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   This article is about the book Shadowgate. For the article about the location, go to Shadowgate (town).

Shadowgate (book)
General information

Deltora Quest 3


Emily Rodda


Marc McBride (cover)

Kate Rowe (any illustrations associated with the story, including maps and letters)




February 1, 2004

Preceded by

Dragon's Nest

Followed by

Isle of the Dead

Shadowgate is a fantasy novel written by Emily Rodda. It is the second book in Dragons of Deltora and the thirteenth book in the overall Deltora Quest series.

Book description[]

"The Four Sisters, evil creations of the Shadow Lord, are poisoning Deltora and starving its people. Lief, Barda and Jasmine have found and destroyed the first of the Sisters. Now they must find the second hidden within the mountains that border the Shadowlands itself. And they know that only the Dragon of the Emerald can help them.

The Shadow Lord is now aware of their quest. Deep in the Shadowlands, he plans their destruction. Hidden enemies and trickery await as the companions travel towards the Sister of the North and its terrible guardian in the dread place called Shadowgate."[1]


The book begins as King Lief, Captain Barda and Jasmine receive a message from Doom, in the town of Broome. The message is in code, which initially leads Jasmine to believe that he was trying to write poetry, but Lief decodes the message and discover that it actually said: "Travel hidden. Trust only old friends. There are whispers you are to be stopped. Nothing more is known yet. I will deal with things here. Good fortune." They leave Broome, and are escorted by the ruby dragon to the border of its territory.

They land in a field where the Masked Ones are camping in a forest nearby. They are taken in by them because Lief's resemblance to their leader, Bess' son, Bede has made her charitable to the three companions. They are taken to a wagon after several members of the Masked Ones accuse them of being servants of the "evil tyrant, King Lief of Del". The statement that Lief is a tyrant may be because of the lack of food, due to the Four Sisters. Barda is given a striped black and yellow mask that might be a tiger, Jasmine is given a wolf mask, and Lief is given a blue bird mask that is believed to have belonged to Bede before his departure from the troupe. They then go through the town of Happy Vale with the Masked Ones, which is deserted. A notice on the noticeboard states that the residents of Happy Vale have moved to Purley because of the shortage of food.

Shortly after, they stop, and ask to continue on their way without the Masked Ones. The request is granted reluctantly, so they are due to leave the next morning. Bess then gives Lief a finer blue bird's mask, and asks that he wear it until midnight. Then, she tries to poison Barda, believing that if Barda died, Lief would not have to go. However, because of interference from Kree, Bess ends up drinking the poison herself and dies. However, the mask that Lief was asked to wear is really magic, and at midnight, it attaches itself to his face. Fortunately, Barda and Jasmine succeed in tearing it off his face.

The next morning, Jasmine, Barda and Lief encounter Steven. He gives them some Queen Bee honey to heal Lief, and offers them a ride. They also discover that the Belt was stolen by Zerry, who had left with Laughing Jack. They then travel quickly to the Funnel, where Laughing Jack intends to dispose of Zerry and the Belt. There, they rescue Zerry and get the Belt of Deltora back. At the same time, they awaken the dragon of the lapiz lazuli, who was asleep behind the waterfall at the Funnel.

The dragon of the lapiz lazuli takes them to the narrow passageway that leads to Shadowgate, even though it is in the Emerald dragon's territory. There, it is attacked by the dragon of the Emerald, and it flees back to its own territory. They continue on into Shadowgate, and find a castle.

Kirsten greets them, pretending to be a terrified prisoner of Bede. In actual fact, Bede is her prisoner. He composes a song, where the last letters of each line makes a sentence. The message he delivers is: Kirsten is evil. I am her prisoner. Help me.

Kirsten then offers to show them to the Sister of the North, knowing that she will be more powerful there, and that Lief will be powerless against the power of the Sister of the North without the dragon of the emerald with him. He shouts at Barda to free Bede, and attacks Kirsten. Kirsten then turns into The Masked One, and pursues them into the tunnel leading to the Sister.

At the end of the tunnel is a tower which Lief climbs. At the centre of the room at the top of the tower, is a pit with countless snakes in it. The Masked One catches up with Lief, and pushes him down the pit.

The snakes in the pit pull away from him, because of the power of the Belt, and the ruby, which is an antidote to snake venom. He taunts The Masked One into reverting into the form of Kirsten, and the snakes climb up her long braid to get away from the Belt. As the masses of snakes climb up Kirsten, the Sister of the North is revealed.

As Lief is overwhelmed by the evil radiating from the Sister, the dragon of the emerald comes and grabs Lief, then destroys the Sister of the North and Kirsten with its emerald fire. Then it drops Lief on the ground, and there he meets Jasmine and Barda, as well as Bede and Mariette, who was imprisoned in a locket Kirsten wore around her neck, which Lief grabbed while he attacked her. In the locket, there is also the fragment of the map to the Isle of the Dead, where the Sister of the West is located.[1]




  1. 1.0 1.1 Rodda, Emily. Shadowgate. Scholastic Australia. February 1, 2004.

See also[]