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

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  344 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
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 Trista

Mass Market Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 12th 1981 by Del Rey Books (first published 1981)
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Sep 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, fantasy, 8, reread, 2012
I have never considered my comments on books to count as "reviews". They're just my thoughts and feelings on the book I've recently finished. In the case of The Ring of Allaire this is even more true than usual as I barely talk about the contents of the book (a lovely and charming tale, it might perhaps be considered a little "old-fashioned" these days), and instead reflect on how reading it made me feel.

I had been looking forward to rereading this ever since I discovered Susan Dexter had update
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of the best fantasies I have read in a long time. The characters are in the same vein as the David Eddings 'fantasy with humor' but these are a bit more 'real' and a lot more agreeable. A good start to a lovely series.
James Kidd
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
read it as a kid and loved it
Reading it again in the revised version on kindle. Loving it.

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. 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. One to savour. B
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. But, in the classic tradition, there’s n
Toni Moore
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
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 ...more
May 31, 2016 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.

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.
Oct 06, 2011 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, 2018 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 231 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
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 star actually. For one thing this is not quite the typical "The Lord of the Rings" rip-off...well maybe just a bit in the background stories. 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, ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, romance, war, magic
I read this trilogy 30+ years ago, and it's still just as good now as it was then. 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.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
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!"'s fine? The plot by now is a bit cliched, but the book is 35 years old, so the save the prin
Mar 14, 2015 rated it liked it
I’m not doing very well at this regularly reviewing books, am I?

So, I read the first couple of chapters of this a long time ago, but for some reason I never finished it. Still, the image of the proud horse forced to become part of a carousel stuck in my head and I’ve always wanted the chance to find out what happened next.

It’s a pleasant enough book, but it took me a long time to get even a little invested. Our hero is a foundling whose only inheritance is a sword, we have a long lost heir, they
Sheryl Tribble
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of the better fantasy novels I have read, although as I recall I thought the author improved for each of the two sequels (which is often not the case). Classic fantasy tropes, but the plot is not so predictable as it first appears, and the characters (or some of the characters) are well-rounded and more human than usual for the type.

Also has a wonderful cat character, a believable bird character who is not a Noble Hunter, and a lovely magical horse. The plot makes enough sense I'm not consta
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy
It's hard to believe that its been over 30 years since I first read this book. I still remember my enjoyment of the book and the fascinating characters that are met throughout... and that 'twist' (okay, it may be a bit predictable by today's standards it worked well for 13 year old me back in 1981).

This was one of the first fantasy novels (other than Tolkien) that I remember reading that didn't feel 'far-fetched'. I was just developing my love for Medieval history at the time, and Ms. Dexter's w
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this when I was about 12-13 yrs, was my first fantasy book and it is what got me hooked on the genre. At the time I had books 1 and 2, took me 15yrs to find the 3rd book to finish the tale (before the internet, ebay and the such!), even now 30 yrs on I love reading these books, I get excited when I have a gap in new books waiting to be read and can squeeze in a week or so to come back to this trilogy.
Jennifer Heise
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy, fantasy
I loved this book as a teenager, and have always wanted to have ten different rings, one for each finger, based on this. Also, I identified with the wizard's apprentice far too much. It's a bit bland for me as an adult, especially as it was a book I read over and over. But Dexter's prose still has some magic for me.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
In High Fantasy Land, a magician's apprentice sets about the bothersome task of finding a magic ring and rescuing a princess.

The early chapters of The Ring of Allaire are not without charm -- the protagonist is accompanied by some wonderful talking animal companions, and the tone is dryly funny -- but the rest of the book is rote and tedious.
Kim Clarke
Nov 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
At least it isn't just me who thinks Allaire needs to get her hands dirty and carry her own weight once in a while.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well enough written to keep me going and I liked that it was one of three so there was more chance to get to know the characters. Also liked that a horse was a main character.
Jonathan Martens
rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2017
rated it liked it
Sep 10, 2007
rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2016
rated it liked it
May 31, 2016
Michael Ilett
rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2011
rated it it was ok
Jan 10, 2017
rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2015
Daniel Pearce
rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2015
Desmond Liew
rated it it was amazing
Feb 24, 2013
rated it really liked it
Oct 10, 2014
rated it liked it
Dec 28, 2011
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Susan Dexter’s favorite subject for her books is fantasy and throughout her life has worked as a librarian, teacher, and writer.

Susan received her first award, the Merit Award, in 1976 from the Lawrence County Open Arts Show. She also received the Distinguished Award from them in 1982 and 1983. The Wizard’s Shadow was listed among the “Books for the Teen Age” in 1993 by the New York Public Librar
More about Susan Dexter...

Other Books in the Series

Winter King's War (3 books)
  • The Sword of Calandra (Winter King's War, #2)
  • The Mountains of Channandran (Winter King's War, #3)

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