Emily Rodda, Shadows of the Master (Star of Deltora #1), Omnibus/Scholastic, 1 August 2015, 176pp., $9.99 (pbk), ISBN 978 1 74299 062 0
Rodda has pleased readers for many years with her Deltora Quest novels. Now she has refashioned the world of Del in this new series.
The novel opens with an account of Dare Larsett on the island of Tier. We then move to Del, where Britta is working in a small shop owned by her family, consisting of her mother and sister. But Britta longs for the larger canvas, to travel the seas as a trader. Gradually, Britta’s earlier experiences emerge, and we learn why her life has been secretive and repressed. When an opportunity opens for her to seek her fortune she takes it, and the novel relates how she achieves her heart’s desire.
There are strongly conceived events: betrayals are threatened and friendships forged as Britta finds her way. The pace is not fast, but that slowness enables the author to enlarge character. There are a very few friends left behind whom we may meet again in later parts of the series. In this one we are left unsure about who will support Britta and who will turn out to be against her.
Reviewed by Stella Lees