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Susan Dexter

Susan Dexter's greatest strengths as a writer lie in her ability to write successful quest stories with characters that, no matter what, never act out of character. Often her books are humorous, but there are always underlying serious tones.


This is my favorite trilogy by Dexter-- The Prince of Ill-Luck, The Wind-Witch, and The True Knight. They're not very closely connected, usually with only Valadan in common. Prince deals with the misadventures of Leith, cursed with ill-luck, and Kessalia, an impetuous young woman looking for her witch mother. Wind-Witch is less successful, mostly because it's stationary, but deals with weather magic and raiders and such. The True Knight takes Titch, an honorable, but not very wealthy knight, a transformed swan, a changeling princess, and evil queens.


Susan Dexter wrote an earlier trilogy (The Ring of Allaire, The Mountains of Channadran, The Sword of Calandra) concerning the magical black stallion, Valadan. I didn't think them to be nearly as focused and enthralling as The Prince of Ill-Luck and its sequels, but fans of Valadan might try these. I don't remember the second two very well, but have included a short summary for the first (and best) one.

The Ring of Allaire

Young Tristan, a wizard's apprentice of sorts, unexpectedly comes home to find his master dead. That doesn't stop him from giving orders to Tristan to go on the quest many wizards have failed-- the rescue of the sleeping maiden Allaire. She and her rings can stop the menace that the winter king, Nimir present to the land. But while he obtains Valadan, the quest is not as straightforward as it might seem. For Allaire, once awakened, cannot use her rings without the most important-- and missing-- tenth ring. And nor does it help that she is about as useless as she is beautiful...

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