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File:Deltora-quest-emily-rodda-hardcover-cover-art.jpg

Deltora Quest is the collective title of three separate series of Fantasy novels written by Australian author Emily Rodda (real name: Jennifer Rowe), with cover art and other illustrations by Marc McBride. A series written as a mix of fantasy, mystery, interactivity, horror, romance, action and adventure, it definitely has a following. Also, quite Troperiffic.

The first series, Deltora Quest, chronicles the adventures of Lief, Barda and Jasmine as they journey to find the seven long-lost gems from the Belt of Deltora and search for the heir to the throne so that the land of Deltora can be freed from the reign of the Shadow Lord.

  • The Forests of Silence
  • The Lake of Tears
  • City of the Rats
  • The Shifting Sands
  • Dread Mountain
  • Maze of the Beast
  • Valley of the Lost
  • Return to Del

Deltora Quest 2, alternatively called Deltora Quest Shadowlands, chronicles the adventures of Lief, Barda and Jasmine as they journey to find the three pieces of the long-lost Pirran Pipe to rescue Deltorans held captive in the Shadowlands. Notable for making the third-person narration sympathetic to Jasmine's thoughts almost as frequently as Lief's.

  • Cavern of the Fear
  • The Isle of Illusion
  • The Shadowlands

In Deltora Quest 3, also known as Dragons of Deltora, Lief, Barda and Jasmine must journey across Deltora to awaken the seven sleeping dragons of Deltora and destroy the Four Sisters, which are secretly poisoning the land. Notable for ramping the Nightmare Fuel Up to Eleven in its last book, where seemingly everything that can go wrong at once does. (But it all works out in the end, of course.)

  • Dragon's Nest
  • Shadowgate
  • Isle of the Dead
  • The Sister of the South

Currently has a anime adaptation, a manga adaptation and also a game on the DS. The anime has aired around the world, on The Hub, on ABC 3, and in Italy.

There's also spinoff books with additional illustrations by McBride, such as The Deltora Book of Monsters, Tales of Deltora and Secrets of Deltora.


The series exhibits the following tropes:

  • Action Girl - Take a wild guess (It's Jasmine.)
  • A Child Shall Lead Them - Well, when the heir takes the throne he's about seventeen.
  • Adaptation Dye Job - Jasmine having green hair in the anime (she has black hair in the books), while Lief turned blond in all the adaptations.
  • Adaptation Expansion: There's certain events that don't seem to be in the book, that get added to the anime. The inverse trope is also true.
  • Adventure Towns:
  • All There in the Manual - Tales of Deltora, which depicted the legends that proves important for the series, such as showing how the Shadow Lord's dark greed began, the Masked Ones' beginnings, as well as telling how King Adin united the Seven Tribes against the Shadow Lord's army, complete with Deltora Quest's artist giving his depiction of the scenes.
    • The Deltora Book of Monsters, a monster book about the monsters living in Deltora, including those owned by the Shadow Lord.
    • Secrets of Deltora, the travel guide/diary of Doran the Dragonlover, who goes around Deltora and writes about the land, civilized area and people under the order of the current King at the time, hoping that his book would educate the heir on the world beyond Del. It also has the series' pseudo-interactivity of using riddles and foreshadows Doran's doomed journey for the Sisters.
  • Aerith and Bob - There are made up names. There are unusual, but used, English names. Then there are Anna, Tom, Ava, Jack and Steven.
  • And I Must Scream - The fate of Doran the Dragonlover.
  • Animated Adaptation - Anime.
  • Animated Armor - Gorl
  • Anime Theme Song
    • Only in the original version. The dub (predictably) uses an original instrumental theme with scenes from the original opening. Furthermore, the ending has been replaced completely.
  • Anyone Can Die - Mostly averted. A few deaths hit us hard, but the core group is always the same, and there are no Sacrifical Lions or anything like that. Main characters can be tortured, poisoned, drugged, permanently scarred, or Left for Dead, but that's about it.
  • Arc Number - Seven. Seven gems, seven tribes, seven dragons, seven letters in 'Deltora', seven Ak-Baba, the Shadow Lord re-invades Deltora exactly seven years into Endon's reign, Jasmine was seven when her parents were take, etc.
  • Ascended Extra - Neridah, Thaegan and the Enigmatic... Bird in the anime.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning - Lief at the end of the first series, naturally. And it is awesome indeed.
  • Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other- Lief and Jasmine. Also, Barda and Lindal. Jasmine and Doom have these moments, as well, but not in a romantic way.
  • Babies Ever After
  • Badass - Doom.
    • Damn-near everyone in the series, and don't you deny it!
  • Bait and Switch - Doom is fond of this trope, as is the author.
  • Batman Gambit
  • Because Destiny Says So - Jasmine only agreed to go on The Quest with Lief and Barda because her mother's ghost appeared to her and told her to.
  • Berserk Button - Do not hurt people Lief of Del cares about, if you value your life.
    • Also, do not mock Jasmine or her family, or she'll cut you.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension - Lief and Jasmine in all three series.
    • There was definitely some between Jasmine and Doom in the first series, even if it was unintended by the author.
    • Jasmine and Glock in the beginning of the second series.
    • Barda and Lindal in the third series.
  • The Big Guy - Barda is the last of the palace guards, some of the greatest warriors in Deltora.
  • Bishounen - Lief in the anime.
    • Whenever Dain shows up in the books, emphasis is placed on his fine features and "delicate" looks. It carries over to the anime.
    • Evil sorceror Oacus in the anime.
  • Black Knight - Gorril.
  • Body Horror - Claw and quite a few characters trapped in the Shadowlands.
    • The Guardian's pets turn out to be this as well.
    • And then there's what the Masked Ones almost did to Lief...
        • Also, we can assume that the real Anna was ripped apart by a Vraal.
  • Boisterous Bruiser - Glock and just about every member of the Jalis tribe. Also, most if not all of the population of Broome.
  • Broken Bird - Jasmine.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live - Jasmine initially had absolutely no intention of joining Lief and Barda in the first series. Then, after they get the topaz, it draws her dead mother's spirit, who bids her to join them.
  • Canon Foreigner - The sorceror Oacus in the anime.
  • Captain Obvious - Jasmine.
    • Barda in the dub of the anime.
  • Character Development - Lief gets more mature and thinks before he acts (mostly). Barda learns to like Lief and Jasmine, and they form a little makeshift family. Jasmine learns to be (a bit) more trusting and (a bit) less wild.
  • Chekhov's Gun - Tiny details in a previous book or even earlier in the same book can be crucial later on. Many are directly related to the puzzles e.g. the names of the Guardian's pets.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome - Three guesses...
  • Circus of Fear - The Masked Ones.
  • Cloudcuckoolander - Josef is viewed as this in-universe in the third series, much to everyone else's mistake.
    • It's played exactly the same way with Doran the Dragonlover.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture - The Granous' idea of fun is gruesomely torturing their victims and dismembering their fingers and toes.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience - Anything directly belonging to the Shadow Lord is generally colored grey with scarlet markings.
  • Contrived Coincidence - As often noted by Lief or someone else.
  • Crapsack World - Deltora, especially in the first series.
  • Crazy Prepared - Doom.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass - In The Cavern of the Fear Glock proves that he's much more than a gambler, gossiper and alcoholic.
  • Curse Is Foiled Again - Partial subversion in the third series. When each of the Four Sisters poisoning the land is destroyed, the region it affected heals up immediately (crops grow again, poisoned wells clear up, et cetera)... but once all four are destroyed, disgusting grey gunk starts rising from the ground to flood the land. Fortunately, the main characters manage to destroy that too. With dragons.
  • Cute but Cacophonic: Prin's dub voice. Nails on a chalkboard is far too kind a phrase for that voice.
  • Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday - Lief's potentially lethal journey starts on his sixteenth birthday.
  • Darker and Edgier - Each series is definitely darker than the one before it.
    • Each book within the individual series gets progressively darker, as well.
  • Dark and Troubled Past - Jasmine, Doom, Ranesh, Manus, Fardeep, all of the Dread Gnomes, Tira and the rest of Noradz, and the Torans probably qualify now too... This is the sort of thing that happens when you live in a Crapsack World.
  • Dark Magical Girl - Kirsten and Paff.
  • Dead Person Impersonation - Doom/Jarred.
    • Kind of. He took his name out of respect, he didn't pretend to be him.
  • Deadly Games - The ones in Rithmere, as well as the Shadowland Arena.
  • Dead Guy, Junior - Lief and Jasmine name their daughter after Jasmine's dead mother and name one of their twin sons after Lief's father - in a subversion, the other is named after Jasmine's father, who is very much alive at the end of the series - but no longer uses his birthname. (Those would be: Lief's father Endon, former king and later blacksmith, and Jasmine's parents Jarred and Anna.)
    • Ranesh and Marilen name their son after Josef.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Barda. Jasmine, Doom and Ranesh sometimes qualify.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen - Although Jasmine never really defrosts, compare her in the first few books to the rest, and she's way different.
  • Determinator - The Vraal. Once it decides that you're it's opponent, it will never rest.
  • Doomed Hometown - Subverted! Del may have taken a great deal of damage during the years when the monarchy stopped working, but it's definitely still standing when everything is said and done. (The anime tried its damnedest to play this straight, utterly demolishing the palace and much of the surrounding city in the climactic battle. It also gets rebuilt very quickly.)
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom - Doom, the leader of La Résistance
  • Driven to Suicide - Paff.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome - Glock. It also was a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • Dysfunctional Family - Jasmine and Doom in the second and third series. It's not that they don't like each other, it's just that their family is unusual. It's often pointed out by other characters. In fact, even Jasmine and Doom point it out in The Sister of the South.
  • Early-Bird Cameo - The scarred man they meet in Tom's shop reappears a book later and becomes one of the main characters - Doom.
    • Lief and Barda run into the sleeping topaz dragon in the second series, but it doesn't reappear until the third.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending - Or, in this case, earn it three times...
  • Eldritch Abomination - The Shadow Lord's appearance in the anime can best be described as "Darkrai seen through the eyes of Guillermo del Toro."
  • Encyclopedia Exposita text from The Belt of Deltora crops up regularly.
  • Enemy Within - In the Animated Adaptation, within the mirror of fear Lief fights a pair of Theagans Children impersonating his.
  • Evil Chancellor - The Chief Advisors to the King of Deltora, most notably Prandine. They turn out to all have been Grade 3 Ols.
  • Evil Overlord - The Shadow Lord, duh.
  • Evil Sorceror - The Shadow Lord's origin, also Sorceress Thaegan, a few of the Shadow Lord's other servants also turn out to be this.
  • Fate Worse Than Death - Dragonlover Doran becoming a Sister's Guardian many years ago.
    • Laughing Jack also gets one if you actually stop to think about, though he deserved.
  • Filler - The anime (which adapted the first series) ran for sixty-five episodes. The books' plot finally ran out at episode fifty-two, and that included enough filler to make Thaegan into a recurring "boss"! Interestingly enough, Anime News Network reported that the Australian broadcast of the anime will consist of fifty-five episodes (52, plus the first three filler episodes). Meanwhile, only the first fifty-two have been seen in the U.S..
    • One wonders why they didn't adapt the other two series.
  • Fire-Forged Friends - Lief, Barda and Jasmine.
  • Genki Girl - Prin
  • Giant Flyer - The Ak-Baba, AKA the Shadow Lord's pet deathbirdies. Deathbirdies as large as dragons. Also, dragons.
    • Retconned. Ak-Baba are about a fourth the size of your average dragon... which is still something for any sane person to give consideration to.
  • The Good King - Lief goes on to rule Deltora 'long and wisely' after the events of the books. In the second and third series he actively takes part in freeing his people from the Shadowlands and awakening the dragons.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars - Doom, grizzled face and complete with a scar over his eye. And good guy.
    • After a run-in with the Masked Ones, Lief ends up with scars over part of his face and neck, as a result of Jasmine preventing Body Horror via transformation with the Masked One's special animal mask. He continues being a good guy.
  • Gotta Catch Em All - The main quest in the first series. And the second series, but to a much lesser extent.
  • Gotta Kill Them All - The main quest in the third series, killing all four Sisters.
  • Heroic BSOD - Jasmine gets hit by this in the series 2 book The Shadowlands after finding out that Faith isn't real.
    • Lief gets it as well, in the series 3 book Sister of the South.
  • Heroic Lineage - King Adin's bloodline
  • [[spoiler: Hive Mind. The Hive, the boss of The Shifting Sands.
  • Holding Hands - Lief and Jasmine do this often in the third series.
  • I Am Who? - Lief is the heir. Jasmine is Doom's long-lost daughter. Doom is the real Jarred.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place - Almost every single location the gang went to, the majority of them being the plot-relevant location providing the title of the book. Lief was understandably worried upon hearing their names.
  • Identity Amnesia - Doom's secret in the first series. He gets it back at the end of series one.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: Mainly the anime. Let's see, a battle atop some stairs, with an enormous drop on either side, a battle while standing on one Ak-Baba while being divebombed by another (while fighting Fallow), fighting while spelunking in a giant hive, not to mention some of Thaegan's duels.
  • Invisibility Cloak - The special traveling cloak Lief's mother, Sharn, gave to her son, which can render anyone hidden underneath it invisible, or near enough that it makes no difference. This cloak saves the gang on more than one occasion.
  • It's All My Fault - Lief's father King Endon invokes this trope when Deltora and the palace are attacked by the Shadow Lord, feeling that if he had been a "stronger" king, it never would have happened.
  • Jerkass - Doom and Glock, but only in the first series.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold - Doom in the second and third series. Although he's tough, he truly cares for his friends and his daughter.
    • Glock also counts, until he dies.
  • Jungle Princess - Jasmine
  • Kick the Dog - The ending to the Shadowlord's Faith Gambit was just a big kick in the face to a certain wild girl.
  • Kid Hero - Lief. Also sort of a Warrior Prince.
  • Kill Me - Doran the Dragonlover to the Amethyst Dragon for a very good reason.
  • King Incognito - Let's just say it ties into the spoilered bit next to I Am Who? above.
  • Lamarck Was Right - Jasmine is basically a female Expy of her father.
  • Lampshade Hanging - In the Animated Adaptation Jasmine asks how many times they'll have to fight her, lampshading her status as a Recurring Boss.
  • Last of His Kind - In the first series, it appears that Glock is the last of the Jalis tribe. In the second series, Lief is the last heir of Adin, until The Reveal, in the last chapter, showed otherwise.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler - The back of each book spoils the previous book. The backs of the books in the second and third series spoil who the heir is.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Long-Lost Relative - In the final book of series one, it is revealed that Doom is Jasmine's father. Neither knew this, even though they had spent a lot of time together. This was because Jasmine was so young when her parents were taken that she couldn't recall their faces. Doom lost his memory in the Shadowlands, and didn't regain it until he smashed his head, thus realizing that Jasmine was his daughter.
  • Logic Bomb - The heroes come upon a monster guarding a bridge. Barda and Jasmine pass its tests, but the Lief fails the riddle, and the monster allows him to say one last thing to determine how he die. If the statement is true, he will be strangled. If it's false, his head will be cut off. He says "My head will be cut off." Fortunately, a paradox was exactly what was needed to defeat the monster in the first place, as the monster was condemned to guard the bridge "Until truth and lies are one." The monster is returned to its original form, a black bird, and freed.
  • Lost Woods - The Forests of Silence, of course.
  • Love Makes You Evil - In Shadowgate we get Kirsten
  • Luke, I Am Your Father - Doom.
  • Made of Indestructium - The gems cannot be destroyed, as long as an heir to the throne still lives.
    • The gems can't be destroyed, period, nor taken beyond Deltora's borders without giving their carrier a very nasty death. The Belt itself supposedly cannot be (completely) destroyed as long as an heir lives, but that's yet to be proven.
  • Meaningful Name/Theme Naming - The seven dragons are all named after their respective gem's associated trait. This is also the foundations for their personality. Lampshaded in the final book:

 Honora: Now we know each other's true names ... for any fool could guess which dragon name is which.

    • Also, Lief means heir.
  • Mineral MacGuffin - The gems.
  • The Mole - Dain turns out to be a Grade 3 Ol.
    • YMMV if Faith is this in the second series.
    • Paff in the third series.
      • Kree in the third series is an unwitting example.
  • Mordor - The Shadowlands.
    • Heck, you could even call the Shadow Lord an Expy of Sauron.
  • Nature Heroine - Jasmine, Wild Hair and all.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter - Not used often, but when it is, it's usually referring to something Barda or Doom wouldn't be allowed to say in front of the target audience.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While the Sisters' song was poisoning the land, killing everyone slowly through drought and famine, it's also acting as a seal on an ancient terrible monster that'll devour and turn everything it touches into hard grey crust. A fine example of the Shadow Lord's Xanatos Gambit if it weren't for the dragons.
  • Nobody Thinks It Will Work - He's the handsome, brave, heroic and renowned king of a massive country. She was raised by trees.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing - Lief and Jasmine. Although by series 3 Rodda's normally spare narrative mentions a lot of little affectionate gestures between the two of them, and the epilogue proves that they soon end up doing much more than that...
  • Non-Human Sidekick - Filli and Kree.
  • Not Just a Tournament: In The Shifting Sands, Leif, Barda and Jasmine enter in a tournament for money to continue their travels. The problem is, the tournament is a trap. After Jasmine wins, they are kidnapped by the evil Shadow Guards as a method of keeping the population quiet.
  • The Obi-Wan - Barda fits this a bit. Could also in part be applied to Josef, regarding how he raised Ranesh...
  • Official Couple - Lief and Jasmine (to no one's surprise), Barda and Lindal, Ranesh and Marilen...
  • Only Known by Their Nickname - Doom. Even his daughter calls him Doom, even to his face.
  • Only Smart People May Pass - Rodda seems to love this trope. Pick a book and you can be almost guaranteed to find puzzles, secret codes and other what-nots.
    • Word of God is that she looked to video games to get an idea of what might get kids to read, hence the high degree of pseudo-interactivity.
  • Only One Name - Everyone.
  • The Ophelia - YMMV, but Jasmine probably qualifies.
  • Our Dragons Are Different - Deltoran dragons correspond to and are representative of the seven gems, breathe fire in corresponding colors, and have personalities determined by the properties ascribed to the gem they are associated with. There's a reason that the third series is called Dragons of Deltora. It has dragons. And it's awesome.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird - Where do we begin to describe, let alone categorise, half the monsters in this series. The beautiful yet terrifying illustrations of Marc McBride don't help.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Sharn, Zeean, Marilen and the rest of the Torans.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage - Queen Sharn and King Endon.
    • Also Leif and Jasmine. When you consider that their two families were close, and would likely have married had not the Shadow Lord's takeover happened.
    • That would be extremely unlikely, given that the royal family pre-Shadow Lord Rule was still into arranging marriages between Del rulers and Toran nobility. Regardless of Jared and Endon's friendship, Jared was still of lower status (the son of a higher ranking servant, but a servant nonetheless).
  • Plot Coupons
  • Pregnant Badass - Sharn in the Forests of Silence prologue. Anna, at the same time, but to a lesser extent.
    • Marilen also qualifies when in the third series she defies her father's orders, takes supplies from Tora's tradeship to aid Del and uses Toran magic to transport herself to Del while it is scourged with disease. That's pretty damn Badass.
  • Prolonged Prologue - Takes up half of the first book.
  • Properly Paranoid - Doom has learned to be this, and tries to enforce it onto everyone else.
    • Knowing that Ols exists will lead to this.
      • As Sha-Ban said to Josef "I can trust you," "You eat, and you are warm." Considering what happened after that, she should have been more paranoid, and Josef learned that so should he.
  • Puppeteer Parasite - The Conversion Project slugs.
  • Real Song Theme Tune - The Animated Adaptation featured the song "In This Life", by Delta Goodrem, as its 3rd opening theme (at least in the original Japanese version).
  • Red Herring - Used twice in the final book of the first series, when they are looking for the heir. At first it is believed to be Dain, then Jasmine, before it was revealed to be Lief. It is used again in the final book of the third series, in regards to the Sister of the South's Guardian. It is heavily implied to be Doom, but it is actually Paff.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent - Reeah, the vraal, and the snake pit at Shadowgate. But the lattermost was actually responsible for killing the Guardian of the Sister of the North, Kirsten.
  • Rightful King Returns
  • Romantic False Lead - Marilen for Lief, Dain and Glock for Jasmine.
    • Dain is more so in the anime, where also Neridah flirts with Lief.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something - Once the competent royal takes the throne, he certainly qualifies. His father had tried to be this, but too late. Luckily, he'd married a very quick-witted woman...
  • Running Gag - Jasmine searches bodies. It's an old habit. Barda doesn't approve.
    • In the anime: Barda at least has to be hit by the monster, get up dramatically, and beat them after some self-empowerment.
  • Sadistic Choice - In the anime: Thaegan has captured our heroes and transported them into her Mirror of Fear. Lief fights with his Evil Twin, Barda fights against what was thought as Brandine, and a caged Jasmine is forced to solve a difficult puzzle or she will be dipped into searing hot water for the monsters' stew. Luckily, the Belt's Ruby shows him the way out of the mirror.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker - Jasmine. She can put her ear to the ground and tell you if anyone is approaching. And, if so, how many. And how big they are.
    • She can also talk to trees.
  • Sdrawkcab Name Nevets, Steven's 'brother'.
  • Shapershifters - Ols. They can all shape shift into just about anything. Grade 1s are obvious if you know what you're looking for. Grade 2s briefly show their true forms after a long amount of time. Grade 3s are pretty much indistinguishable from whatever they are trying to mimic.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely - At one point in the first series, Jasmine has gone incognito and traveled away from Lief and Barda because, as a wild girl accompanied by animal friends, she's the most recognizable member of their party. She washes, puts on a dress, covers her Wild Hair with a scarf, and puts on make up. When she later (accidentally) meets up with Lief and Barda, it takes them a long time to recognize her.
  • Significant Anagram - Deltora is spelled with the first letters of the gems on the Belt of Deltora, arranged in the order King Adin the blacksmith managed to convince the Tribes to give him their Gems.
    • Dain deliberately chose his name to trick everyone else into thinking he's the heir, since the name's an anagram of Adin.
  • Single Line of Descent - By custom, every king or queen has only one child. This turns out to have been a plot by the Shadow Lord to make it easier to kill off the royal line. Ultimately, subverted as Adin (the first king) himself had several children, which allows a distant relative of the throne to show up as a plot point.
  • So Proud of You - Anna says this to Jasmine when her spirit is momentarily drawn back by the topaz.
  • Sorcerous Overlord The Shadow lord fits this better than Evil Overlord alone since he is also a powerful sorceror and infact derives much of his power from that fact.
  • Spared by the Adaptation - Neridah in the anime at least until the filler episodes.
  • Spock Speak
  • Strange Minds Think Alike - Jasmine and Doom. There's a reason for it...
  • Theme Table - Seven tribes, seven dragons, seven gems, etc.
  • Third Person Person - Tom the Shop Keeper.
  • Team Dad - Barda. He's like a brother to Lief and Jasmine, but is always there to stop the inevitable squabbling between the two of them.
  • Team Mom - Sharn. Granted, she's the king's mother, but she pretty much adopts all his close friends after series one... including several former members of the Resistance who are her own age, if not older.
  • Team Pet: Filli and Kree.
  • There Are No Therapists - But if there were, Jasmine and Doom would be a lot better off.
  • Theme Twin Naming - Lief and Jasmine name their twin sons after their fathers, Endon and Jarred, who were also best friends.
  • Tragic Monster - Many. Notable example was Doran the Dragonlover, who became the Guardian of a Sister.
  • Treacherous Spirit Chase - There is one of these spread across the entire of Deltora Quest Two, and across a magic communication crystal.
  • Tsundere - Jasmine fits this pretty well.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension - Lief and Jasmine, but it's resolved by the end of the second series.
  • Unwitting Pawn - Everyone in the second and third series, especially. But Lief and Jasmine get hit by this pretty hard in the second series.
  • Weak but Skilled - Jasmine's general fighting style, due to her small stature, especially in the fourth book of the first series, The Shifting Sands, where she's classified as 'agility'.
    • Lief falls under this, too. Despite being of average height and strength for his age, most of his opponents are generally bigger and stronger.
  • Vain Sorceress: Theagan
  • Where It All Began - In the first series, the gang began their journey in Del and concludes it there. In Dragons of Deltora, it's the same, or so it seems before everyone goes to Hira to stop the ancient beast.
    • Even that could count, if on a much larger scale. Opal the Dreamer first foresaw the Belt when she lived on the Hira plain, and said Belt was finally completed there for the first time as well, marking the end of the first Shadowlands invasion in Adin's time.
  • World of Ham: The anime version.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Neridah's favorite tactic.
  • Xanatos Gambit - The Shadow Lord's plan in the third series turns out to be one of these. He just didn't count on the dragons being convinced to come together. Although he did try to kill them off anyway, fortunately Doran the Dragonlover prevents this. Best summed up by the Shadow Lord's own words "I have plans within plans"
    • Oh so many plans indeed. Just looking at the first series: not only was there the main plot of scattering the gems of the belt, but also the lie about the Guardian of the Diamond being king Endon to demoralize would be heroes and the fake bodies of Endon and his wife and child, again to demoralize, and the gripper field itself and sending Dain to fake being the heir, Ichabod and other Ols adding further tricks and threats. The second series shows even more of his plans, both those to bait the king, and the nasty new creatures he's cooking up. Then there's the third series... as mentioned above, it deals with the last of his Xanatos Gambit. The epilogue deliberately restates that he will never, ever stop planning and plotting.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess - Paff is actually surprisingly good at this.
  • Yandere: Kirsten
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The Shadow Lord is never fully described in the book, just as a sort of darkness whenever a description is called for. In the anime, when it could actually be pictured, this is nicely done as well, shrouding most of it in shadow except for its red eyes, even in broad daylight.
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