DAY 12: Your favourite childhood book
Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda
I know you’re asking “But what about Harry Potter?”, let me just start off by saying that there were books that existed in my life prior to Harry Potter. It’s shocking, I know. There are probably so many more books that I read when I was younger, but unfortunately my memory isn’t quite that sharp so this is as far back as I can remember. Just as a small side note, I just want to give a quick honourable mention to all Roald Dahl books that I read during my childhood, they were incredible too. However, Deltora Quest was my absolute obsession. I read this at some point during my primary school years and I remembered being so scared of high school during my first few months there that I would bring these books with me everyday just for nostalgic reassurance.
What is it about? Sorry, I know I’ve been rambling. Deltora Quest is the collective title for three series of children’s/middle-grade fantasy literature. It follows the adventures of three (mostly) unlikely companions, Lief, Barda and Jasmine, as they travel across the fictitious land of Deltora to recover the magical gemstones that make up the ‘Belt of Deltora’; the only weapon that can be used to defeat the evil Shadow Lord. The first series (Deltora Quest) was published in Australia in 2000, when I was only 4 years old, and is made up of eight books total. The second series (Deltora Shadowlands) comprises of three novels, and the third series (Dragons of Deltora) comprises of four novels. Early in 2015 it was also announced that Emily Rodda would soon be releasing the first in a new series set within the world of Deltora. This series, titled the Star of Deltora, had it’s first novel, Shadows of the Master, released in August of 2015.
I absolutely adored these books as a child. I only ever stuck with the first Deltora series, but I own the second and third. I think the reason why I loved them so much was that it was my first introduction to fantasy and adventure stories. I had never before read something so completely unique and original, a new world entirely made up by pure imagination, and I was entirely consumed by it. I adored all three of the main characters. Lief was a likeable protagonist that you supported the entire way through. Barda was an adorable and trusting support system to Lief. And Jasmine? Jasmine was the first kick-ass female character I’d ever encountered. She was the ‘Hermione before Hermione’. She was smart and reliable, but could fight her own battles too.
These aren’t very long books and I would love to someday re-read them for my own nostalgic benefit. I’d also love to read these books to my own children someday, so that they too can experience the beauty of words and the power that stories contain.