Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Target Age Group: adults
My Rating:5/5 stars, Another Wonderful Book by Susan Dexter!
Titch had trained his whole life to become a knight. If his father, a knight, hadn’t died suddenly, he felt sure that he would have become a knight’s squire and eventually a knight himself. However, his father passed away while Titch was young and so Titch had to train himself and enter whatever contests he could to win arms, armor and other knightly accoutrements. Titch finally felt that he was ready to strike out on his own and travel to some of the tourneys in outlying areas to make a name for himself and eventually win his knighthood. Unfortunately, Titch made the mistake of challenging Gerein, a knight riding the most amazing horse that Titch had ever seen, and lost. Gerein could have demanded Titch’s arms, armor and horse in exchange, but he did not. Before he knew it, Titch found himself covering for Gerein and eventually taking an arrow and a spear in the side for him.
Luckily, Wren, an apprentice magician and shape shifter, and her master, Galvin, found Titch as he lay dying and were able to nurse him back to health. When Titch was healed, he hunted Gerein down to force the truth out of him. Due to one misadventure after another, Titch soon finds himself employed in the terrible queen’s guard with Gerein, forced to guard the wizards who had saved his life while they sought out the queen’s son who had been magically turned into a swan. Along the way, Titch finds out that Wren is much more than a simple apprentice and Gerein’s masterful horse is definitely more than he seems…
This is the third book in The Warhorse of Esdragon Series and it is my favorite after The Prince of Ill Luck (the first in the series). All three books, The Prince of Ill Luck, The Wind-Witch, and The True Knight are stand-alone books in that they deal with completely different characters each time so anyone can pick up The True Knight and enjoy it. The common thread between the three is Valadan, the magical warhorse of Esdragon, and the geographical settings. The characters in this book were just delightful and Titch tried so hard to be a knight and to hold to the ways of honor as he had been taught, even when circumstances deemed otherwise. Although the reader knows who Wren is from very early on, she too is a delightful character and it is fun to watch her progression and to see how she discovers her true identity. The plot had a nice smooth progression and Susan Dexter’s wonderful sly sense of humor is much in evidence (though not so much as in The Prince of Ill Luck). I highly recommend this book to any fantasy lover – I simply cannot believe that it is out of print! Also, whatever happened to this author? I have read everything she has written and am waiting for more!
This book contains a lot of battle sequences between knights, between good and evil warriors and between pretty much everyone in the book. They have a very authentic, medieval feel, but are not too gory or over-the-top. For the amount of fighting that goes on in this title, the book is surprisingly clean. Recommended for readers ages 14 and up.