The Book of Retslu is a humorous fantasy in the tradition of Pierre Anthony's Xanth series. In the magical land of Retslu, Dorian, a plucky youth, sets off to win the hand of the lovely princess by winning a tournament in which there are thousands with the same goal. He has additional challenges to overcome, such as he always goes the wrong way and that a powerful sorcerer is his chief rival. The only thing going for him is his lucky dragon pendant. |
During his travels he befriends a vampire, saves a tiger-headed woman from assault, falls through a mirror into the Looking-Glass world, is thrown down a well by a witch, is tried by gnomes, meets a spider woman, goes to Hell, is kidnapped by pirates, finds Atlantis which sinks into the sea and exchanges riddles with a troll. At the tournament, through amazing luck and guile, he becomes one of ten finalists.
King Woden sends the tournament winners on a quest to obtain water from the Fountain of Youth. The first to return with the magical fluid will marry Princess Jennifer and be named heir apparent to the throne. In addition to always going the wrong way, Dorian is plagued by eight perils that Mordrake inflicts on him with a magic rope. Dorian and the other finalists have more perilous adventures, including being tortured by Barbarians, saved by a beautiful gypsy girl, attacked by Vandals, joins the army of Hortilla the Hungol, spends a dark, stormy night in Frankenheim's castle, is carried away by a Roc, becomes a gladiator in Roam, is sentenced as a galley slave, is shipwrecked on a deserted island, and becomes lost in the Minotaur's labyrinth.
But the final test of Dorian's pluck comes when he and the other finalists reach the Fountain of Youth, which is guarded by the great red dragon who demands the one thing each finalist cannot give in order to pass the gate.