Book Review : The Towers of Illica

Book Review : The Towers of IllicaThe Towers of Illica (Star of Deltora, #3) by Emily Rodda
Published by Scholastic Australia on April 1st 2016
Pages: 176
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Britta of Del wants nothing less than to be the new Apprentice Trader of the Rosalyn fleet. Family and friends and even the terrible secret of her parentage will not stop her. But how can she succeed when her true identity must surely be guessed by Trader Mab, who knew her father, and the crew of the Star of Deltora? Relying on no more than her wits and the kind acts of friends she makes along the way, Britta is drawn closer and closer to her terrible destiny.

After finding the previous entry in the series, Two Moons, to be a little slow, I absolutely blazed through The Towers of Illica in one sitting. That is exactly what I did with the first book in the series as well, Shadow of the Master. In this entry of The Stars of Deltora, Britta is in an entirely different kind of trouble, but this time around, she’s learned to accept help in the form of Jewel and Sky.


I was really happy to see Britta form a healthier bond with these two of her cohorts. It really changed the dynamic of the novel a bit and lessened some of my anxiety for poor trouble-magnet Britta. Wherever she goes, danger is not far behind. And this time around, Britta is up against the greedy Collectors, who call the eponymous towers of Illica home, and who are looking to make more than a trade. 


“‘We will not be turned away,” Britta said firmly, eager to convincer herself as well as Jewel. ‘From what we have read, the Collectors think of nothing but adding to their Collections. And the ordinary people of Illica are plain, sensible folk.’

Jewel raised her eyebrows. ‘You mean they do not have a magic bone in their bodies and will not sense evil on the ship even if it is here?’ she asked dryly. “Ah, what a comfort your are little nodnap.'”


The Towers of Illica does a great job providing lore on these Collectors and their notorious history as pirates through hidden books in The Star of Deltora’s reading room. Despite being a series for younger readers, the world building in these books is solid and creative, but also not too complicated. Not a whole lot of time is spent on this world building, but just enough page space is given to readers to form a foundation on the environment in which Britta finds herself. These books would make a great introduction to the fantasy genre or an enjoyable read to those who are already fans of the genre. 


I’m already a fantasy fan, but I am still delighted in author Emily Rodda’s ceaseless talent for blending the fantastical of magical cursed staves and functional magical clay dolls with relatable problems of young girls, like dealing with rumors and a roommate. Plus, throughout it all, we have the undercurrent of mystery surrounding the downfall of Britta’s father and what exactly it means for Britta, her well-being, and her future. In The Towers of Illica, Britta is closer than ever to figuring out what exactly went wrong on her father’s doomed quest to obtain the legendary Staff of Tier.


It was also a delight to read someone having a different viewpoint on the downfall of her father, let alone a sympathetic one. This is something not even Britta herself has managed to accomplish, as the trauma of her father’s betrayal is too strong for her to feel anything but anger, fear, and resentment.  Despite those heavy feelings, Britta always manages to forge ahead with her desire to prove herself as more than her father’s daughter and I think that is such an admirable quality. 


“…the game is not over before the last dice have been thrown. Luck can change in an instant, for or ill. And it is a long way back to Del.”


I will be sad for the series to end, but I’m honestly dying to read the epic conclusion of this series, The Hungry Isle. I hope all of the answers to Britta’s questions (and mine) will finally come to light in the last entry. At the end of the The Towers of Illica, Britta and the gang are supposed to be heading home to the city of Del, but I’m sure it’s anything but a straight shot.


Book Review : The Towers of Illica - Blogging with Dragons

Posted November 22, 2022 in Book Reviews, Fantasy

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4 responses to “Book Review : The Towers of Illica

  1. kamifurr

    This series sounds like something I would love. Sorry the 2nd book was slow for you, but hooray for the 3rd being exciting.

    • It was such a joy to read! And the author has written other books in the same world. I’ll have to check them out eventually.

      Let me know if you pick them up and give them a try!

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