Title: The Shifting Sands
Author: Emily Rodda
Series: Deltora Quest #4, World of Deltora #4
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Easy reading, Medieval fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
5th sentence, 74th page: The passage from the cellar was long, low and dark and smelled sickeningly of cider.
When the seven gems of the magic Belt of Deltora were stolen, the evil Shadow Lord invaded the kingdom and enslaved its people. Determined to rid their land of the tyrant, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine are on a dangerous quest to find the lost gems, which are hidden in fearsome places throughout the kingdom.The time has come to seek the fourth gem, kept jealously by an unknown guardian in a barren wasteland. Separation, confusion, and strange, terrible enemies await the three heroes in the harsh landscape of the Shifting Sands.
Step four in the Deltora Quest series is a little less thrilling than the first three (for me), but it is still a great journey. Lief, Barda and Jasmine again run into the mysterious rebellion leader, Doom, they are forced to battle in a gladiator-style contest, and, as always, they finally triumph over a completely unknown foe. Yet, it just doesn’t quite have the fast pace of the first three books, and not as many riddles throughout the story. And, after all, the reason I’ve always loved this series is the little riddles that are peppered throughout.
Having said all that, I did really like the foe that Lief comes up against in The Shifting Sands, it was completely unexpected. It doesn’t matter what Rodda writes, there is always an unforeseen surprise at the end of the story, and a message of inner strength in the character’s makeup. Or at least, that’s how I feel about the ending of The Shifting Sands.
Yet, my favourite thing about The Shifting Sands isn’t Lief’s triumph, or Doom’s mysterious appearance, it is how Jasmine goes in the competition. Her temper and her morals are seriously tested, and it’s not entirely clear as to whether she passed the tests or not.
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