Deltora Quest, by Emily Rodda

The evil Shadow Lord is plotting to overrun the land of Deltora.  He has many servants that are now hidden among the commoners, and will do his bidding whatever the cost.  The only thing that held back the Shadow Lord from invading Deltora was the Belt of Deltora, a beautiful metal belt with seven magic gems in it that is worn by the heir to the throne.  But now the Belt has been destroyed by one of the Shadow Lord’s most trusted servants.  Or, nearly destroyed.

The seven gems have been scattered far and wide across Deltora and hidden in dark places.  Lief and his two friends must journey to find them all and return them to heir.  They think they know where they are hidden, but will they be able to defeat the gems’ terrible guardians?  Not to mention the fact that they have know idea where the heir is hiding.

This is a great series, good for kids.  Individually, each book is okay and pretty minimal on the plot twists (I think the author intended it to be that way since this is a kids series and she wouldn’t want to make it boggle the mind or anything) until you get to the eighth book ;).  In terms of originality, they’re pretty good and the author comes up with lots of creative puzzles and riddles that the trio has to figure out.

Overall Rating: 3/5  (except for the eighth book which is AWESOME)

Violence: 4/10 (mostly sword fighting and there are some imaginative/gross creatures, but nothing to bad since this is a kids series)

Language: 0/10

Inappropriateness/Romance: 1/10 (boy and girl hold hands and every once in a while hug)

Audiences: ages 7 and up

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