Emily Rodda (text) and Kate Rowe and Marc McBride (illustrators), Deltora Quest (21st anniversary edition), Scholastic Australia, September 2021, 774 pp., RRP $39.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760977405
Twenty-one years after Leif, Barda and Jasmine set off on their journeys to find the eight gems missing from the Belt of Deltora, through the eight books of the first series, we can read of their adventures again. This is an anniversary edition and Scholastic promises to gather the next series for another anniversary edition.
To read this one with the hindsight of 2000 in the reader’s mind is to experience again the thrill of something new in Australian fantasy. Characters are drawn with colour, action is as hard as reality, and challenges are difficult – never resolved without loss.
Rodda has created a world to explore, with Marc McBride decorating the cover, and the clever puzzles and mysteries that Kate Rowe has presented. I enjoyed again the pig-latin, backward writing and curious diagrams which the books gave us to work out. It is certainly worth reading a second (third or fourth) time.
Reviewed by Stella Lees