Monthly Archives: January 2021

Ep056 The Forests of Silence by Emily Rodda

Deltora Quest: The Forests of Silence by Emily Rodda

Emily Rodda, the children’s fiction pen name for Jennifer Rowe, is the creator of, among other middle-grade fantasy novels, the Deltora Quest series and universe. In this episode we discuss the first book of the Deltora Quest series: The Forests of Silence. In this first book we learn this history of Deltora, the history of the Belt of Deltora, and watch the kingdom fall into disarray. Now the young hero Lief must journey around the kingdom and gather the gems of the Belt of Deltora.

The Forests of Silence Discussion is the first discussion in our Middle-Grade Series, in two weeks join us for our discussion of The Invasion, the first book in the Animorphs Series.

Episode Discussion

  • The Forests of Silence is a short book, only about 25,000 words, but what is left out? We discuss how the book very succinctly builds a world, characters, and sets a tone. The conflict is very close and there is not necessarily anything left out as so much as there is simply less, and less complex elements of story.
  • Showing vs Telling. Due to the shortness, there is a over-indexing towards tell, the author conveying the main points, however, once an initial setup has been described, the remainder falls into showing. We describe how the relationship between two main characters, Lief and Barda, initially is a relationship of telling, transforms into a series of actions and thus showing.
  • Description. How in The Forests of Silence there is a reliance on the reader to be able to create a vision in their mind of the world. The castle is not described beyond there being different floors. The trees are not elaborated on until necessary. We discuss how the author only adds additional description when there is a requirement of emphasis or when the object is meaningfully different than the archetypal representation.
  • Books are books! And how awesome that The Forest of Silence held up after not reading it for 10+ years! (Discussion of gate keeping and how age recommendations don’t matter as long as you enjoy the story.)



Ep055 Leave it to the Prose 2021

Leave it to the Prose, Your Podcast for Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature

Leave it to the Prose is your podcast for science fiction and fantasy literature. We bring the perspective of a writer (Reid) and a reader (Isaac) to critically discuss science fiction and fantasy works. In this episode we look back at 2020 and ahead into 2021.

Looking back in 2020 a few themes stand out: short stories; comedy and horror, and length of works. In 2020 we expanded our short story repertoire, beginning with several discussions of award winning short stories to our read through of Uncanny Magazine and continuing to our discussion of the Hugo Award Finalists. For comedy and horror our discussion grew from how similar beat structures could be tailored to one genre to the other. And finally we have a plethora of short and long works to discuss how science fiction and fantasy can be conveyed regardless of length.

Looking ahead to 2021

Our first episodes:

  • January The Forests of Silence (Deltora Quest book 1) by Emily Rodda
  • The Invasion (Animorphs book 1) by K.A. Applegate
  • The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

Other episodes to look forward to include our discussion of the 2021 The Hugo Award Short Story Finalists (after they are announced). “The Buried Giant” by Kazuo Ishiguro and “The Poppy War” by R.F. Kuang.

Leave it to the Prose: The Next Chapter

Announcing Leave it the Prose: The Next Chapter! An occasional sequel series. Our first series will be the Red Rising Trilogy (Red Rising, Golden Son, and Morning Star) by Pierce Brown. This sequel series will air on the alternate weeks of the regularly scheduled Leave it to the Prose episodes. The Next Chapter will provide space to discuss character development and plot structure that spans multiple books.

Our favorite podcast episodes and works read of 2020

Other works mentioned

  • “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb.
  • “Empire of Imagination” by Michael Witwer.