Deltora Quest (series)

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Deltora Quest

AuthorEmily Rodda
GenreFantasy, sword and sorcery
Media typePrint (paperback)

Deltora Quest is the collective title for three distinct series of children's fantasy books, written by Australian author Emily Rodda. It follows the adventures of three companions as they journey across the fictitious land of Deltora, endeavoring to recover the seven gems stolen from the magical Belt of Deltora and defeat allies of the evil Shadow Lord. The series was first published in Australia in 2000, and has since been published in more than 30 countries. As of February 2010, the series has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, including 2 million in Australia.[1] It is published by Scholastic in Australia and the United States. In most countries, the series is illustrated by Marc McBride.

The series consists of fifteen books: the first eight comprise the Deltora Quest series, the next three comprise the Deltora Shadowlands series (also known as Deltora Quest 2, Deltora II or Deltora 2) and the final four comprise the Dragons of Deltora series (also known as Deltora Quest 3, Deltora III or Deltora 3). There are also six other official bonus books to the series: The Deltora Book of Monsters, Tales of Deltora, The Authorised Ultimate Deltora Quiz Book, How to Draw Deltora Monsters, How to Draw Deltora Dragons and Other Creatures, and Secrets of Deltora. An anime adaptation of the series aired on Japanese television from 6 January 2007 to 29 March 2008. An anime adaptation also aired in Australia for a short time. A Nintendo DS game for Deltora Quest has also been made in Japan.[2] In an interview as part of the 2011 Australian Council of the Arts Get Reading! Program Emily Rodda announced that she had sold the movie rights of the Deltora Quest series to a "prominent Hollywood production company."[3]

In May 2015, a new series of books by Emily Rodda set in the world of Deltora was announced by Scholastic.[4] The title of the series is Star of Deltora, and the first installment, Shadows of the Master, was released in August 2015.[5]


Deltora Quest[edit]

The first series of Deltora Quest follows the journeys of Lief, the son of a humble blacksmith [in disguise], who, on his sixteenth birthday, sets out to fulfill his father's quest to restore the Belt of Deltora. Joining Lief is an ex-palace guard named Barda. Along the way they meet with Jasmine: a wild girl from the Forests of Silence, who has long, black hair and emerald eyes. She can speak to trees and has two pets: a raven named Kree and a small, gray, furry creature called Filli. Their quest is to find the seven gems of the fabled Belt of Deltora: the topaz, the ruby, the opal, the lapis lazuli, the emerald, the amethyst, and the diamond. The gems each have a special power and are hidden in dangerous locations around Deltora. The three friends must face numerous perils to reach them. Once the Belt is complete and the proper descendant of the first King of Deltora, Adin, wears the belt, the evil tyranny of the Shadow Lord will be forced back to the Shadowlands. The books in this series are The Forests of Silence, The Lake of Tears, City of the Rats, The Shifting Sands, Dread Mountain, The Maze of the Beast, The Valley of the Lost, and Return to Del.

Deltora Quest 2[edit]

In Deltora Quest 2, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine go on a quest below the land of Deltora, and travel through strange societies underground. They were formed by the three tribes of the former inhabitants of the Shadowlands, which was long ago a beautiful land called Pirra, which the Shadow Lord repressed by preventing the magic of the Pirran Pipe from protecting the land. The three adventurers convince each tribe to lend them their pieces of the Pipe, before Lief, Barda and Jasmine travel into the Shadowlands itself in order to use the Pipe to hold off the Shadow Lord and his evil power long enough for the thousands of Deltoran slaves to escape. The books are Cavern of the Fear, The Isle of Illusion, and The Shadowlands.

Deltora Quest 3[edit]

In Deltora Quest 3, the three companions once again must save Deltora, this time from the Four Sisters, evil creations of the Shadow Lord. These four Sisters sing their songs of death across Deltora, poisoning the land and gradually causing Deltora's crops to wither, resulting in famine across the land. With only a part of a torn map, left by Doran the Dragonlover, they set out to find these Sisters and destroy them. Each Sister must be destroyed with the aid of a dragon. When each Sister and the Sister's guardian are destroyed another fragment of the map is found. Eventually they discover that the Sisters are hidden in the four most eastern, northern, western and southern corners of Deltora. The Sister of the East is hidden in Dragon's Nest. The Sister of the North is hidden at Shadowgate and the Sister of the West is on the Isle of the Dead. The Sister of the South is hidden in the city of Del, which happens to be the hometown of Lief. The books are named after the Sister's locations Dragon's Nest, Shadowgate, Isle of the Dead, and The Sister of the South.

Bonus books[edit]

In the Deltora series, apart from the books which tell the story, there are a number of companion books. These books include the following:

The Deltora Book of Monsters: This book goes through all the monsters and other deadly things that exist in the world of Deltora. Through the original Deltora Quest to Dragons of Deltora. They go through the beasts that cause the history through certain landmarks, such as Reeah from the City of the Rats. The book is also "written" by Josef, the palace librarian in king Lief and king Alton's time.

Tales of Deltora: This book tells of how the land of Deltora came to be, how the seven gems came to be, how the Shadow Lord came to be and many other things that evolved to become secrets, that just had to be released in this highly detailed book, with 20 new illustrations by Marc McBride (Illustrator), and tales that make up some of the legends. The book was "written" by Josef, who in the Deltora Quest 2 and Deltora Quest 3 series is the palace librarian of the city Del. Outside of the Deltora universe, the book was written by Emily Rodda and published by Scholastic Press in 2006.[6] A new version with three extra stories was published in 2013.

Secrets of Deltora: This book was "written" by Doran the Dragonlover as a travel guide for Deltora. Outside of the Deltora universe, it was written by Emily Rodda and published by Scholastic Press.

The Land of Dragons: Although it does not have the word "Deltora" in the title, this book is related to the Deltora series. It contains many of the short stories from the original edition of Tales of Deltora, along with three additional stories (which were later included in the 2013 edition of Tales of Deltora).

Other books include How to Draw Deltora Monsters and The Ultimate Deltora Quiz Book. The former book, which details the drawing of Deltoran monsters, was more associated with Marc McBride than Emily Rodda, seeing that he is the illustrator.

At the Melbourne Writer's Festival, Rodda announced that the lands in Rowan of Rin are set in the same world as Deltora, to its east. In the back of the paperback version of Shadows of the Master there is also an author's note that states that Rowan of Rin, The Three Doors and Deltora Quest are set in the same world.

Main characters[edit]

Lief (Dutch version: Jord)[edit]

Barda describes Lief as "a young hot-head" who spends his time roaming the streets and both tempting and dodging trouble. On his 16th birthday he leaves Del on his father's quest to find the magical gems missing from the Belt of Deltora and the heir destined to wear it. Lief is tempted in many ways and by the end of the first series he has grown not only in bravery and strength, but also in wisdom and patience. Lief is very courageous and extremely trustworthy. A few times he considers giving up the quest, but the thought of his friends or allies suffering always helps him to continue. The second series sees the characters questioning their trust of one another as they plot to save the slaves in the Shadowlands. In the third series, Lief and friends once more quest around Deltora, awakening the ancient dragons which help him destroy the Sisters of the North, South, East, and West. In the eighth book, it is told that Lief's hair is dark. It is implied in Isle of the Dead that he is at least eighteen. During the second series, Lief and Jasmine's romantic feelings for each other become more pronounced, and at the end of the third series, they got married and have three children, a daughter named Anna after Jasmine's mother and twin sons called Jarred after Jasmine's father and Endon after Lief's father.


At the beginning of the series Barda appears to be a poor beggar living on the streets of Del. He is revealed to be an ex-palace guard who assumes the role of protector to Lief, much to both his and Lief's dismay. He is a skilled swordsman and often makes grim jokes about being stuck with two young hot-heads (Lief and Jasmine). During the series, Barda competes in a contest in which he describes his special skill as strength. He helps Lief and Jasmine along the quest and is always stronghearted, never gives up hope and is rather a gentle giant. At the end of the third series Barda finds love and happiness with Lindal of Broome, whom he marries and together they have six children.


Jasmine is 16, approximately the same age as Lief. She is described as having black/brown hair which frames her brown, elfish face and emerald green eyes. When she was first introduced she wore the tattered remains of the uniforms of Grey Guards. She is often described as impatient and lonely, but with a good heart. In the beginning of the series, Jasmine is a wild orphan girl who lives a solitary life with her pets Filli and Kree in the dangerous Forests of Silence. She meets Lief and Barda when the pair gets trapped in the Forests by the Wenn. Jasmine understands the language of trees and many other animals. She is independent, like Lief, though she displays far less tact. She is also unafraid of standing up for what she believes in; if she feels something is unjust or incorrect she explains her view without any fear of the consequences. She believes in equal rights and fairness. However, she cannot understand people who will not fight for themselves. Jasmine knows how to defend herself, is more agile than most people and can balance on things very easily. These are a result of her upbringing in the Forests. That also causes her to be used to getting her own way, which causes conflict with her companions. In the beginning of the series, she had no understanding of money. In The Forests of Silence, when Jasmine touches the topaz (the topaz has power to contact to the spirit world), she sees her mother there, who tells Jasmine to join the quest with Lief and Barda to save Deltora. She shows romantic interest in Lief, even though they do not always see eye to eye. She has a very short temper. Because of her short temper, many people describe her as "wild". In the second series Jasmine was deceived by the shadow lord's phantom. The reason why the Shadow Lord nearly succeeded was because he knew it would be hard to lure Lief into the Shadow Lord's hands so he lured Jasmine in using the phantom knowing Lief would follow.


A recurring political theme expressed in the series is that a leader who does not understand ordinary people is doomed to failure. Another political theme focuses on the disastrous results of leaders who ignore history. The final books explore the nature of despair. The 1st and 2nd series explores the theme of "united we stand, divided we fall". The theme of gambling, and how it equates to trickery also revisits the story occasionally. A heavy emphasis on the importance of the natural world is also present, particularly in the third series.


Rodda has said there has been some interest in adapting the Deltora series into a film but she refused to let any adaptation change the story. There is also a Nintendo DS real-time RPG confirmed with all three characters.[7] A 65 part Deltora Quest anime series of the first eight books began its broadcast season in Japan on January 6, 2007. Rodda chose this option because she and her kids "love Japanese anime, and want any adaptation of Deltora to be cool".[7] The series is produced at Oriental Light and Magic and is directed by Mitsuru Hongo. At least one noticeable alteration has been made in the studio's adaptation: Lief's hair color has been changed from black to blonde.[citation needed] Rodda has not ruled out a live action version of the story (either film or television) being made at some point in the future, but she intends to wait until she gets an offer that "is genuinely admiring of the books as they are".[7] There is currently a manga adaptation by Makoto Niwano, serialised in Bom Bom Comics and published by Kodansha.[8]

In 2011 Rodda announced in an interview on as part of the Australian Council of the Arts Get Reading! Program that she had sold the film rights to a "prominent Hollywood production company" and that she hopes it will be what her fans hope. The status of the project is currently unknown.[9]


  1. ^ News - Scholastic Australia Archived 2005-12-30 at the Wayback Machine at
  2. ^ "Deltora Quest for Nintendo DS from 1UP". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05.
  3. ^ "Emily Rodda Get Reading Interview. Rodda sells movie rights of Deltora Quest to Hollywood studio".
  4. ^ "New Deltora series Star of Deltora announced".
  5. ^ "A rough release date and official plot snopsis for Shadows of the Master revealed" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-07-08.
  6. ^ "Tales of Deltora / Emily Rodda ; with illustrations by Marc McBride". Library of Congress. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Fantasy Writers :: Sunday Profile
  8. ^ "Kodansha Comics".
  9. ^ "Emily Rodda confirms film adaptation in Get Reading! interview".

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