a young age, but it also defined my favorite genre to read. Fantasy. I’m pretty sure these novels are considered “gateway” novels, as in, they are stories that get people into reading, and I completely agree.

I’m gonna tell you a little secret. Before I read Magic Treehouse, I actually hated reading. In like first grade, when my teacher made us do those reading exercises during free time after a test or something, or if we just had time allotted to it during that particular day, I would cheat. I would pretend to read the little booklets and then pretend to answer the questions that came with it (they were never collected or graded by the teacher). I would also frequently avoid reading most books if I could help it. They just weren’t engaging to me for some reason.

But then, everything changed when one day, on a whim, I picked up the first installment of the Magic Treehouse books, Dinosaurs Before Dark. And I’m not exaggerating at all when I say this book, and beyond it, this entire series, changed my life entirely. Mary Pope Osborne’s (very child friendly) prose enraptured my mind completely.

I was stunned. Before this, I had thought reading to be a chore; I didn’t find it fun in any sense of the word. But Magic Treehouse taught me that reading could be fun. It gave me hope that perhaps other books could invoke the same excitement and interest as this one. Books were no longer boring to me. Now, they were my favorite activity. I was soon reading every chance I had. And eventually, inspired by my newfound, lifelong love for books, I acquired the strong desire to craft things with my own words. And I owe all of this to this series.

So thank you, Mary Pope Osborne, for creating such fantastic stories. For encouraging me, and thousands of other young readers, to give reading a shot. For showing us how absolutely wonderful reading could be. Thank you, so very much. I would not be the person that I am today without your stories. And I hope they remain as accessible as they were for me, for a very long time. So that new generations of young children, who are uninterested in reading, to pick up a book and dive into an adventure.