Review Blog

Nov 15 2011

The Golden Door by Emily Rodda

cover image

Book 1, The Three Doors Trilogy. Omnibus, 2011. ISBN: 978 1 86291 912 9
(Highly recommended for ages 10+) When his city continues to be attacked by the Skimmers, the ineffectual Warden of the Weld posts many notices warning of their dangers. Shortly thereafter, the Warden advertises for volunteers of eighteen years and over to head out of the city to seek the being responsible for the invasions. When Rye's older brothers, Sholto and Dirk, decide to undertake the task, and appear to go missing, Rye visits the Healer and is challenged by Tallus to go and find his brothers. Although he does not wish to go, circumstances conspire against him and Rye heads off beyond the Wall. Almost by accident, a young girl named Sonia manages to accompany him on his journey and together they meet an assortment of characters that may or may not be trustworthy.
Rodda has followed a similar recipe to that used in many novels involving a quest. Rye is the reluctant hero of the tale, as was Rowan in her Rin books and this title would provide a perfect avenue to introduce the students  to the concepts involved in the 'hero's journey'. Where Sheba provided Rowan with the impetus to travel, here it is Tallus who fulfills this role and instead of Rowan's map, Rye is provided with a bag of items which have the power to assist him in his quest to find his brothers and return to Weld. These could be used as comparative texts, as part of an author study or simply to aid students to identify the characteristics of the hero and discussions of what makes a champion. This could possibly provide a starting point for next year's Book Week theme, 'Champions Read'.
Jo Schenkel

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