Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review: The Golden Door by Emily Rodda

Review by Carissa Thorp

Rye seeks to leave Weld, the isolated walled city he calls home, in search of his brothers who left years ago to find and stop the evil source of the Skimmers, flying creatures that enter the city every night and kill anyone they can. He’s joined by Sonia, a young girl orphaned by the Skimmers, and they emerge on the other side of The Golden Door, they don’t know where, in a land that is unlike anything they were brought up to expect of the Barbarian lands. Adventures ensue and new friends are made.
I’ve never read a book by Emily Rodda before, in spite of knowing her name and popularity. Having seen the television series based on her Deltora Quest series, though, I can see similarities between the two tales; quests, young leads, magical objects, puzzles, etc. Thankfully, fans of her previous work should enjoy this series without worrying too much about “sameness”, and as a new reader, I found The Golden Door immediately appealing. Rodda’s skill as a writer is very much in evidence. It’s lovely to start a book and feel drawn in, effortlessly, to a tale of likeable characters in interesting situations. I particularly liked the way the consequences of Rye’s early life in an enclosed city (never seeing or experiencing hills, for example) are explored. A good place to start reading Rodda if you or the young people in your life never have before.

This review first appeared in the Aurealis Magazine subscriber newsletter.