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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 wasn't sure what to expect of this book beyond the rescue. Cuz the way the second one ended it could almost consider it an end to the series, I found this like a quick and... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Andrew Catallo
This series is awesome!! My two sons and I fight over who gets to read the new one first!Published 8 days ago by Chrystal
I love the characters in this series and eachonebuilds on the last but could still be read alone.Published 17 days ago by Pam Atkinson
This is one of my children's favorite series. They have them all, and have loved them all. They were late elementary/middle school ages when they fell in love with this series.Published 1 month ago by Mom of Four
I chose this rating because the book had a very strong plot and structure. But, at times the book was a little slow and boring. Read morePublished 1 month ago
This whole series is sort of intriguing, but not really gripping. I like the characters and the content, I just don't really believe it. Good for a rainy day though.Published 1 month ago by Eliza K.