- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 and up
- Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
- Series: Ranger's Apprentice (Book 4)
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (January 8, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142413402
- ISBN-13: 978-0142413401
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (902 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Battle for Skandia: Book Four (Ranger's Apprentice) Paperback – January 8, 2009
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Following Will and Evanlyn’s escape from slavery in The Icebound Land (2007), Halt determines that the Temujai mean to attack Araluen and decides to help the Skandians defend their land. Rejoining Halt, Will and Evanlyn become warriors in the stronghold where they had recently been captives and use their wits and skills to fight the common enemy. The story plunges forward with irresistible narrative drive toward the climactic battle scene. Even readers drawn to the series for its deftly drawn characters and setting may find themselves caught up in the action. A fine entry in the increasingly popular Ranger’s Apprentice series. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Fans of the series will eagerly devour this one and wait impatiently for the next...A sure bet for fantasy fans. -- School Library Journal
Flanagan expertly juggles the overall plot line...with a logically constructed campaign that culminates in a hard, suspenseful battle. -- Kirkus, starred review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
And drug addiction.
For a young adult fantasy title, one can definitely see how such a subject could polarize reader response. In general, drugs are found very little in fantasy, unless we're talking about Michael Moorcock's ELRIC SAGA, which is quite a bit more adult in nature than this series.
However, I think one also needs to keep in mind that John Flanagan initially wrote this book for his son. Maybe this installment was a subtle way of teaching children about the dangers of addiction.
Ironically, I felt that the inclusion of such a rare subject matter is what made this book work for me; for the offerings of the rest of the book are basically chivalrous challenges and jousts--a dime a dozen in fantasy.
One thing I disliked about this book is in the characterization of Halt, the senior Ranger who is trying to track down Will, his apprentice. In this volume, Halt shows a bit more of his personality--to include his soft side. On the one hand, this makes Halt a bit more human, but on the other hand I found it a bit harder to imagine Halt as a force to be reckoned with.
Where the last two books dealt with grander settings and senses of urgency, this book takes a detour to explore the personal struggles and inner workings of some of the characters. Don't expect it to be as action-packed, but in its own way it is still entertaining and sets the stage for the next installment, which I'm sure will be more along the lines of the first two books.
In the chaos that followed the fearsome final battle with Lord Morgarath, young apprentice Ranger Will and his new friend Evanlyn are taken captive by the fierce Skandian raider, Jarl Erak. Disgusted by the failure in Araluen, Erak plans to sell Will and Evanlyn as slaves to covers the expenses for his journey across the Stormwhite Sea. Will and Evanlyn fight to stay together as they make the wild sea voyage, but once they reach the Skandian capital of Hallasholm, an insidious enemy threatens to take Will away for good. Only Evanlyn's ingenuity and courage - and the aid of an unlikely ally - can save them both.
Back in Araluen, Halt is increasingly frustrated by King Duncan's refusal to allow him to pursue the Skandians and rescue Will. He made a promise to recover his apprentice and he means to keep that promise, even if doing so means defying his King and forsaking his vow as a Ranger. Shamed, stripped of his place in the Ranger Corps and banished from the Kingdom of Araluen, Halt sets out to rescue Will, but he is not alone. Will's best friend and former wardmate, Horace is an apprentice warrior with a natural gift for swordplay. He joins Halt on the journey and stands beside him as they cross the treacherous Gallican countryside.
This series continues to captivate. Mr. Flanagan has a real knack for describing the strategy and actuality of skirmishes and battles, as well as for building an interesting and detailed world. Best of all, the Ranger's Apprentice books tell stories you WANT to read about characters you truly admire.