Time has passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, led the Araluens to victory against invaders, and Will is now a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief to look after. The fief seems sleepy— boring, even—until the king is poisoned. Joined by his friend Alyss, Will is thrown headfirst into an extraordinary adventure propelled by fears of sorcery, and must determine who is trustworthy to the king and who is trying to take his throne.
Will and Alyss must battle growing hysteria, traitors, and most of all, time. The king is fading, but when Alyss is taken hostage, Will is forced to make a desperate choice between loyalty to his mission and loyalty to his friend.
Adventure abounds in this absorbing installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
Years have passed since Will’s adventures in Skandia-he is now a full-fledged Ranger on his first assignment. Thinking he is stuck in the isolated Fief of Seacliffe, Will is surprised to be called away by his old mentor, Halt, for a secret mission. Rumors of genuine sorcery, not simple mind control or mass hysteria, are plaguing Castle Macindaw and upsetting the succession of the barony in the north. The Rangers need Will’s special skills to investigate. Disguised as a traveling musician, Will embarks on another quest that not only might cost him his life but also the lives of those about whom he cares. As always, Flanagan is to be complimented for creating a fantasy world that relies on character and action rather than magic, but fans may have difficulty getting into this fifth Ranger’s Apprentice novel. The first chapters’ exposition tells rather than shows what Will has done during the years between the Battle for Skandia and the present. Familiar characters are sadly absent for the first part of the book, although Halt makes his appearance midway through. The Princess Cassandra is mentioned only in passing, and Alyss, a diplomat, is introduced as Will’s new romantic interest. Readers have to assume the relationship between them, as so much happened “off stage” that it is difficult to warm to her character. As the novel progresses and the action picks up, however, it becomes a satisfying, albeit not the best, addition to this popular series. Reviewer: Arlene Garcia-Allen
Publish Date : 2009-06-25T00:00:01Z