Review Blog

Nov 07 2016

The Hungry Isle by Emily Rodda

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Star of Deltora series bk 4. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN: 9781742991337
(Age: 11-13) Recommended. There are strange undercurrents, surprising twists, turns, and shock revelations as Emily Rodda's Star of Deltora series concludes with The Hungry Isle.
Britta is isolated in a stuffy cabin aboard the becalmed ship, far from her home and family. The power of the magic Staff of Tier has sensed her presence and has sent the swirling wraiths to watch her and hundreds of turtles to guide the ship to the Hungry Isle, a truly dark and evil place. Britta's dreams of winning the Rosalyn Apprentice contest are fading.
After a near mutiny onboard lead by Crow the bosun, Britta, Jewel, Sky, Vashti, Captain Hara, Mab and Kay are forced on to the landing boat. The turtles abandon the ship and it swiftly sails away, and they turn their attention to the small boat and guide it onward. Britta's body is shutting down, her mind disturbed by past memories.
Evil awaits, as one of their small group reveals their true colours, greedily wanting the King of Tier to help them live forever. Britta's courage, her trader knowledge and her desire to save her friends determines her decisions as she seals her fate with a kiss. The little magic Goozli comes to their aid, as does Jewel's secret weapon as they escape from the tangling vines and strangling orchids. They board the landing boat, with Captain Hara guiding them and jewel and Sky rowing, they set forth on the dangerous voyage to Illica. Fortuitous circumstances occur as the Star of Deltora rescues them with a different crew and their journey continues to the Isle of Del.
The Hungry Isle begins with great promise and expectations that all the important plot points will come together in a satisfying way. With major characters, Sky, Jewel and Vashti relegated to minor roles and the unexpected character shifts, the undercurrents of dark malevolence and Britta's introspective amnesia make this a less satisfying read. Fans will persevere and be surprised by the conclusion of this series.
Rhyllis Bignell

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