The Lake of Tears (Deltora Quest, Book 2)
Lief, Barda, and their unpredictable new companion Jasmine are on an urgent mission to find the seven stones from the magic Belt of Deltora. The golden topaz has already been found. But only when all the stones 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, Lief, Barda, and Jasmine must travel through territory ruled by the monster-sorceress Thaegan and overcome their biggest challenge yet--the hideous guardian of the enchanted Lake of Tears!
Manus grimaced and wrote a single, clear word in the dust. Jasmine frowned. “What is Soldeen?” she asked. But Manus could not, or would not, explain. “Whatever this Soldeen is, we must face it,” growled Barda. “As we must face Thaegan, if she pursues us.” The Ralads drew together at the mention of Thaegan’s name. Their faces were very grave. Plainly, they thought the travelers did not understand their peril, and that meant that Manus was doomed to die with them, for he was determined to
him into the oily water, tear at him in rage. Then he felt something that made him forget fear and doubt. The Belt of Deltora was warming on his skin. It sensed that another gem was near — very near. Soldeen had almost reached the weeping rock. The water had worn deep cracks and holes in its smooth surface. Under the gentle light of the moon it looked like a woman with her head bent in sorrow, tears falling from between her hands. Lief’s heart thudded as he saw, cupped in one of the hands,
symbol of happiness. Greedily, he drank in the sight. But Ethena and Nanion had drawn close together, and their tawny faces were pale under the moon. “It has happened, then,” Ethena murmured. “What we feared. What Thaegan promised, before she sent us into darkness. The Shadow Lord has come. Deltora is lost forever.” “No! Not forever!” cried Jasmine fiercely. “Any more than D’Or was lost forever. Or you!” Nanion stared at her, startled by her anger. Then, slowly, he smiled. “You are right,” he
would slam against it, his bones shattering on the pink rock. He heard his own scream, and the screams of Barda and Jasmine, floating on the wind. He screwed his eyes shut … With a rush something huge swooped under him, and the sickening swing stopped as he felt a warm softness on his face, against his arms. He was being lifted up — up — and the beating of mighty wings was louder in his ears than the wind. Then he was being clutched by eager hands, and tumbled onto the dust of solid ground. His
dead branches in six places along the path. That will slow them down!” Her eyes were sparkling with pleasure. “Keep moving!” grunted Barda. “Their anger will only make them run faster!” They rounded a bend and to his horror Lief saw that ahead was a long stretch of path with no curves at all. It seemed to go on and on, straight as an arrow, vanishing into the distance. The Guards could not ask for clearer aim than this. As soon as they reached this spot, the blisters would start flying, for