My book, Ranger’s Apprentice, is the third book in its series. At the end of book two, we are left with a big cliffhanger. Will is the apprentice to Halt, who is a Ranger. Rangers are a secret clan of people who are trained to fight, move, and live in a quiet manner. They are the spies for the King and the leaders of the land, and are feared by most other people in the land, because they are rumored to have magical powers. This is, of course, very untrue. Rangers are just normal people who have an insatiable curiosity for finding out things that they would be better off not knowing. Will, after several years of training with Halt, is sent on different missions. On his last one, he is captured and eventually taken away on a boat, with Halt standing on the shore, unable to save his young apprentice. This is where book two ends and book three, the book I read, begins. From here, we hear two stories throughout the book: Will’s story is of his journey to Skandia, the land where he is being taken as a prisoner. He has several mishaps on the ship, and he has to overcome raging storms, starvation, and mutiny. Eventually he reaches Skandia, where he is made to gather firewood, stir water to stop it from freezing, and other chores is hellish conditions. Eventually, when he is beginning to have seizures from the cold, one of the other slaves comes to him as a friend, and offers him warmweed, a drug that makes you feel warm all over. Will becomes addicted and helpless after taking too much of the drug. The other prisoner that is taken along with him to Skandia helps Will escape after half a year of being slaves. But they escape only to hide away in a cabin up in the mountains, where they struggle to survive, and to break Will’s addiction to warmweed. During this, we hear Halt’s stories of how he betrays the kingdom he has served his whole life to try and save Will. Will’s best friend, Horace, tags along with Halt, and together they face many dangers along the way, including a dark knight named Deparnieux who makes them his prisoner. We end the book with Will up in the mountains, barely alive, and Halt and Horace just escaping from the grasps of Deparnieux.
This book was overall very grasping. I really enjoyed the first two, and after the ending of the second book, was dying to read the third, but I never had the time, and this was a perfect opportunity for me to read it. I read the book rather quickly, in only a week or two. This is partly thanks to John Flanagan’s very gripping writing. He uses a lot of humor in the stories, and has very interesting characters. Halt at first seems grim to say the least, and possibly even inhuman and evil. But after we get to meet him, he is a very likable, albeit gruff character. The third book was definitely the darkest of the three books. I enjoyed reading about the warmweed, because I believe that Flanagan uses this to represent and show the effects of marijuana to children whom are reading his stories. It is a great way of doing it, because when reading it, we see Will transform from his normal, very cheerful, energetic and fit self, into a red-eyed anorexic drug addict. It is definitely some intense imagery, and is not meant for too young of children, but also very effective. For the most part, the Ranger’s Apprentice stories are fairly light, but usually do have some dark underlying statements. I look forward to reading the fourth book and the rest of the series soon, and seeing what happens to Will in the mountains!