OKAY, I admit defeat. I can barely find time to make it to the computer let alone to post about what I’ve read, so I’m going to do a mass post on the rest of the Ranger’s Apprentice Series. I loved them ALL and I can’t wait to share this series with my son when he gets old enough! The characters just get better and better, and the stories remain interesting and fresh. Love love love!
So here we go…
The Battle for Skandia (Ranger’s Apprentice #4)
Will and Evanlyn may have escaped, but they are still far from home. When Evanlyn is captured by a Temujai warrior their journey home gets side-tracked. Rescued at the last by Halt and Horace, the group decides that the threat of the Temujai to Skandia is a far more pressing matter than returning home. Together they must convince the Skandian leaders that the Temujai must not be underestimated and that, for the good of all, they must band together to have any hope of defeating this enemy.
- My word to sum up this book: Exciting!
- I love the Temujai (who are basically the Mongolians / Genghis Khan style warriors) element to this book.
The Sorcerer in the North (Ranger’s Apprentice #5)
This book leaps ahead a bit, and Will is no longer an apprentice ranger but has been made a full member of the Ranger Corps assigned to his own fief. Things seem a bit dull after his adventure-seeped apprenticeship, but when the King is poisoned Will, joined by his old friend Alyss, finds himself once again steeped in adventure and racing against the clock. When Alyss is taken hostage Will faces a terrible choice between his friend and his mission.
- The jump forward in time was a bit jarring – it felt like we were missing out on the rest of Will’s time with Halt. (This is remedied later in the series, thankfully, with Erak’s Ransom. So if you want to read them in CHRONOLOGICAL order, skip over to Erak’s Ransom and then back again. I’m following the order on John’s website).
- I liked meeting a new, grown-up Will… and seeing his relationship with Alyss start to develop!
4.5 / 5
The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger’s Apprentice #6)
This book continues on from The Sorcerer in the North, and Will must find a way to rescue Alyss as well as prevent a Scotti invasion. Badly outnumbered, Will must use his wits and ingenuity, as well as the help of some old friends, to succeed.
- Action! Suspense! I love that Will must use his brains not just brawn to win this battle!
Erak’s Ransom (The Ranger’s Apprentice #7)
Erak’s ransom takes place in Will’s last year as an apprentice Ranger, as he struggles with self-doubt. Can he ever fill Halt’s shoes? Is he ready to take on the responsibility of becoming a full Ranger?
When Erak is captured on a raid, he sends his first mate to enlist the help of the Araluens. A delegation is sent to free Erak but before they can he is captured by a dangerous desert tribe. Far from the cool green woods, Will is faces a new land of sandstorms and heat. He must adapt his skills to this new climate and enlist the help of some new friends in order to save the day.
- It’s fun that the series takes you all over the place geographically! I like that they are constantly introducing new cultures.
- Self-discovery continues! Will can be a little hot-headed at times, particularly when it comes to some cultural differences (like the “finders keepers” rule of some of the desert tribesmen), but ultimately he is a good guy.
The Kings of Clonmel (The Ranger’s Apprentice #8)
Jumping forward in time again, this book takes place after The Siege of Macindaw. When a dangerous cult emerges in neighboring Clonmel, Will and Horace are called upon to accompany Halt in stopping it’s lawless tide. The Outsiders con innocent villages of their gold, convincing them that these protective payments gain the favour of a benevolent god. Those who don’t pay are brutally attacked by “bandits”. Halt once stopped a cult such as this. Can they do it again?
- Secrets about Halt’s past are revealed!
- This cult is pretty brutal. They aren’t joking around!
Halt’s Peril (The Ranger’s Apprentice #9)
Continuing on from The Kings of Clonmel, Halt, Will and Horace are still hot on the trail of the Outsider Cult. Unfortunately for Will and Halt, the Outsiders have employed some deadly assassins. When Halt is grievously injured by a poisoned arrow in an ambush, only one person can save him: Malkallam the Sorcerer. Will must race against time in order to find Malkallam and save his mentor. And there is still that pesky cult to deal with…
- Another action-packed, suspenseful adventure. With much agonizing over Halt’s fate!
Horace has gone to the eastern nation of Nihon-Ja on a mission for Araluen. With time passing and no word from Horace, his friends set out to search for him. Evanlyn, Will, and Alyss find that Nihon-Ja is in the midst of a military coup. Joining Horace, they must find a way to fend off the deadly Senji warriors spelling the Emperor’s doom.
- Loved the eastern elements to things – but felt like this was a little reminiscent of the Battle for Skandia (albeit with a bigger focus on Horace).
- I enjoyed Evanlyn and Alyss – watching them first learn to get along and then to work together was fun. Plus I appreciated that their role in the story was crucial!
The Lost Stories (Ranger’s Apprentice #11)
A collection of short stories cleverly woven together as part of a modern-day archaeological find.
- Love that this ties up many of the loose ends of the series, including some romances (yay!)
The stories are:
- Death of a Hero — Explores the connection between Halt and Will, and how Will came to Redmont Fief.
- The Inkwell and the Dagger — Reveals what happened to Gilan after Halt and Horace depart to rescue Will in The Icebound Land.
- The Roamers — A story of Will and Alyss
- Purple Prose — Halt and Will work together to capture some moondarkers who have been wrecking and plundering ships.
- Dinner for Five — Features Jenny and Gilan.
- The Bridal Dance — Horace and Evanlyn tie the knot!
- The Hibernian — How Halt met Crowley and came to join the Rangers.
- The Wolf — Explains the Ranger’s horses.
- And About Time Too — The matrimony of Alyss and Will
The Royal Ranger (Ranger’s Apprentice #12)
Many years later, tragedy has struck and Willi s obsessed with revenge. His friends are worried about him, and are determined to shake him out of his melancholy. The solution? Will must take an apprentice – one who he cannot refuse. Rebellious, stubborn, and a bit spoiled, this apprentice may be just the thing to shake Will out of his funk. He will still have to choose between satisfying his revenge, and saving lives.
- I was so excited there was another book but SO SAD about the tragedy mentioned above (I will not spoil it but – SO SAD). Anyway, if it wasn’t for THAT then this would be my favourite book in the series as I do love a strong female character!! Especially one that shows character development and growth!
That is all! Phew!! If you’ve ACTUALLY read this far, I commend you! I was completely consumed by this series and just ate it up. It’s always bittersweet coming to the end BUT I was very excited to find out that John Flanagan has written another series called The Brotherband Chronicles which I of course immediately went out and devoured as well (and am happy to report I liked just as much BUT THAT’S ANOTHER POST).