Shadows of the Master: Star of Deltora Book 1 by Emily Rodda (Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $9.99
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop
Britta thought her dreams of becoming a trader like her father were doomed when his career ended in deceit and dishonour. But when Captain Gripp enters her name in a contest to become the next trader apprentice on her father’s old ship the Star of Deltora, she begins to hope again. Can she keep the secret of her parentage hidden long enough to win the contest? Will other secrets aboard the famous ship affect her chances? And who wants the prize so desperately they resort to sabotaging Britta at every turn?
This is the beginning of another wonderful fantasy set in a world already well known by readers of Rodda’s other series such as The Deltora Quests, Rowan of Rin and the Three Doors. Fast moving and intriguing, it is easy to get lost in the world of Deltora and become totally immersed in the journey Britta and her three fellow finalists embark upon.
Britta is a strong character, likeable, resourceful and with a solid moral core, but still not without flaws and insecurities. Her companions, Sky, Jewel and Vashti are well constructed characters too, with different complexities which leave the reader unsure as to their allegiances.
This series is well suited for lovers of fantasy – and especially lovers of previous Deltora books – from middle-grade through to early teens. This reasonably slim volume will be devoured in a short time and leave the reader impatient for the next instalment, Two Moons.
As a bonus, there are trading cards which come with the book. I was lucky enough to receive a rare foiled card among the six in my packet.