By John Flanagan
Rating: 4 stars
This is the 6th book in the quite good Ranger's Apprentice series. When we finished book 5, The Sorcerer of the North, Alyss had been taken captive by Keren, who had overthrown the lords of the castle. Will had been unable to rescue her and is hiding out with Malcolm, formerly thought to be a sorcerer, but who is merely a healer hiding out in the dense forest. Now Will is joined by his famous warrior friend Horace and by a shipload of Skandians who are grounded for the winter when their boat was irreparably damaged. Then Will discovers things are worse than he knew--Keren is making an alliance with the Scotti from over the border, who plan to invade the region in a few short weeks, forcing a long, drawn out war with Araluen. How can 25 Skandians, one warrior and one Ranger successfully siege a castle and win when normally they would need four times that number? But with a little Ranger ingenuity, anything is possible. Readers will easily be drawn back into this exciting series and be eager to see how the siege plays out. Books 7 and 8 are available in New Zealand and Australia and hopefully will shortly see publication in the U.S., so fans can look forward to more of Will's adventures.