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The Lake of Tears (book)
The Lake of Tears
General information

Deltora Quest 1


Emily Rodda


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






May 29, 2000

Preceded by

The Forests of Silence

Followed by

City of the Rats

The Lake of Tears is a fantasy novel written by Emily Rodda. It is the second book in the first series of the overall Deltora Quest collective series.

Book description[]

"Lief, Barda and their unruly new companion, Jasmine, are on a perilous quest to find the seven gems stolen from the magic Belt of Deltora. The golden topaz has already been found. But only when all the gems have been restored to the Belt can their land be freed from the dark power of the evil Shadow Lord.

To find the second stone, the three heroes must travel through territory ruled by the monster-sorceress Thaegan. Their journey is filled with treachery, trickery and danger, and at its end they must face the hideous guardian of the enchanted Lake of Tears."[1]

The book is 129 pages long.


In the Forests of Silence, Lief, Barda and Jasmine had found the Topaz. Now they go to the Lake of Tears, to acquire the Ruby, but Jasmine refuses to go with them when they tell her where their next destination is. This is because the evil soceress, Thaegan rules. She once tried to eat Kree when he lived there. In the end, she reluctantly decides to go with them. A couple of days into their second destination, they reach a bridge with a golden-eyed man holding a curved sword, blocking their path.

At first, the man says nothing. Jasmine informs her companions that the man is bewitched, and feels sorry for him. They start to go forward, but the man raises his sword in a warning way. To pass, he makes them answer three questions, two of which Jasmine and Barda answer correctly. Lief's answer, however, is wrongly answered (due to lack of information). As a result, the man says that he must die.

Alarmed, Lief claims that the man is a trickster and deceiver and that he is not surprised that he was doomed to guard the bridge until truth and lies are one. Angered, the giant decides to play another game: deciding which way Lief will die. Lief must say only one sentence, if it is true, the giant will strangle him, if it is false, the giant will cut off his head. Instead, Lief decides to say "My head will be cut off." This answer is true and false, and as a result, Lief cannot be killed and the man is returned to its' original form, a bird. The bridge starts crumbling, and in a desperate attempt, Lief runs across it. However, Lief is not fast enough and halfway across, the planks break off, leaving a terrified Lief dangling on the ropes, as he drags himself across. The ropes break, and Lief believes that he is doomed to die, but the man that turned into a bird saves him from hurtling into the hard rock below. Lief is reunited with his companions and the three of them continue on their journey. Jasmine reveals that she knew the man was really a bird, and pitied him.

Jasmine fears for Kree's life, because the Sorceress Thaegan loves to eat ravens, and orders him to fly back to their home in the Forests of Silence. He obeys reluctantly. The trio walk on for a while, until Jasmine realises that a troop of Grey Guards are approaching.

The trio climbs up a nearby tree to escape the Grey Guards. However, the guards choose the clearing to be their resting area. With the guards is a prisoner. The captive is actually an exhausted Ralad in chains. Soon, the guards fall asleep and the three companions decide to save the Ralad. However, they are caught, and are forced to run with the Ralad in chains behind a troop of angry guards.

While escaping the guards, they are forced to take a detour - into rich-smelling berries and fruit, which mask the trio's scent from the Grey Guards. The Guards give up on searching for them and laugh as they walk away. The companions decide to go deeper in the valley, where they can get rid of the Ralad man's chains in comfort, and not in fear of being caught. Lief decides to search for food and finds a sign, which appears to be broken in half with the words: "RING AND ENTER" on it.

Ring and enter part sign

The 'Ring and Enter' sign.

Next to the sign is a bell. He notices a cheery little house and notifies Barda and Jasmine. The three decide to ring the bell, and run towards the house. However, the lawn that they run on is actually quicksand.

Floundering and screaming in the quicksand, they finally get the attention of an elderly couple. The couple manage to save the threesome and invite them into their cottage. After being saved, Lief finds the second piece of the sign: "WARNING OF QUICK DO NOT". Pieced together, they make the warning sign: "WARNING RING OF QUICKSAND DO NOT

Ring and enter full sign

The completed sign.

ENTER". Barda and Jasmine become suspicious over this, however Lief takes no notice, thankful for the couple for saving him. They introduce themselves as Nij and Doj and invite the trio into their house. Barda and Lief are thankful, as they miss the delights of home. However, Jasmine is hesitant to enter, as she has never been in a house before and dislikes being in small spaces.

Nij and Doj speak in a strange dialect. This does not affect Lief, Jasmine and Barda, as they believe that they are only trying to be helpful. As Jasmine is still uncomfortable and not relaxed at all, she starts worrying about other things. She asks Lief whether the Belt of Deltora is still on his waist. Alarmed and then relieved when the Belt turns out to be still in place, he starts cleaning the topaz. Nij and Doj come back in with food and drink, but instead of talking in their usual dialect, Lief hears many disturbing things. The language they were speaking was not actually a different language at all, but ordinary words turned backwards. The drinks and food were drugged, and Lief is too slow to stop Barda from drinking from his drink. It is in this chapter that Nij and Doj's names are revealed to actually be Jin and Jod, two of Thaegan's children's names spelled in reverse.

Desperate to save his friends, Lief realised that cleaning the topaz cleared his mind and the spell placed on and around him. He quickly grabs his friend's hands and forces them on the topaz. All is revealed and the three start devising an escape route. While pretending to be asleep, the bell used to trap the victims is rung yet again and both the monsters go outside to save the person (the Ralad) in the quicksand. Using this diversion, the three run outside, but are trapped due to the ring of quicksand around the house. The Ralad runs out of the house. The trio see him and try to rescue him from the monsters. Lief notices that the Ralad keeps pointing to his dirty legs and then towards the quicksand. He realises that the quicksand in between the leaves conceals a hidden pathway. He tells Barda and Jasmine and the trio run towards it, while also trying to save the Ralad from Jin and Jod. 

Pathway of quicksand

The stepping stones that lie on the quicksand.

Jin and Jod chase after them. Lief, Barda and Jasmine and the Ralad manage to escape through the hidden pathway. Jasmine switches two of the leaves in the quicksand, but is almost captured by Jin and Jod in the process. Jod throws an axe at Jasmine. It hits her shoulder and Jasmine loses her balance and falls into the quicksand. Lief and Barda use Lief's cloak to drag Jasmine out of the quicksand. When he sees Jasmine in danger, Kree returns to help her and is seriously injured by Jin and Jod. Jin and Jod are killed because the leaves were switched. The trio and Manus are safe. Jasmine uses the nectar from the Lilies of Life to heal Kree, but for her shoulder wound instead chooses use a green cream, saying that the nectar should be used for serious healings.

Lief, Barda and Jasmine learn from the Ralad that Thaegan has thirteen evil monster children. One hundred years ago, when the Ralads tried to raise their voices against Thaegan when she turned the great golden city of D'Or into the Lake of Tears, she in turn put a spell upon them, stealing their voice so that they could not speak anymore. Thorns rapidly spread there. The Ralad, whom name is revealed to be Manus, takes them to Raladin, his home town, which they find to be deserted. Grief-stricken and believing his people are lost, Manus withdraws a flute and starts playing it, which summons the people of Raladin. They had built an underground city just beneath Raladin, to hide from Thaegan and the Shadow Lord. Lief, Barda and Jasmine are offered the chance to rest in the city, and three days later they continue their quest with Manus to show the way to the Lake of Tears, despite the reluctance of the Ralad people, who think it is folly to travel to the Lake of Tears.

When they get to the Lake of Tears, they find it to be guarded by a giant green sea monster, Soldeen. The three friends fight it, and barely escape with their lives as Lief throws two of the supply packs the Ralads had given them into Soldeen's mouth. The companions spend the night on the rocks near the Lake. As they debate on how to find the gem, the trio begin to despair and feel sad, and, touching the topaz, Lief realises that they must fight these feelings. He begs Manus to play his flute, to make them think of times other than this one. As Manus plays, the trio listen, entranced, and so do not hear Soldeen's approach until Manus suddenly stops playing out of fear.

Soldeen orders Manus to keep playing, which Manus does. Soldeen asks the trio what they are doing at the Lake, and Lief tells him that they are searching for a special gem that was dropped into the Lake sixteen years ago. Soldeen reveals that he has the gem, but he refuses to give it up without getting something in return. He names the Ralad man as his price, saying that his music comforts him.

Lief, Barda and Jasmine refuse to give up the Ralad man to Soldeen, although Manus is willing. In the fight that follows, Lief uses the mind-clearing power of the topaz to make Soldeen help them, and he makes him show them where the gem that they are looking for, the ruby, is hidden. But Thaegan shows up, attacking them and punishing Soldeen for helping them. Thaegan raises her little finger in order to turn the trio into the creatures of the Lake, and it seems all is lost. In order to kill a sorceress or witch, you only need to draw one drop of their blood, but Thaegan is protected by a magic shield. Only the little fingertip of Thaegan's left hand is unshielded, because she uses it to cast her spells. In an attempt to help the trio, Kree flies into the air, and as she's about to cast a spell, strikes down, pecking her finger with her beak, and drawing blood. Thaegan then turns into dust, and the Lake's curse is lifted, and turns into the great city of D'Or, which it was before. Soldeen turns into Nanion, husband of Ethena, and chief of the city. And once again the Ralads can talk. Ethena and Nanion give Lief the ruby. Now the Belt of Deltora holds the topaz and the ruby, and the three companions set off toward their next goal, the City of the Rats.



  • The Lake of Tears is really the city of D'Or.[1]
  • The Weeping Rock is Nanion's wife, Ethena, the other leader of the D'Or people.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rodda, Emily. The Lake of Tears. Scholastic Australia. May 29, 2000.

See also[]