This article is about the book written by Emily Rodda. For the fictional object of the same name go to Tales of Deltora.

Belt of Deltora300
Adin knew that he was the one who must fill the medallions in the belt.

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The Masked Ones250
Ava, whose symbol was the eye, was blind!

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Tales of Deltora
General information

Emily Rodda


Marc McBride


Scholastic Australia


2005 (original edition)

2013 (second edition)

Tales of Deltora is a book written by Emily Rodda and illustrated by Marc McBride. The book was written as if Josef the Palace Librarian authored it. It tells the history of Deltora from its ancient past. The first half of the book is a compilation of Tenna Birdsong Tales, and the second part are supposed to be texts based on The Deltora Annals.

The book was republished in 2013 and included the addition of three other Tenna Birdsong Tales set on the island of Dorne.[1]

Book Description

Original Description

"'This book of tales contains the secret history of Deltora. This is a startling claim, I know, but it is true.' So writes Josef, the Palace Librarian in the time of King Lief.

Where did the Shadow Lord come from?
How did the Ak-Baba come to be?
Who are the Masked Ones?

Here, for the first time, are the true stories behind Deltora Quest. Let Emily Rodda take you on a magical journey to discover the secrets of Deltora, land of monsters and magic. Featuring magnificent colour plates by Marc McBride.

Deltora's deepest secrets revealed at last!"[2]

2013 Description

"Our story is rich and strange. There is the broad, mysterious strand of the land itself, with all its beauties and its terrors. There is the dark strand of the Shadow Lord's hunger to dominate and destroy. There is the bright strand of courage, hope and heroes. There is the glittering strand of magic, and prophecy and dreams. And woven through them all, like circling bands of rainbow light, are the strands that mark the path of dragons.

This new edition of Tales of Deltora brings together the enthralling stories behind Deltora Quest - the legends of the ancient Land of Dragons, the creation of the magic Belt of Deltora, and the newly discovered tales of Dorne. Let Emily Rodda take you on a magical journey to discover the secrets of Deltora, land of monsters and magic."[1]


The Land of Dragons: Tenna Birdsong Tales

Main article: Tenna Birdsong Tales

The Land of Dragons.

Josef, the palace librarian in the time of King Lief uses Birdsong Tales to explain the beginning of Deltora, because he believed that they held some truth. Back before the land had its name, it was referred to as the Land of Dragons. The first tale tells of the people who lived there and how they were separated and suspicious of the other tribes. The land was harsh and was scare in resources and so they warred often. It starts talking about an island to the Land of Dragon's north, which the people called The Twin and how the people tried in vain to reach this place, since the seas were ruled by fearsome sea monsters.[2]

The second tale explains the union of the twin islands in a marriage that gave the people of the Land of Dragons their great talismans. The tribe of the west who felt something was going to happen, had scattered fortune-telling stones and found that the stones of fire, water, death and marriage continually fell together. The dragons, the master's of the Land of Dragon's skies also felt that a change was going to occur while the sea monsters burrowed deep into the seabeds weakening them. One day the dragons took flight and blocked out the sun. The earth quaked beneath the people’s feet, the sea boiled, and the land changed. Once it was over, it revealed that the north shores were now rocky mountains, forced up as the land between The Twin and the Land of Dragon’s collided and merged sealed by melted rock.[2]

Eight days after the event, the skies cleared and the people found a wondrous gem in each of their territories, their own talisman. The land blossomed and the people were able to leave their land, for many of the sea monsters died in the clash of fire and water.[2]

East of the Land of Dragons lay the smaller island Dorne. In spite of the treacherous journey, Dorne was a long-time favourite port for the traders of the Land of Dragons. Dorne's harbour town, Nerra was a bustling and inviting place. Its twisted streets were lined with shops and stalls filled with all sorts of jewellery, fabrics, bone and wood carvings, gem-like glass and tiles. All of which were highly valued by collectors in other lands. There were interesting objects to found as well. Though ordinary in appearance, they were imbued with magic and often found their ways into palaces, towers, and castles far from Dorne.

Further inland, there was a town called Fleet where horses were bred and raised, which were very sought after. Many traders made the journey from Nerra to Fleet but few travelled further than the horse fields. For beyond there lay the towering forests of Dorne's centre and visitors were not welcome. The beings who lived there did not trade as they had no use for gold and hated anything made of metal. They kept to themselves and they were so different to the friendly, welcoming people by the coast. 

Long ago before the cataclysm of fire and water changed the world, Dorne was only home to people with magic. The Fellan, as they called themselves, were beautiful and lived long lives, far longer than that of a human. They did not build, fish or grow crops since the forests provided them with all they needed. The magic that ran in their veins gave them many powers. It was tradition for the Fellan to remain away from the sea that surrounded their island, since the salt water weakened their magic and the sun of the coast scorched their skin. The fire and water that freed the Land of Dragons from the worst of the sea monsters also freed Dorne. When the people of the other lands were venturing out into the much safer waters, the Fellan remained to themselves in their forest shade. Soon ships came, full of sailors and adventurers who became entranced by the beauty of Dorne and decided to stay in peace. Camps multiplied on the shore and soon driftwood shelters were built and trading began between the settlers and the ships that continued to the harbour that became known as Nerra. Eventually love happened between a human and a Fellan, and the two settled together on the forest fringes to raise children who loved the sea as well as the land, and in whose blood lay the drive of the human and the magic of the Fellan. These children grew to adulthood and many obeyed the call of the sea and worked in Nerra as the salt did not bother the half-Fellan and they could work with metal as well as they could with wood. Often they married their own kind but it was not uncommon for them to choose humans on the coast. So it was that little by little, magic became the birthright of many and Nerra became less a rough seaside town but more a place known for its incredible works of art and magic. 

The Trader's Daughter

The Sorcerers of Dorne

The Four Sisters

On a beautiful island, a sorcerer came, searching for a place to call his own. He heard the sister’s, who were the island's inhabitants singing and despised it since he hated all things beautiful. He imprisoned the sisters each on a separate corner of the island, but they still sung to one another, bathing the island in peace. Enraged the sorcerer went to each corner and struck them down one by one. The sorcerer realised his mistake too late, for within the centre of the island, hidden deep in the earth was a vile monster. It was kept sleeping while the sisters sang but once their voices ceased, it awoke and destroyed the island. The sorcerer fled in fear and sailed away in search of new lands.[2]

The Tale of the Sorcerer

The next tale continues on from the previous, which it tells us what happened when the Shadow Lord arrives in the Land of Dragons. One night, there was a great storm on the west coast. A boat crashed upon the shore and the drenched, half-dead sorcerer lay upon the ground. This woke the tribe in the west up. They each moved to the centre of their city where the great Amethyst lay upon a table of stone. There, they stood together and their mind's met. The sodden figure woke and felt the banishing spell take hold of him. He refused to be driven back to the sea which had stolen his magic staff and almost killed him. He took himself away from their territory, towards the north. The people, feeling that the shadow had passed stopped their spell, satisfied. The sorcerer turned to survey the land that he would make his own but encountered an emerald dragon. He tried to bargain with the dragon but the dragon refused and attempted to roast him with its fire. The sorcerer fled into the mountains and settled down there. He met with wicked people and they became his servants.[2]

The Dragon's Egg

Hidden deep in the mountains bordering the Land of Dragons, the Shadow Lord stumbled across what he believed was a dragon egg. He cared for the egg and a day later, it hatched. He was disappointed and angry since it was not a dragon, it was instead some kind of bird that was not native to the Land of Dragons. He was tempted to crush the life out of it but he saw the potential there for killing. Instead he raised it and its young, breeding it into the cruel beasts they are now.[2]

The Tale of the Pirran Pipe

Beyond the mountains of the Land of Dragons, in the lands of its merged twin, Pirra, there was a Piper who played the Pirran Pipe. She was responsible for playing the pipe each morning, afternoon and night. In this tale, it is told that the Piper had died and three candidates came up for the position of the Piper. They played the pipe in turn for the voting and found that they each kept getting the same amount of votes. None of the other groups were willing to budge and became frustrated. The Shadow Lord, who had been convincing them to stand by their chosen Piper, suggested that they separate the pipe into three so each could have a part. They agreed and went their separate ways. Without the magic of the Pirran Pipe to protect them, the Shadow Lord easily took control of the land and the Pirrans hid themselves away.[2]

The Seven Goblins

After many years spent below ground, a group of seven Plumes emerged onto the surface of the Land of Dragons, bringing with them a puzzle box and the stolen mouthpiece of the Pirran Pipe. After travelling through the den of a Topaz dragon, they encountered Ben Os-Mine, who slew one of their number with a sling before fleeing. Determined to press forward, the leader of the group-whom Os-Mine dubbed goblins, a name forever after applied to the Pirrans by ignorant residents of the Land of Dragons. A second goblin soon perished at the hands of a group of Granous, who stole the puzzle box and would retain it for many centuries.

A third Plume perished as the result of an unfortunate encounter at a farmhouse, while the others eventually reached Del, where they hid in the dark corners of the city and soon learned of the Shadow Lord's encroachments upon the Land of Dragons. Fearing for their lives, the surviving Plumes travelled west towards Tora, hoping to find asylum among fellow magic wielders, only for another of their number after she consumed food poisoned as a means of exterminating rats. Another died after weeks of starvation and exposure, while the sixth perished in a Gripper field after mistaking the dangerous plants for food. The last Plume took refuge in a seemingly abandoned house, unaware that it was home to a Jalis knight who returned home and crushed him after throwing himself thoughtlessly on his bed. The Jalis claimed the Pirran Pipe mouthpiece as his family talisman, and the few Plumes who dared to follow in the footsteps of the seven were doomed to meet similar fates.

Opal the Dreamer

Opal the Dreamer was born as the daughter of Liza and Dodd, two farmers who owned an apple orchard and later discovered opals on their land. Opal was born after this discovery and named for the stones, which surrounded her constantly throughout her early life. As time went by, Opal began having dreams of other places and events, some of them apparently foreboding the future. After she dreamed of a man's death and it occurred, her parents swore her to secrecy and Opal came to believe that her dreams had caused the tragedy.

Her dreams would continue, however, and Opal would be secluded from others as she grew into adulthood and eventually realised the truth behind her dreams. After having a dream of the man who would save the Land of Dragons by creating a magic belt, she tried to warn her parents but would not be heard, and so travelled to the nearby city of Hira to speak her warnings to others. Sadly, she was not heeded, and after a year of attempting to convince the people of the truth, she dreamed of "the man of fire and iron" again and left her home region to seek him out. Eventually she came to Del, where she found a blacksmith-though not the one of her visions-and eventually became his wife, but was sadly forgotten by her own people and those of Del.

The Rise of Adin

The Shadow Army

The Shadow Lord invaded the Land of Dragons, after taking over Pirra and making it the Shadowlands. Ghastly, shambling creatures were sent across the Mountains along with vulture-like birds who the people of the Land of Dragons named Ak-Baba. Ragged souls fleeing from the northern territories came into Del bringing news of the creatures invading the north. The strongest of Del's troops were sent out to defend their territory and foreign traders hurriedly set sail for home while terror gripped the city. A long cold, hard winter fell upon the land and the invasion faltered as the invaders froze to death and they were too far from the mountains for any replacements to be sent to replace the fallen. The people of Del thanked the heavens that they were spared. A few chose to believe that their tribe's talisman had saved them but wiser ones knew that the safety would only last for as long as the winter continued.

Adin the Blacksmith

Living at the time, the blacksmith Adin heard the news and was troubled. The news reminded him unpleasantly of the scraps of family history he heard as a child. One scrap in particular, the tale about Opal the Dreamer who came from the plains in a swarm of bees. Though the story mostly focused on how odd she was, there was mention of her prophecy, that one day "men who were not men would be sent by the Lord of Shadows beyond the mountains to conquer the Land of Dragons". To Adin, it appeared that her vision was coming true.

To drive the troubling thoughts away, he worked himself harder than before. One night when the moon was full, he dreamed of a belt. The belt had seven medallions linked together by fine chain. In each of the medallions lay a huge gem, shining like fire. One of the gems was the great Topaz, the Del tribe's ancient talisman. He woke and immediately went to work. He laboured on the belt in secret and when it was finished he then began on fashioning himself a sword. He decided against going for the Topaz first for he knew that the people would laugh at his outlandish claims. He instead snuck away unnoticed into the night in search of the first gem for the Belt.

The Warrior Jalis

The Dread Gnomes

The Bargain of the Mere

The Archer of Azzure

The Place of the Spirits

The Ralad Wilds

The Magic City

The Battle for Deltora

With six gems in the belt after being rejected by the Torans, Adin gathered the six tribes. The Del troops were disguised in rags, their real armour and weapons hidden inside carts they pulled along. The six tribes gathered in plains territory, in their capital Hira. They had left their territories unprotected, gathered together in order to defend their home from the Enemy. When it seemed they were on the verge of defeat, the Torans arrived with their gem and with all seven gems placed in the Belt, the Enemy was repelled from the land. The Land of Dragons was now Deltora and Adin became Deltora's first king. Zara of Tora became his queen and together they had five children. The eldest of whom was to wear the Belt after him. They lived in the Forge and Adin never let the Belt out of his sight.

Ballum of the Masked Ones

Adin's grandson, King Elstred was the first to leave the belt aside for found the steel cut into his belly, he wore it only on great occasions. His brother was accused of trying to murder him and fled to later become the first of the Masked Ones. 




The new cover of Tales of Deltora, published in 2013.

  • On March 1, 2013, a new, smaller edition of Tales of Deltora was released. It featured a red cover and contained an additional three stories about the island of Dorne.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Rodda, Emily. Tales of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Rodda, Emily. Tales of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2005.
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