“Dragons of Deltora 3: Isle of the Dead”
By Emily Rodda
Published in 2004 by Scholastic, New York.
Genre is fantasy, a kids book set in Deltora, the third book in the series. The evil in the East and North is defeated, and Lief goes on to destroy the Sister of the West.
After finally defeated the evil in the North, Lief, Barda and Jasmine move on. They travel on these winged creatures and are blown off course towards an abandoned lighthouse. Inside, they uncover why the light no longer burns. Lief and Barda end up on a haunted ship which is bound by strong magic, and they uncover the truth about Laughing Jack, and how despicable he really is. They eventually manage to find the Amethyst dragon and reach the Isle of the Dead, where they destory the third evil spell.
As in the second book, there is a recap in italics of what happened in the first and second book to remind the reader of what happened. It’s a quick summary and is really helpful.
So much of the book is set on the haunted ship that I thought the protagonists would never get to the Isle of the Dead. As in the previous books there continue to be puzzles, but there is a lot less of them than before. There is more background information about certain places and people, so it still makes the book an interesting read.
I have one issue with this book which is only a minor one. At the beginning of each book the author includes a map of each Sister, to make it easier to see where the main characters are going and where they have been. However, in the first book, there is a whole map of Deltora which is a lot more clearly marked a couple of chapters into the book. I think the author should have included this map at the beginning of each book, AND the map of the Sisters on separate pages. Sometimes it’s difficult to visualise where the characters have been and where they are going because the map of the Sisters is difficult to read – some parts are illegible.
The ending felt abrupt once more, as the disposal of the actual evil was short. I expected the destruction process to be more difficult, but it’s the same for all of the books.
I would recommend the series to kids, but for someone a bit older the pacing may seem slow at times and the answers to the puzzles may be too obvious. A good read for young readers.