The Maze of the Beast is the sixth book in the fictional Deltora Quest series, written by Emily Rodda. The novel focuses on Lief, Barda, and Jasmine, who must summon all their strength and courage to make it through the Maze of the Beast even when the Shadow Lord is now aware of their quest. In addition to the Glus they must face pirates, shapeshifting Ols, and other dangers.
Lief, Barda, and Jasmine had retrieved the emerald from Dread Mountain. They travel along the River Tor to get to the Maze of the Beast, where they will get the amethyst. The gems they are taking are part of a Belt of Deltora, which will defeat the Shadow Lord that has invaded Deltora. During their travel, they encounter a pair of children nearly drowning in a stream. They save the children, but they reveal themselves to be Ols, creatures created by the Shadow Lord that can transform themselves to become another living creature. These creatures overrun the west side of Deltora to keep the gems hidden. Just before Barda is about to die, a boy Dain attacks the Ols and saves them. In the process, Dain injures his arm and several ribs. This causes Lief to sympathize for the boy, and take him to the Resistance, a group of people who rebel against the Shadow Lord. Arriving at the entrance to the Resistance's hideout, Dain faints from the pressure and forces the three to guess the password before they are marked as Ols and killed. Lief finds a note and realizes that the password is the first letter of every word on the note. They enter the Resistance and Doom, a man they have encountered before, tests them by putting them in a prison for three days. The test is supposed to find out if they are Ols because Ols can only hold their shape for three days. As three days pass, Doom does not let up and keeps them imprisoned. Dain frees them from the cave in exchange for them to take him to Tora. When Lief, Barda, and Jasmine reveal that they were not going to Tora, they split apart to make them less recognizable. Lief, Dain, and Barda take a boat that takes them down the river to the Maze of the Beast. They realize that Jasmine was also on the boat. The boat is raided by pirates, and Dain is taken prisoner. After reaching the Maze, Barda was revealed to be an Ol by the real Barda. Unfortunately, they are captured by pirates and are dumped into the Maze. After finding the location of the gem, Barda and Jasmine separate from Lief to lead the Beast away and Lief stays to carve the gem out of a column. They regroup when Lief was done, and escape the cave through a blowhole. The blowhole blows just after they escape, which takes the life of two pirates. The three then start off their journey to the Valley of the Lost.
- Lief: Lief is the main character of the series. Lief was born to parents King Endon and Queen Sharn though he believed them to be Jarred and Anna of the forge. As a child Lief roamed the streets of Del, sharpening his wits and gaining him the skills needed for his future quests. Though he did not know it, he was constantly protected by Barda and he prided himself on his many 'lucky' escapes. On his sixteenth birthday it is revealed to him that he must begin a dangerous quest to find the lost gems of the Belt of Deltora.
- Barda: Barda was enlisted as a friend by the king and queen of Deltora and was trusted to help him find the lost gems of Deltora sixteen years before the initial story took place. For the next sixteen years Barda disguised himself as a beggar so as to discover information vital to the quest. He also became the bodyguard of Endon and Sharn's child Lief, albeit without the semi-arrogant Lief's knowledge thereof. Upon Lief's sixteenth birthday Barda revealed himself to Lief and the quest for the gems of Deltora began. Though Barda was at first annoyed to travel encumbered by a child, he soon saw Lief as more of a help than a hindrance.
- Jasmine: Jasmine is a wild girl, described as having wild black hair (dark green hair in the anime) and emerald green eyes who has grown up in the Forests of Silence, where Lief and Barda meet her shortly after leaving Del. Her parents, Jarred and Anna, were captured by Grey Guards when she was seven years old, and so she has been raised by the forest. She can understand the language of the trees and of many animals, and has incredibly sharp senses, but has trouble understanding some social customs. Jasmine is usually seen with her blackbird, Kree, and a mouse-like creature she calls Filli. Jasmine is like Lief and occasionally has a quick temper. After helping Lief and Barda in the forest and with the help of the topaz, she is greeted by her mother's spirit from beyond the grave, who tells her to go with Lief and Barda in their quest. After this encounter, she joins Lief and Barda in the search for the great gems that will complete the Belt.
- Kree: Kree is a raven and one of Jasmine's closest companions in the Forest of Silence. His family was taken and eaten by the witch Thaegan, and Kree was found by Jasmine. She took pity on him, as both had their family taken away, and she took care of Kree. Kree treats Jasmine as his master, and does not tolerate offensive behaviour towards Jasmine. His presence is advantageous towards the three companions, as he is able to fly ahead and warn the others of oncoming danger or safety.
- Filli: Filli is a small, mouse-like creature (although Jasmine denies that he resembles any rodent). He was rescued by Jasmine when she discovered him paralysed by the Wenn in The Forests of Silence. As such, he remains close to Jasmine and Kree, often hiding himself in Jasmine's clothing when danger arises. Like Kree, Jasmine is able to understand Filli. His small size is often advantageous to Lief, Barda and Jasmine, as he is able to hide easily and eavesdrop on others.
- The Glus: The Glus is the beast. It eats people. It is the Guardian of the amythyst.
- Dain: Dain is a timid young boy. He saved helped Lief, Barda, and Jasmine from the Ols. He escaped with them as an exchange for him to go to Tora. He is taken by a ship later on in the Maze of the Beast to be exchanged to the Grey Guards. Lief and the gang helped him out of the boat, which was full of pirates, in the Valley of the Lost. Through the series he has shown feelings for Jasmine making Lief jealous. When he had reached Tora he was disappointed to see that the city was deserted. Doom had come to get Dain leaving Lief, Barda, and Jasmine to the Valley of the Lost.