The Sword of Calandra by Susan Dexter (Winter King’s War #2) Book Review

The Sword of Calandra

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Series: Winter King’s War Book #2
Author: Susan Dexter
Publisher: Del Rey Books (February 1985)
ISBN: 0345297172, EAN: 9780345297174
Page Count: 352 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars, Wonderful Fantasy Adventure!


Tristan had succeeded where hundreds of other heroes and wizards has failed – he woke the lovely sleeping princess, found the tenth ring, and discovered that he was the rightful heir to the throne of Calandra. Unfortunately, Tristan didn’t get to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. There were many nobles who disputed Tristan’s right to the throne and were willing to wage war to get rid of him once and for all so they could go back to their petty squabbling over who would be king. Also, in order to actually be able to sit on the throne, Tristan needed the sword of Calandra, or his crowning would also mean his death. Too bad the sword disappeared into myth and legend centuries before…

In desperation, Tristan returns to the wizard’s city of Kovelir to seek out Crewzel, a fortune teller to see if she could read anything more from her magical cards. But Tristan was bitterly disappointed to discover that Crewzel had disappeared without a trace, even her beloved son did not know where she was. Knowing full well that Crewzel would never go anywhere without her son, Tristan set out to find her while continuing his wizard’s apprenticeship and searching the library for any references to the sword of Calandra. But time was running out and Tristan knew that he had to gamble the future of the kingdom on one desperate attempt – to forge a new sword, a sword that would mean Tristan’s death or victory…


The Sword of Calandra picks up where The Ring of Allaire ended, with Tristan and Elisena desperately fighting the evil forces of Nimir, the winter king. Unlike most second books in a trilogy, this book actually had a purpose and a mystery to solve and it was another fun adventure to take with familiar characters. I simply loved Dexter’s characters and enjoyed seeing familiar faces and discovering what happened to secondary characters that were left behind in The Ring of Allaire. Dexter presents a simple quest in a unique and memorable fashion and her bumbling hero, Tristan, always manages to make it through his challenges, despite his lack of confidence in himself. I highly recommend this whole series, but you could read this book on its own and understand everything that is happening. Fantasy fans should definitely check out Susan Dexter’s writings – she is a real hidden treasure!


There is mild fantasy violence in this book, but it is still pretty clean. Appropriate for readers ages 10 and up.

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