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.
- 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.)
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