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You shall feel my wrath as never before!
~ The Shadow Lord's infamous quote (in his true form), before attacking Leif and all his allies.

The Shadow Lord (real name: Malverlain) is the main antagonist of the book series, Deltora Quest, and its anime TV show adaptation of the same name. He is also often called the "Lord of Shadows", "The Enemy", and "The Master".

He is the evil and treacherous ruler of the Shadowlands beyond the Barrier Mountains, north of Deltora and the leader of the Shadow Army and he is shown to be a very manipulative and powerful sorcerer. He resides in the Shadowlands and made attempts to rule Deltora throughout the series. He is shown to be a very clever and brilliant planner and creates many plans to foil even those who appear to defeat him at first.

His most loyal servants are the seven Ak-Baba, huge, monstrous, vulture-like birds that are very strong, and lives 1,000 years.

He is (in short) a megalomaniac, being convinced that all creatures should obey him. The Shadow Lord apparently goes by a policy that if he cannot have something, he will simply destroy it, evident by deciding to just destroy Deltora with the Grey Tide when the Four Sisters failed.

He is also very sadistic and prejudicial, deriving pleasure from tormenting Lief mentally.

The Shadow Lord cares nothing about his subordinates, viewing them as simple pawns. An exception to this may be the Ak-Baba, if for their strength and loyalty if no other reason.

He was voiced by Mike Shepard in the anime.


The Shadow Lord is a very powerful dark sorcerer, who rules beyond the Barrier Mountains to the north of Deltora, in the Shadowlands, which were formerly the land of Pirra. He is cold, cruel, brutal, violent, ruthless, murderous, and traitorous, so he hates everything good and beautiful. He is jealous of the people of Deltora, and the king, because his plans to take over the land have failed again and again.

His strength has grown over the thousand years while he has been in the Shadowlands, and his hatred upon the Royal Family of Deltora has as well.

The Shadow Lord was once a human being, with dark skin and a long black beard but over the years of his life anger and hatred compleatly consumed his physical body. He had a large cloak, reffered to his cloak of shadows in Tales of Deltora, and a magic staff made of a wooden branch, curled up on top, just like the one of the Maia Gandalf in the film adaptations of the works by J.R.R. Tolkien.

While the Shadow Lord is never explicitly seen in the books, the anime depicts the Shadow Lord as a satanic monster made out of pure darkness, with glowing red eyes, and a deep and sinister voice.

TV appearance

While the Shadow Lord appears human in the books, as in the illustration drawn and painted by Marc McBride in Tales of Deltora (in the three series he is, however, mentioned repeatedly, and during the last battle in Return to Del, he appears, but floating in the air, surrounded by dark red clouds), the anime series Deltora Quest depicts him as a massive, demonic entity with glowing red eyes, and a body made out of darkness.

In the final episode, he believed that he killed Lief and Jasmine by trapping them under a pile of rubble to prevent Lief from using the belt. However, once Lief activated it, he transformed into a glowing mystical giant and took on the Shadow Lord head on. As a final act, Lief's avatar drew forth a mystical sword and used it to slice through the Shadow Lord's head, killing him and ending his reign of terror.




  • The Shadow Lord's true name was only revealed in the new edition of Tales of Deltora, and in The Three Doors series.
  • His true name "Malverlain" is based on the word "manevolent".
  • So far there is no visible method to destroy him permanently.
  • Because Rosalyn is from Deltora the Shadow Lord has Deltoran blood in him. He even has ancestors from the city of Del, the capital of Deltora.
  • The Shadow Lord is the main antagonist throughout all 3 Deltora Quest series.
  • The Shadow Lord's most loyal servants are the 7 Ak-Baba.
  • The Shadow Lord's staff in the Deltora Quest book series resembles the staff of Maia Gandalf in film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings.