January 20, 2010

Erak's Ransom

By John Flanagan
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

This is book 7 in the Ranger's Apprentice series, which happily shows no signs of flagging. Flanagan actually takes us a bit back in time before the events that occur in books 5 and 6. In this story, Will is ready to graduate into the Ranger Corps, but has not quite yet. In preparation for losing his longtime apprentice, Halt is finally getting married to Lady Pauline but the celebration is interrupted by the arrival of the Skandian Svengal with the news that the Oberjarl Erak has been captured by the Arridi and they are asking a ransom. Erak suspects foul play from some Skandians looking to overthrow him, so Svengal is asking for help from the Araluens instead of heading back to Skandia so as to not show weakness. Soon enough, Will, Halt, Gilan, Horace and Princess Cassandra are on their way to the desert continent to ransom Erak. But as ever, the plans do not run smoothly and soon the gang find they must band together with both the Arridi and the Bedullin to rescue Erak when he falls into even more devious hands. As usual, fans of the series will enjoy our well known characters and welcome meeting more. The plotting is solid and we all look forward to further adventures with Will Treaty and his friends.

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