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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We'll fight on. You never know when something's going to turn up
The seventh "Ranger's Apprentice" book is kind of confusing chronologically -- it's actually set between the fourth and fifth books of the series, during the last days of Will's apprenticeship.

And oddly enough, the tough young apprentice Will is almost a supporting character in his own story until the second half of the book, with the focus often shifting to...
Published on December 31, 2009 by E. A Solinas

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as the previous books, but still ok
I would recommend renting this book from a library. Not worth buying. the previous books are AWESOME but this one was a bit of a let down. i found my mind drifting when i was reading. it started out great, jumping right into the action but then towards the middle it fell a bit flat in some parts. dont get me wrong, its not a bad book, but the others were much better...
Published on February 7, 2010 by book-paramour723


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We'll fight on. You never know when something's going to turn up, December 31, 2009
The seventh "Ranger's Apprentice" book is kind of confusing chronologically -- it's actually set between the fourth and fifth books of the series, during the last days of Will's apprenticeship.

And oddly enough, the tough young apprentice Will is almost a supporting character in his own story until the second half of the book, with the focus often shifting to Alyss, Halt and Cassandra. That's also the point when John Flanagan revs up the plot of "Ranger's Apprentice 7: Erak's ransom," pouring in plenty of action, bloody battles, politics, bandits and a treacherous conspiracy against the Skandian oberjarl.

After years of being secretly in love with each other, the Ranger Halt and the diplomat Lady Pauline are married in nearly royal style... only for their luxurious reception to be crashed by Svengel. The Skandian warrior reveals that Erak decided to go on one last raid in the Middle-Easty land of Arrida, got captured, and is being ransomed for eight thousand reels. King Duncan is happy to provide the money, but he's not so happy that a member of the royal family must go to Arrida... and his strong-willed daughter Cassandra is volunteering. So the princess (under the guise of "Evanlyn"), three Rangers and a crew of Skandian warriors set off for Arrida, and haggle a bargain with the ruling Wakir, Selethen.

But things go wrong when Will loses his faithful pony Tug in a sandstorm, and goes off searching for him -- only to become lost in the desert. Selethen, Halt, Evanlyn and Svengel soon learn that Erak has been kidnapped from his kidnappers, and they may be after the deadliest, cruelest people in Arrida, the Tualaghi. Even worse, an old enemy is involved. The only hope for his friends may be Will, and the new allies he's gained in Arrida's deserts.

It takes awhile for Will to take center stage in "Erak's Ransom" -- for the first half of the novel, Will is basically a secondary character tagging along with Halt. First Flanagan chronicles the lavish wedding of Pauline and Halt, then the straggly journey to Arridia, and finally Evanlyn's political wrangling with Selethen -- and the titular ranger's apprentice just sort of drifts along with the group, not getting much attention. If anything, it seems like Evanlyn/Cassandra is going to be the star here.

But the plot flowers when the gang sets out into the desert, and the story splits between Will's lonely quest and the rest of the group's search for Erak. Flanagan's prose is both fast-paced and solidly descriptive (example: Will's frantic race against a Bedullin boy), with plenty of desert nomads, bloodstained battles, a stint in the waterless wasteland and a climactic clash in the desert. And no matter how bleak the situation, he weaves in some mild humor to lighten the mood ("Tha's a big nose." "It's the only one I've got").

It's also obvious in this story that both Cassandra/Evanlyn and Will are growing up -- Cassandra is upsetting her dad by immersing herself in politics and training with a sling, while Will is worrying about his graduation into a full-fledged Ranger. And when he isn't guarding the princess or tracking bandits through the desert, Halt also gets extra attention since he's getting married. Or ratgher, reluctantly dragged into an impressive state wedding, complete with dancing, formal clothes and a two-hundred-person guest list.

And Flanagan fleshes out the cast with plenty of solid characters, such as the horse-hating Svengel, the intelligent and honorable Selethen, and the vile Yusal. The only character who doesn't really come alive is Alyss, who seems like a younger clone of Pauline -- she's far less engaging than the feisty Cassandra, and seems to have less of a rapport with Will.

"Erak's Ransom" extends the epic fantasy series into a new land, with new allies, old enemies, and lots of nasty desert animals. Just don't get confused about the chronology.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 10 year old's review, March 25, 2008
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K. O'Neill "lost soul" (Silicon Valley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In Ranger's Apprentice 7, Erak is making a last raid when he is caught and is held for ransom. Will, Halt, Horace, Cassandra, and Gilan must find him and rescue him. There is a fair amount action in this book. This book is only available in the Australian version. Chronologically, this book comes before the 5th and 6th but after the 1-4. He does a good job of putting pressure on characters. I thought it was a good book and that it was worth buying online from an Australian bookseller.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great, exciting read - one of the series' best, March 23, 2009
The book is one of the most exciting yet in John Flanagan's series. After a relatively calm start that includes a wedding for one of the central characters, the story proceeds from a seafaring journey to desert adventures that combine political intrigue, surprising twists in alliances, sword fighting and the testing of archers' skills, as well as survival under brutal circumstances. Readers will find themselves effortlessly picking up information about sailing techniques, ancient wooden ships, nomadic lifestyles, varying cultural views, and desert topography, climate and endurance skills as the tale, with its themes of loyalty and trust, unfolds. The heroes face their serious challenges, including the threat of impending death, with bravery and maintain a dialogue flecked with humor and word play true to their personalities and relationships. All in all, another can't-put-down book for myself and my 10-year-old son.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, May 24, 2009
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We first discovered this series at the library. My twelve year old son and I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of the books. In fact, since this volume is not yet available in the US, there's a line up of boys waiting to read it on my son's baseball team. The series has both strong and admirable male and female characters. There is an old world setting with a modern feel. This story fits in the RA time line between books four and five, before Will is a fully trained Ranger. It was my son's favorite so far!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Met our Anticipation, February 22, 2010
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This next book in the series is even better than anticipated. It takes the Rangers on a mission they never expected. Great for both kids and adults alike. Wonderful series that most teens, and their parents, can enjoy. Good clean family reading. Can't wait for the next book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVE BY FAR!, February 24, 2010
Ok so this book takes place before the events in book 6 which i was confused about. I think this book was my faveorite because something important was happening constantly. There was WAY more humor in this one which in my book is always a good thing. I think all ages could read this book and enjoy it. This book had a climax in every chapter and a surprise in every page. I'm already pre-booking the next one. Yes that is how much i love these books. 12 stars all around. a thrilling page turner for every age:)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to Basics, February 19, 2010
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In book 7 of the Ranger's Apprentice series - Erak's Ransom - Flanagan goes back in time to when Will was still an apprentice. It fills in the gap created by books 5 and 6, when Will appears, without explanation, as a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief. Books 1 -4 chronicle Will's growth from an unknown orphan to the apprentice of the most famous Ranger in Araluen history. The books are action-based as Will learns many skills and has a very high bar set for him. He seems more than capable of meeting that challenge. Then in books 5 and 6 he appears without explanation as a full-fledged Ranger. Book 7 goes back to Will's last major adventure as an apprentice with Halt and includes many of the main characters that have been in the preceding books.

Erak's Ransom chronicles how Will's relationship with the characters and his own attitude changes from that of an apprentice to that of an independent Ranger. His language, actions, and attitudes mature in this book, and the reader gets to see that growth unfold. Teens and young adults will recognize some of the anxiety that Will is experiencing during this growth process.

Will and friends have to travel to an unknown country to ransom their friend Erak. They are forced to deal with foreigners that they know little about. When Will is separated from Halt, he receives help from the last place he ever thought he would find it. It changes his pre-conceived notions about how people will react and he learns that if he deals honestly with people he can gain their respect and help. Deceit is a major theme in this book. Will's romantic relationships begin to take shape and gives a better understanding of what happens in Books 5 and 6.

Chronologically, this should have been book #5 - then the next books would have made a lot more sense.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erak's Ransom, November 2, 2009
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Very good book. Could not wait for it to come out in the store. Recommend it for any age level. Waiting on book 9. Not only did my son and I read it but another family from where I work was waiting for us to finish the books as well. Very easy to follow and held my attention. Didn't want to put it down!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure..., September 9, 2008
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Finished... just couldn't put it down... and now for the waiting of the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure for the young reader, March 8, 2010
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I recommend the Ranger's Apprentice series for young readers. These books have the ability to help interest young people into reading. However, this book should probably be book 4 in the series. The author does explain why he goes back. You might want to consider reading it out of order.
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Erak's Ransom: Book 7 (Ranger's Apprentice)
Erak's Ransom: Book 7 (Ranger's Apprentice) by John Flanagan (Paperback - September 6, 2011)
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