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Summary

The tormented witch Sheba has made a terrible prophecy of certain doom for the village of Rin. Skinny, timid Rowan must solve the riddle once again.

The secret enemy is here. It hides in darkness, fools beware! The witch Sheba is tormented by strange visions and terrifying riddles. No one can help her except perhaps the boy Rowan, the 'skinny weakling' whose face appears mysteriously in her dreams.

Life in the village of Rin goes on day by day, unchanging. And then, unexpectedly, the Travellers arrive. Like the other children, Rowan enjoys their visits. They bring games and music, toys and tricks. But not everyone trusts them. Why have they come again so soon to Rin? Are they the 'secret enemy' from Sheba's warning?

Rowan is caught up in a web of intrigue and danger as he races against time to solve the witch's riddle.

©1994 Emily Rodda (P)2003 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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  • LaurieAnn L.
  • 15-04-21

NOT A SLOW STARTER

A previous review called this series a slow starter. I'm glad I ignored it as I usually disagree with negative reviews. It did take a few chapters into book 1 to become comfortable with the rythm of the story. I'm hooked and have already purchased the rest of this series. The characters are not all charming (some are annoying and the heroes are some what unexpected) just like real life.

I introduced my children to Deltora Quest nearly 35 years ago. My son has dyslexia and thanks to Rodda's and authors of similai books he grew to love reading. That love has helped him overcome a difficult challenge and enriched his life.

At 63 I've rediscovered Rodda's work in time to shsre with a new generation ... 14 grandchildren. Thanks to such authors, children's imaginations develop to find that they to can find courage to stand against the evil that grows in our own world. They can find answers to hard problems. Being kind to people that may be different than themselves may change lives for the better.

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  • Fryer
  • 07-02-20

Nostalgia holds.

This is one of the first books as I read as a kid, the story still brings a smile to my face.

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  • Bruce
  • 08-02-19

The least "questy" of this mega series

Sheba may be a tormented witch, but she is as scary to the locals as any Grimm version. If we did not already know that Rowan was of superior intellect, this story and his ability to unravel Sheba's rhymes makes that clear. This morality tale informs us of the evil of blaming outsiders (gypsies) and instead points the finger at our own eco-suicide of importing non-native plants. This book establishes the Rin village's dependence on gypsies and witch riddles, which will be played out repeatedly in future books.