Luckett, Dave 1951–
Luckett, Dave 1951–
PERSONAL: Born February 9, 1951, in Stanmore, New South Wales, Australia; son of Terence (a minister) and Gwyneth Elizabeth (a secretary; maiden name, Williams) Luckett; married Sally Barbara Beasley (a psychologist), January 7, 1984; children: Evan John. Education: Teachers College of Western Australia (now Edith Cowan University), diploma in education, 1974; University of Western Australia, B.A., 1983.
ADDRESSES: Home—69 Federal St., Tuart Hill 6060, Western Australia, Australia. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer. Teacher at secondary schools in Western Australia, 1974–75; Perth, Australia, federal public servant, 1977–97.
AWARDS, HONORS: Aurealis Award for Best Australian Fantasy Novel, 1998, and Western Australia Premier's Book Award shortlist, and Tin Duck Award, Western Australia Sci-Fi Awards, both 1999, all for A Dark Winter; Aurealis Award shortlist for Best Novel, 1999, for both A Dark Journey and A Dark Victory; Western Australia Premier's Book Award, 2001, for Rhianna and the Wild Magic; Aurealis Award shortlist for Best Children's Novel, 2002, for Rhianna and the Dogs of Iron.
The Adventures of Addam, illustrated by Timothy Ide, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1995.
Night Hunters, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1995.
The Best Batsman in the World, illustrated by David Kennett, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1996.
The Wizard and Me, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1996.
The Last Eleven, illustrated by David Kennett, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1997.
Cricket Australia: Kids' Ultimate Fan Handbook (nonfiction), illustrated by Don Hatcher, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2004.
Iron Soldiers: A Story of Arms and Armour (nonfiction), illustrated by Joseph Bond, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.
(With Max Fatchen) Howzat!: A Celebration of Cricket (nonfiction), illustrated by David Cox, Don Hatcher, and David Kennett, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2005.
The Truth about Magic ("School of Magic" series), Omnibus Books (Malvern, South Australia, Australia), 2005.
The Return of Rathalorn ("School of Magic" series), Omnibus Books (Malvern, South Australia, Australia), 2005.
Luckett's novels have been translated into Polish.
A Dark Winter, Omnibus Books (Norwood, Australia, Australia), 1998.
A Dark Journey, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1999.
A Dark Victory, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 1999.
"RHIANNA CHRONICLES" SERIES
Rhianna and the Wild Magic, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2000, published as The Girl, the Dragon, and the Wild Magic, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
Rhianna and the Dogs of Iron, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2002, published as The Girl, the Apprentice, and the Dogs of Iron, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
Rhianna and the Castle of Avalon, Omnibus Books (Norwood, South Australia, Australia), 2002, published as The Girl, the Queen, and the Castle, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Australian children's writer Dave Luck-ett is the author of several titles for young and juvenile readers. He began his career in children's literature with junior novels and chapter books, and has gained critical attention and praise for his "Tenabran Trilogy," the first installment of which received the Aurealis Award for Best Australian Fantasy Novel. Luckett has continued his success with other fantasy series, including the "Rhianna Chronicles" and his "School of Magic" novels.
One of Luckett's first chapter books, Night Hunters, began to build his reputation for writing enjoyable science-fiction and fantasy novels for young readers. Night Hunters was one of several books published by Omnibus Books for reluctant teen readers, and was praised as "accessible, pacy literature" by Nicola Robinson in the Australian Book Review. The novel tells the story of two twenty-first-century teens who get drawn into an all-too-real virtual reality program
With A Long Winter Luckett established himself as an up-and-coming Australian writer of science fiction and fantasy. The first book of the "Tenabran Trilogy," A Long Winter introduces readers to Willan Parkin, a squire and experienced warrior who is bored with his current duties. Willan's adventures begin when he and his knight companion embark on a quest to defeat an evil magician. Jonathan Strahan, writing for Eidolon.net, called A Dark Winter "dryly humorous," while Viewpoints reviewer Luigi Guadagnuolo noted that Luckett's experience writing fantasy and science fiction "shines through as he produces vivid descriptions detailing the surroundings, emotions, smells, and images."
In A Dark Journey Willan is introduced to the Great Wandini, a magician who hopes to found a magic school, and to Wandini's lovely assistant, Arienne, who would like nothing more than to be free of her master. When Arienne escapes, Willan pledges to help her, and the two begin a romance that is threatened by Wandini, by political struggles between the ruler of Tenabran and the local goblins, and by the prince of Tenabran's own henchmen. Strahan noted that Luckett returns to themes of A Dark Winter, such as honor, decency, independence, and responsibility, "expanding upon them, and telling a story that is sufficiently satisfying that it manages to end A Dark Journey, but not the series." In the concluding book of the trilogy, A Dark Victory, Luckett tells the story of Asta, a young girl able to use magic but unaware of her own potential. Ongoing issues from earlier books, including Willan and Arienne's struggle and the plight of the goblins, are brought to a conclusion. Strahan called the novel "a stand out from the run-of-the-mill fantasy."
The "Rhianna Chronicles" books, written for slightly younger readers than the "Tenabran Trilogy" had been, recount the adventures of a young, would-be wizard named Rhianna. In spite of her schooling, Rhianna is unable to master the simplest spells; far from being a failure, however, she is revealed to have the Wild Talent—a gift that could endanger all the realm unless she learns to control it. In the first novel, Rhianna and the Wild Magic, Rhianna must learn to harness her talent to keep a dragon from harming her home and family. A reviewer for Viewpoint called the book "a delightful novel which combines adventure, warmth and humour." In the second novel, Rhianna and the Dogs of Iron, the girl's jealousy toward her father's apprentice causes her to unleash two magical iron dogs which she alone can stop. "Luckett's writing addresses issues such as jealousy and envy and the importance of overcoming these," noted a Viewpoints contributor. In Rhianna and the Castle of Avalon Rhianna must face off against another user of Wild Magic for the sake of her kingdom. "Rhianna is a strong character full of flaws but [ultimately with] an innate desire to do the right thing," wrote a critic for Viewpoints.
As well as writing books of science fiction and fantasy, Luckett has also penned several nonfiction titles: Iron Soldiers deals with the early development of arms and armor for knights, while both Cricket Australia and Howzat focus on the sport of cricket. Discussing his primary writing focus, however, Luckett once commented: "I write science fiction and fantasy because I love it. It has its dark moments, but generally it assumes a future (or at least a heroic past) that means more to me than all the kitchen-sink realism of the mainstream—a realism that is no more real than any fiction, when you come right down to it. My great regret is that I won't be around to see the ships leave for the stars. My great hope is that they will go anyway."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Australian Book Review, July 1-2, 1995, Nicola Robinson, review of Night Hunters; August, 1995, p. 62; December, 1996, p. 86.
Magpies, May, 1996, p. 43; September, 1999, review of A Dark Victory, p. 40; November, 2000, review of Rhianna and the Wild Magic, p. 35; May, 2005, review of The Truth about Magic, p. 35, and review of Iron Soldiers: A Story of Arms and Armour, p. 44.
Viewpoint, winter, 1998, Luigi Guadagnuolo, review of A Dark Winter; autumn, 2001, review of Rhianna and the Wild Magic; summer, 2002, review of Rhianna and the Dogs of Iron; autumn, 2003, review of Rhianna and the Castle of Avalon.
Dave Luckett Home Page, http://www.daveluckett.com (December 27, 2004).
Eidolon.net, http://eidolon.net/ (April 29, 2003), Jonathan Strahan, reviews of A Dark Journey and A Dark Victory; review of Rhianna and the Dogs of Iron.