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07/08/2013
Contents:


  1. The Ring of Allaire
  2. Take Up the Quest for Allaire of the Nine Rings!
  3. The Ring of Allaire (Winter King's War, #1) by Susan Dexter

I read this book in its original form some 30 years ago. The hard copies are in the loft. On my second date with my now wife we talked about children's names. I said I really liked Tristan. Due to the power and magic of this book.

The Ring of Allaire

It's not Game of Thrones. But it is not intending to be. I'm not sure I have worked out where all of the authors' revisions come, but they I don't feel I need to. B read it as a kid and loved it Reading it again in the revised version on kindle. But I didn't do that - I finished it in a damn rush! Full review yes, even longer at my blog: The basic structure of the story — of Allaire, and of the trilogy as a whole — is almost formulaic.

A young man 19, I believe , orphaned very young and raised by, apprenticed to a wizard, is set on a huge quest even though he is not the most … ept of lads. He finds himself shoved into a destiny he never would have imagined, and for which would never assume himself capable. The first quest turns into a series of quests, which lead to one great Quest, to in effect save the world, with a wildly assorted group of traveling companions. That right there could describe a great many fantasy novels.

Tristan, the apprentice, should be cookie cutter: But Tristan ranks high among my favorite fictional characters. For all his faults — and he does have faults — he also ranks high among the fictional characters I would like to meet. He tries, he fails, he grits his teeth and picks himself up and moves on. He and his master Blais live quietly apart from a village by the sea in the east of Calandra, and muddle along quite well, making their living with love philtres and minor weather witchings.

Lewis — making it always winter and never Christmas. Tristan comes home to find his master vanished, and only a message and a spell left behind, a spell which puts him on the path to find Valadan. With him from the cottage go Thomas, a cat who scorns the title of familiar, and who is another of my favorite characters; and Minstrel, the eagle-hearted canary who refuses to be left behind simply because he is small and fragile. Dexter's handling of animal characters should be required reading for anyone who plans to do anything remotely similar - it's note-perfect.

It's a wonderful start to a wonderful series - four stars only to leave room for The Mountains of Channadran. Jun 10, Toni Moore rated it really liked it Shelves: Good, basic fantasy story, with a somewhat bumbling apprentice mage as hero. Tristan, the apprentice mage, doesn't take himself too seriously. At times his lack of confidence in himself can be annoying.

I just wanted to slap him and tell him to get over it already! But he travels on his quest with a talented and sarcastic cat, a brave and optimistic canary, and a magical warhorse. The cat and horse can communicate with Tristan telepathically. They have some of the best dialogue. The villain is b Good, basic fantasy story, with a somewhat bumbling apprentice mage as hero. The villain is built up to be truly horrible, but when it comes to the confrontation, he's a little disappointing. The characters are well-drawn and the story of the quest is OK.

This is the first of three books that make up "The Winter King's War. May 31, Gwen rated it really liked it. I read this book when I was in late middle school or early high school, and then read it a bunch of times afterwards. Clearly I enjoyed it then. I just finished reading it to my children. It's still good; however, I found Tristan to be a little bit creepy when it came to Allaire - focusing far too much on her beauty and far too little on her personality.


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Anyway, my children liked it and begged me to buy the second book, which I have never read. So we are exploring that one together. Sep 13, Alexandra rated it really liked it Shelves: Oct 06, Joy rated it it was amazing. I love this book. It takes some high fantasy tropes--worn ones at that--and does marvelous things with them. Feb 24, Omiai rated it it was amazing. Given that I'm usually skeptical about fantasy not written in the last 20 years, and that, from first glance, this looks like it will be a typical fantasy where the characters are lifeless and dull, they go on a quest and you couldn't care less about the result, but this is far from the truth in this case!

Yes, this is quite a short book at pages, but you get taken straight into the action which is non-stop from start to finish. You feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes because there is no time to Given that I'm usually skeptical about fantasy not written in the last 20 years, and that, from first glance, this looks like it will be a typical fantasy where the characters are lifeless and dull, they go on a quest and you couldn't care less about the result, but this is far from the truth in this case!

You feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes because there is no time to stop and breathe! But it is worth it!

Take Up the Quest for Allaire of the Nine Rings!

This was one of those books I just wanted to keep reading to see what happened, and subsequently, I'm now desperate to read the next 2 books in the series which luckily i already have! Amazingly, for such a short book, it doesn't seem to loose it's depth. The fault of many short fantasy books is that the characters turn out lifeless, the story rushed and a bit pointless, but this doesn't happen here!

On its own, without being part of a series, this book works wonderfully. It could be a complete tale in it's own right, like all good books should. I loved the characters, and although the human characters were great, the animal characters are as much the heroes of this tale as the humans are! Thomas the cat, minstrel the bird and Valadan the horse are all excellent characters! Thomas in particular I adored! What is it about fantasy authors and their abilities to give such great personalities to cats?! I think it's brilliant!

And they aren't just sidekicks who happen to be travelling with them, they are real, useful characters who provide just as much to the story as the people. The human characters, given that they are supposed to be the main characters, should also be mentioned. Tristan is a brilliant character, he isn't whiney or annoying, he's very accepting of things given that he is a wizard, but still interesting enough that you worry when tragedy strikes. The girls in the book, Allaire and Elisena are, rarely for books in general in my opinion! They turn up and although they don't do much at first to push the story along, and really get in the way quite a bit, they are still loveable characters.

Polassar is a strange one. He was a good character, he made me laugh, but I couldn't quite work out his purpose in the greater scheme of the book, but I'm still glad he was there! I recommend this if you are a fantasy fan looking for a quick, enjoyable read, you shouldn't be disappointed! Nov 05, Massimiliano rated it liked it.

The Ring of Allaire (Winter King's War, #1) by Susan Dexter

For one thing this is not quite the typical "The Lord of the Rings" rip-off The main quest honestly does not terribly make sense, and the first half of the book suffers from it the reader suffers as well. The super-evil Nimir is a cardboard cypher that almost does not oppose at all the protagonist after killing his tutor at the beginning of the story. After the company is hosted at Galan castle and a new character shows up, 2.


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  • After the company is hosted at Galan castle and a new character shows up, things get more interesting. Dexter is more at ease at describing the personal interactions between her characters rather than the heroic events of the main quest. Probably not my to recommendation, but not too terrible either in the end. Oct 18, Christopher rated it it was amazing Shelves: It may not have the meat that some readers want in a novel, but what it lacks in pages in more than makes up for in the writing and characters. May 16, R. I have not read this book in well over twenty years, but I remember loving it and re-reading it several times as a teen, and that's good enough for me.

    A solid, if somewhat standard issue fantasy story. This was one I thought I had read as a kid, but after reading it, I think I didn't actually read just wanted to and either never found it or never acquired it. Didn't find myself remembering anything about it as I read through it, so i think it's more likely I read a review of it in Dragon Magazine or something and thought "hey, this sounds good!

    The plot by now is a bit cliched, but the book is 35 years old, so the save the prin A solid, if somewhat standard issue fantasy story. It's definitely more of a densely plotted book than most fantasy is today, and there's something to be said for that. It clocks in at a rather mellow pages and still manages to introduce a troupe of characters, set up the world, and overlay the threat of a destructive black wizard with enough clarity to make it all interesting.

    The characterization is a bit lacking, but some of that may be a function of only being in Tristan's our lowly apprentice wizard and hero of the tale head. Tristan is generally likable, a fairly solid fellow who is basically nice if lacking on confidence a relic of his inability to master and control his magic after many years as an apprentice. The others don't get a lot to work with, which magnifies their faults and rarely shows them in the best light. Makes it hard to root for Allaire and Polassar much. Hopefully future volumes will do better. It's tight enough to stick with, and the basic plot is a good one.

    For now, the denser plotting is a bit of a relief from the glacial pace of many fantasy novels, even if it does leave much unanswered about the state of the world and the systems of magic. Sadly, that balance is very much missing from most works. Mar 14, Devon rated it liked it. So, I read the first couple of chapters of this a long time ago, but for some reason I never finished it.

    There are plenty of ways to make an old story new, but I only saw the vaguest hints that Dexter might consider touching on them. There was nothing remarkable for me in the first part of the book, which felt a bit like it was just ticking the boxes for a standard quest as quickly as possible. Things did brighten up once we reached the city and the plot slowed a bit to allow some deeper characterisation, but whilst I did start to hope that a certain twist was being set up which it was and I enjoyed that twist, it came a little too late for me.

    Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I loved this series when it first came out some 20 years ago. And Lo and behold it is. Twists and turns throughout the books. No Elves, No Orcs, no flaming Swords. Just an unwilling hero accompanied by three friends to go on a quest.


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    Did I mention the three friends are a Horse, a Cat, and a Canary? And they can get rather bossy. And All Tristan wants to do is sleep, and maybe eat a meal once in awhile. That doesn't mean, it's boring or doesnt have new tricks up it's sleeve. It's a Hero's Fantasy and all that, just dont expect a rehashed Tolkien-esque warmed over tale. This is a wonderful story woven with the authors gifted weaving with words. So when you finish, you know there is more to read about this bickering band of cohorts and their adventures. Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase. While this series seems geared more towards a Young Adult audience I found the writing style very well done and easily enjoyed by adults as well.

    I would definitely consider Dexter's books a guilty pleasure, which initially I was quite, convinced I wouldn't enjoy. And while this all may sound contrived and unoriginal that doesn't mean it doesn't make for a good story. I actually found myself enjoying some of the things I thought I would dislike the most.

    The premise for the story is simple. The young apprentice wizard Tristan yeah I know Blais instructs Tristan from the beyond that he must continue the quest Blais started. The quest, to find the sleeping princess Allaire, rescue her from the clutches of Nimir, awaken her and find the rightful king to the throne of Calandra for her to marry.

    Tristan leaves his master's small cottage along with his familiar, Thomas a talking cat From here they begin their search for the sleeping princess and the throne's rightful heir. I especially loved Thomas the cat his sarcasm is puuurrrfect This started to bother me towards the end as they felt more like paupers than heroes. Also when they're in Darkenkeep Nimir's stronghold they literally only come across one hero entombed in ice It just seems highly unlikely that thousands of wizards quested to find the princess only to fail.

    The whole reason I started this trilogy was because I found mint copies of books two and three at a local bookstore. The first time I picked them up, I looked at the covers, scoffed and thought to myself I decided to put my adult pessimism aside and gave them a try. I ordered the first in the series on Amazon and am now glad I did. I just started book two, "The Sword of Calandra" and am pleased to say that the series seems to have shifted to a slightly more adult style.

    As I mentioned earlier, this series quickly became a guilty pleasure. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. With master magician Blais dead, murdered by the evil wizard Nimir, bumbling apprentice Tristan was all that was left to carry on Blais' last quest - to find and awaken the princess of Allaire and thus save all of Calandra, or to fail and doom the kingdom to eternal winter.

    Tristan felt ill equipped to rescue the princess, especially after hundreds of heroes and wizards, all better trained than he, had died in the attempt. But Tristan loved his master too much to do nothing less than his very best so he started with the basics that the others discounted. The first thing that Tristan had to recover was the legendary warhorse of Esdragon, Valadan, who had disappeared long ago. Then he had to persuade the Heir to the Throne, Polassar, that his was not a fool's errand, but a true chance at victory to save the kingdom. After he had gathered his companions, then Tristan had to find the location of the sleeping princess, somehow awaken her, find the tenth ring that was needed for the princess to use her powers, fight off jealous wizards, Nimir's Ice Hounds, and whatever other complications came along the way The Ring of Allaire is in many ways a simple fantasy tale retold, but in other ways it is new, fresh and fun.

    There are also plenty of little surprises to keep the reader guessing, even though some things seem obvious to the reader before it is revealed in the book. But, Dexter's characters are delightful and so fun to get to know and to travel with. I love that Tristan tries really hard and sometimes succeeds and sometimes doesn't, but he always tries. He seems like such a normal person and it is refreshing for the nice, normal guy to get ahead for once, instead of the brave, dashing hero. A fast, fun read that kicks of a delightful trilogy - I highly recommend all of Dexter's books!

    This is the first part of a 3-part series. The cover shown is not the same as the one on a paperback version I have which is much better. The electronic version does have some issues with strange characters throughout the book but nothing that keeps you from progressing through the story. One person found this helpful. This is her first book and you can tell. However it is still a very good story with some characters I would like to meet.

    Some of the characters were very shallow and poorly developed. I read this story years ago shortly after it came out the first time. I had a good memory of it so I purchased a used copy to read it again. So mixed review but worth reading. See all 9 reviews. Most recent customer reviews.

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