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Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 7) Hardcover – January 5, 2010
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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.Read more ›
Horace has been a guest of the Emperor of Nihon-ja, Shigeru. But as he's preparing to go back to Araluen, the Senshi warriors under Lord Arisaka suddenly rebel against the Emperor -- and Horace ends up accompanying Shigeru into the mountains. So Halt, Will, Alyss and Evanlyn (who have been overseeing training in Toscana) set out on a Skandian ship, heading straight for Nihon-ja to help their friend.
The journey to Nihon-ja has many dangers -- pirates, desert warriors, and squabbles aboard the Wolfwill. But the biggest danger is Arisaka's army, which is closing in on a remote mountain fortress where the Emperor is hiding -- and if he wins, Nihon-ja will be thrown into an era of brutality. And he's not the only terror lurking in this unfamiliar land...
"The Emperor of Nihon-ja" is apparently the last of the "regular" Ranger's Apprentice novels, and it seems like a fairly logical place for the main storyline to end. The main problem is that it does drag sometimes, especially in the first several chapters, which are bogged down by sodden horseback riding and traveling via Skandian ship.
However, things pick up once Halt, Will and Co. arrive in Nihon-ja. Flanagan's prose is nimble and descriptive, with smoothly realistic dialogue and some humorous moments (a villager accidentally says "bum" to the Emperor). But he also weaves in a load of tactical maneuvers, tricks and the occasional military stunt (the Macedon Phoenix).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed reading this series and was saddened when I finished the last book in the series. It was great getting to know and follow the main characters through all their... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Lisha
Very good, exiting story even for adults and for language learners as I amPublished 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great writing, great storytelling! I actually cried and also thoroughly enjoyed myself. This is a series for any age. Love it!Published 8 days ago by Susan Allen
Have read all up to this one and they get better as you go! Would recommend to any and all.Published 16 days ago by Mark B.
Erak's Ransom, the seventh book in the series Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, portrays the theme of growing up. Read more
Recommend this series and this book for those who like action and adventure and humor. Also recommend for the reluctant reader. Read morePublished 24 days ago by T. Grossi
All three of my boys and their mom have enjoyed this series. They started reading it around age 10 or 11. Full of action and adventure with strong male and female characters. Read morePublished 25 days ago by T. Grossi