The Rhianna Chronicles is a three-book children's fantasy series by Dave Luckett.
These books are clearly targetted towards young kids, and because of this, not my favourite series. Yet Luckett manages to avoid the awfulness many authors resort to when trying to write for young children. The books lean towards the artificial tripe children's books sometimes go for, but not too strongly.
- Rhianna and the Wild Magic (ISBN: 1-86291-449-4) (US Title: The Girl, the Dragon, and the Wild Magic; 2000. ISBN: 0-439-41187-4)
- Rhianna and the Dogs of Iron (US Title: The Girl, the Apprentice, and the Dogs of Iron; 2002. ISBN: 0-439-41188-2)
- Rhianna and the Castle of Avalon (ISBN: 1-86291-500-8) (US Title: The Girl, the Queen, and the Castle; 2002. ISBN: 0-439-41189-0)
(More details of different editions are available at http://www.daveluckett.com/books.html#rhmagic)
Rhianna Wildwood is the young daughter of the blacksmith Loys Wildwood and his wife Meg. In Rhianna's world, magic is quite common, and pretty much everyone can do some amount of it. Sadly, Rhianna is magically inept. Magic, everyone tells her, is always inexact, and rarely what it seems. Rhianna, however, wonders why everything should be 'vague and fuzzy and not exact', and she tends to screw up a lot in magic lessons.
(Spoilers for Book I: The Girl, the Dragon, and the Wild Magic1 follow)
Shortly into the first book, however, things change. The small village of Smallhaven where Rhianna and her family live seems to be experiencing some sort of magical failure. When a wizard from the university in the capital city comes around to investigate, he determines that Rhianna is the problem. She has an extremely unusual gift--a 'Wild Magic'. Magic seeks her 'Talent' and she is unconsciously seeping up all the magic in the area.
Magister Northstar gives Rhianna a pendant she must wear to absorb her magic so it can be periodically released back to the land. However, unbeknownst to them all, the local wizard (or the closest they have to one), Mr. Spellwright has been keeping the magic to create gold.
It's discovered, of course, when the magical drain of the land doesn't stop and a dragon arrives seeking this magically-created gold. Luckily, Rhianna has learned to control her Talent well enough to deal with the dragon. They live happily ever after, until the next book comes about.
(Spoilers for Book II: The Girl, the Apprentice, and the Dogs of Iron follow)
In this book, the Eldra make an appearance. The who? The Elves, plain and simple. They are like Tolkien elves in so many ways. Even their language reminds me of Quenya or Sindarin (I don't know them well enough even to be able to tell them apart).
Anyhoo, a young Eldra girl, Eriseth, is sent off to learn blacksmithery, and becomes Loys Wildwood's apprentice. For various reasons, Rhianna becomes quite jealous and ends up bewitching several iron dogs to come to life. Iron is usually immune to magic in this world.
As Eliseth and Rhianna attempt to find and stop the dogs from doing any harm, they discover that the merchants in the harbor are actually working for King Hrothwil, an unpleasant fellow from the west, and that he's allied with a clan of Eldra. The 'merchants' plan on capturing Rhianna and making her enchant swords for them, giving them the only magic swords in the world (as swords tend to be steel, and steel, being made of iron, tends to be immune to magic).
Of course, the bad guys get stopped and everyone lives happily ever after, again. Until, of course...
(Spoilers for Book III: The Girl, the Queen, and the Castle follow)
Shocking news! A bewitched steel sword has been discovered at the hands of a western isle sea-thief. At the moment, Rhianna is the only person in the world known to have the ability to bespell steel, and so she is summoned to Queen Gloriana's castle in Avalon.
In Avalon, Rhianna meets the queen, discovers a second person with the 'Wild Magic', foils an evil plot, and averts a human-dragon war.
1 I use the US titles because I'm from there. Sorry, guys. I wrote most of this writeup before even realising it's called something else in Australia. And Poland.