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The Icebound Land: Book Three Paperback – February 5, 2008
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Rangers are a branch of service to the King of Araluen, skilled at woodcraft and longbow, and many people think they have a command of magic. Halt is a skilled Ranger, one of the best. He can disappear into a tree (or give that impression) and can fire a fatal arrow in seconds, even through the eye slit in a knight's visor. His apprentice, Will, and the young girl Evanlyn have escaped unscathed from a terrible battle, only to be caught by a raiding party of Skandians led by Jarl Erak. Halt is not allowed to go after them, so he arranges for the King to banish him for treasonous comments made in public, and he and the young knight Horace set off to Gallica, to find Will.
The chapters alternate between the stories of Will and Evanlyn as prisoners with the Skandians, and Horace and Halt on their trip through Gallica. Halt is old and very wise. He is able to teach the young knight Horace a thing or two about strategy and honor on their travels. Will is able to help Evanlyn during the short sojourn on the island of Skorghijl, waiting out the winter storms with the raiding party, and also keep up his spirits and fitness. But when they return to Jarl Erak's home of Hallasholm, Evanlyn is made a house slave, and Will becomes a yard slave, toiling in terrible cold until he becomes addicted to warmweed, and forgets who he is. Jarl Erak respects Will's bravery and skill, and hates to see him addicted and treated so poorly. He decides to help Will and Evanlyn try to escape.Read more ›
We have Halt and Horace traveling into the country-side, right into danger. Stupid men who claim themselves as gallant knights by beating up helpless travelers with mest-up amour and poor weapons to earn a living challenge the two left-and-right, holding up there search again and again for the lost ranger, Will. All the while Will and Evalyn are fighting to stay alive against the Skandians and the cold of winter.
I truly enjoyed this book. Halt's raw humor and Horace's jokes kept me laughing, while Will being drugged by Warm-Weed kept me feeling dread for the beloved character. If you enjoyed the first two books of John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series, The Ruins of Gorland and The Burning Bridge, your guaranteed to like reading The Icebound Land. I'm already looking forward to reading The Battle for Skandia. Can't wait! Keep sending these Australian Treasures over John!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this series, its geared toward a younger reader, perhaps middle school but as an adult i too really enjoyed this series.Published 1 month ago by Jonathan
Another storyline that keeps you pulled into the story the whole way through. I can't wait to keep reading the series.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I read this series a few years ago, and decided to share it with my son, who is only nine. (I have read to him every night since he was born, and whether it had anything to do with... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I loved this series. The books are fast paced without a lot of extra fluff. I highly recommend them.Published 1 month ago by John Preston
Loved this book the first time I read it long ago and loved it again reading it today! One of my students reminded me of this book as they were reading it as well. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael P.