The Ranger’s apprentice is about to be sold into slavery - but help can arrive from the most unexpected places . . .
Will and Evanlyn are bound for Skandia as the captives of the fearsome Skandian wolfship captain, Erak. Halt has sworn to rescue Will, and he will do anything to keep his promise - even defy his King. Expelled from the Rangers, Halt is joined by Horace as he travels through Gallica towards Skandia. On their way, they are constantly challenged by freelance knights - otherwise known as thieving thugs. Horace knows a thing or two about combat, though, and he soon begins to attract the attention of knights and warlords for miles around with his uncanny skill. But will they be in time to rescue Will from a life of slavery?
About the Author
John Flanagan's bestselling RANGER’S APPRENTICE adventure series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. The series has come a long way since then. Now sold to more than twenty countries, the series regularly appears on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List and has been shortlisted in children's book awards in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer, lives with his wife, Leonie, in the Sydney beachside suburb of Manly. He is currently writing further titles in the RANGER’S APPRENTICE series.
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Comments about The Icebound Land:
The third volume of this immensely popular fantasy series for the younger (and, umm, slightly older) reader is as much fun, as much action, as much excitement and drama as the preceding two volumes combined. Given the epic, brilliant, overwhelming cliff hanger type nature of the ending to book two, however, ICEBOUND LAND opens up in a way that, it must be said, is relatively timid. Sure, Halt and Co are all worried sick about the plight and welfare of Will and young 'Evanlyn' as they are hijacked by some of the story's baddies, and led (presumably) into a life of depraved, mind bending and back breaking slavery, but the two young characters in question are not showing all that much physical or emotional hardship over the matter. At least, not yet, anyway.
At least Ranger Halt is desperate (and brave) enough to use the laws of his Kingdom to force it to his will as he seeks a way to go after his young ward and apprentice and bring him (and his partner) back home to safety.
There has been no further sign of evil in the side of the destroyed Morgarath - but that does not mean another young usurper to his crown won't stand up and take control of all things twisted and evil in their own doomed attempt to run the world. Nor has there been any more major (bad) characters for the reader to dislike intensely. Margaroth was brilliantly drawn and represented in the first two books, and in some respects it is a shame that he was killed off so early. He was evil, but at least he was fun to read about, and fun to hate.
Naturally readers everywhere hope to see the day that Will and Evanlyn find their freedom and return to loved ones back home. That may well happen by the end of this book - but even if it does, the eternal battle against the forces of evil goes on, and on, and on. And that is a good thing, it must be said. Mr Flanagan bas crafted a fantasy tale so deep, so enriching, so fulfilling and so much fun to immerse yourself in, that you simply don't want it to stop.
Another flaw I can think of is the lack of magic in the story. No wizards, no witches, no warlocks have dared to show their face on centre stage of this compelling set of adventures.
But that is not to say they won't. I for one hope that it is not too long before magic becomes a character in the story in its own right. But until it does, sharing the journey with the fine, impeccable, innocent, true, honest characters that John Flanagan has gifted the world with so far, will do me just fine.
Four stars for this beauty.
Comments about The Icebound Land:
I bought this book and the rest of the series for my 10 year old daughter and she loved it. I have also found it a great read myself. John Flanagan makes the charaters come to life and his style of writing draws you in to the story so that you feel as if you have been transported to the world of the Araluens. Thoroughly recommend this book.
Series: Ranger's Apprentice
For Ages: 9 - 12 years old
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: September 2009
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.22
Edition Number: 1