Monday, September 11, 2006
The Ring of Allaire - Susan Dexter
This is another one of those out-of-print authors that looked interesting, but was a bit hard to find. This trilogy came together as a sort of stroke of luck. I got book one, this one, at one store, and then I happened to glance at another second hand store and they had book 2 and 3 to this trilogy. She has other books, so I thought this was fate.
From the back of the book:
Master magician Blais was dead, murdered by the evil ice-lord Nimir. Now there was only Tristan, an ill-trained apprentice, to carry on the quest to rescue Allaire, a princess held in enchanted sleep in Nimir's frozen halls. Though a thousand master mages had already failed in the quest, Tristan must succeed - or all of Calandra would be doomed by Nimir's greed.
First Tristan would have to find the wonder-horse Valadan, who had vanished long ago. Then he had to secure the aid of the one knight among many who was a true Heir to the Throne. Together, they must overcome the Guardian dragon of Nimir's realm.
After that - well, there was still the tenth ring to be found, since Allaire was powerless without it.
Nothing, of course, was ever that simple. There were complications...
I think this book could be considered a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty". At least you can see some ties between that fairy tale and this novel. The most obvious being the sleeping princess that the young warriors have to go and save. There is just more to the story than a few brief moments. It tells about the past life for this princess, but it also speaks to what life will be like for her. It is the first book in a trilogy, so there is more explaining to come.
This is another trilogy that I learned of from Chappy's Mom, and I am sure there will be even more in the coming months. I am trying to decide if blogs to read are good things or bad things for me. I seem to buy even more books, which means more enjoyment, but also a rather large to be read pile.
This is rather a novel where you are rooting for the underdog, because Tristan rather struggles to figure out his place in the novel. He can not claim to be a wizard or mage because his training was never completed, and so he has to get by on what he does know. He is the glue that keeps this band of travelers together, if it wasn't for his leadership skills they might have never even rescued the princess, let alone had any adventures.
I have to point out that Allaire is rather annoying. Everyone would do anything for her, but she seems incapable of doing anything for herself. It was wonderful when Dexter added another female character, it was quite the contrast. I look forward to reading the second book in this trilogy and seeing how the adventures continue. It has a good ending, though. If I was reading it back when it first came out I would not HAVE to read book 2 because it does not leave unanswered questions. Even still, the characters are of the sort that I will have to join in on their adventures again in the future.