Reading level: Middle Grade
Size: 320 pages
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Stand Alone or Series:6th book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the sixth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. It was an excellent addition to the series and does a good job wrapping up the story that was left hanging in book 5.
Will is trying to conceive a plan to rescue Alyss from Keren, the knight who revolted and took over Macindaw. Horace shows up and between him, Will, a small group of Skandians, and the people who live outside Macindaw in the forest they will have to come up with a plan to rescue Alyss. Things become even more dire when Will finds out that Keren is allying with the Scotti; this is a move that puts the country in danger and is something Will needs to stop before it happens.
This book basically completes the story started in the fifth book, which ended on a total cliffhanger. You can really see how the characters have grown and matured in this book; Will has lost a lot of his impatience and Horace has become a very tempered and strategic warrior. I love the banter between Will and Horace; they differ in opinions and complain to each other but are still obviously wonderful friends and support each other. It was fun to see how Alyss has grown as well. The relationship between her and Will is sweet and also a bit frustrating since they have trouble expressing their feelings for each other. I was a bit disappointed that Halt wasn’t in the book more.
I also enjoyed that the Skandians play a big part in this book. The bad guy here, Keren, is a good bad guy. He is not totally evil and isn’t all that happy with his actions; so he does generate some sympathy with the readers despite his evil actions.
Like previous books this is a well-written fantasy story. This book focuses more on battle tactics and strategy than adventure. It is all very well done and easy to read. There is nothing ground-breaking or incredibly creative here, it is just a very well done middle grade/YA fantasy.
Unlike the previous book this book wrapped up nicely. I can’t wait to see what future books hold for these characters.
Overall I enjoyed this continuation of the Ranger’s Apprentice series. I am excited to read the next book, Erak’s Ransom. This is a solid fantasy book that focuses mostly on battle tactics, not adventure like the previous books. It is well-written and has characters that are very well done. A great read for fans of more traditional fantasy fare.