Book Cover
Title The Golden Door
Author Emily Rodda
Cover Art Alan Daniel
Publisher Penguin - 2012
First Printing Omnibus Books - 2011
Book Cover
Title The Silver Door
Author Emily Rodda
Cover Art Marc McBride
Publisher Penguin - 2014
First Printing Omnibus Books - 2011
Book Cover
Title The Third Door
Author Emily Rodda
Cover Art Marc McBride
Publisher Penguin - 2013
First Printing 2012
Category Middle grade
Warnings None
Main Characters Rye, Dirk, Sholto, Sonia
Main Elements Magic
Website The Emily Rodda Website

Click to read the summaryThe Golden Door

Click to read the summaryThe Silver Door

Click to read the summaryThe Third Door

I actually won an uncorrected and unpublished proof from Penguin, so I'm probaly one of the few people in North America who has read this book even though it's been out in Australia for about a year. I'd never heard of Emily Rodda before, but the book itself was exactly the kind of thing I would have enjoyed while in elementary school...and even now as an adult.

The story starts in a town called Weld surrounded by an enormous Wall. It's been there so long people no longer know what's on the other side, in fact a good portion of the population dedicate their lives to making it bigger still. But then the Skimmers started flying over the wall at night, devouring anyone they could sense through sound or scent. It was decided to started sending brave young volunteers on quests outside the Wall to find out where they were coming from and to destroy the source. But no one who went through the Wall ever came back.

Rye's two brothers had left years before and were presumed dead. When the Skimmers destroyed the Bell Tree from which he and his mother made their living, he volunteered to find the Skimmers, but in fact went in search of his siblings. What he didn't expect was to have an orphan girl (with a bit of an attitude) tag along for the adventure.

It's been a while since I've read a book like this (mind you I'm not the target age group) but I truly enjoyed reading it, and I know that if I were still in grade school, I would have loved this book. When I thought of it from that perspective I had to make a four start rating a five. Rodda's writing was a pleasure to read and the characters were fun and interesting. It's a wonderful coming of age / quest story with some magic and mystery mixed in. In fact I'm so intrigued by the mysteries (what are the Skimmers, what are the magical items in Rye's possession, who is Sonia, what is the history of Weld, and what is behind the silver and wooden doors?!?) I'm going to have to go out and read the rest of the series! Hopefully I won't have too long a wait for them to be published here.

September 2015
Though I gave a pretty rave review of the first book, I wasn't quite as impressed with the next two. The second one in particular I found just too weird for comfort, with people living in horrible conditions collecting the bones left behind by carnivorous snails, animal was well as human. And the third one started off ok, then started to drag, then got really confusing, until all was explained.

Must admit that explanation was quite the twist, I hadn't the slightest inkling of how the story was going to resolve itself. Just for that it was worth reading through all three! It made cause and consequence be something so much bigger than one could ever expect. It made who was good and who was bad also not what one expected. Frankly, it was so twisted and complicated that I think it would have been hard for a middle grade reader to sort it out, I know I had trouble. But then I've was reading Lord of the Rings in elementary school so never underestimate your middle graders! And if you read it through twice, then it would probably make a whole lot more sense. Definitely have to give the author credit for a major undertaking in these three novels.

Posted: September 2012


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