Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars, The Beginning of a Wonderful Trilogy!
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 on a fool’s errand, but had 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 double trilogy – I highly recommend all of Dexter’s books!
This book contains a daring quest and frequent battles with evil forces, but is still clean and appropriate for readers ages 10 and up.