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The Royal Ranger / John Flanagan

November 25, 2013

SPOILER ALERT – don’t read on if you are currently reading The Ranger’s Apprentice series! Spoilers ahead.

While this is a good children’s book, it’s lost in the great series that the Ranger’s Apprentice is. It does not add anything to the series and to use an old cliché,  it’s just a fifth wheel. If the reader has read all the volumes to date, they will understand what I mean.

Royal RangerThis book is set 15 years later and while it stretches the series of plot lines,  it does not develop them well.  These include the relationships between Jenny and Gila,  and between Will and Alyss, which were the main theme of “The lost tales” (sorry the romantics amongst you). Then after three plus volumes and developing the theme of the Will and Alyss relationship and wedding, the very next volume she’s dead (sorry guys, I did warn you). There really needs to be another volume between “The lost tales” and this one to get some continuity.

So what are we left with? An out of place Rangers Apprentice.  The Maddy and Will storyline mirrors the Will and Halt story, Will becoming more and more a Halt Character, and throw in the Horse story and Maddy’s horse Bumper becomes a Tug. Throw in a story that includes how Halt is impressed with Pauline’s about to remember the names of the “common” people, that was Gilan and the Baron in the last book, and one asks why it was needed?

We are then left with a Ranger’s Apprentice questing off  to find their way, wave their master and find the great life is that of the ranger. Hello, the plagiarized story of The Ranger’s Apprentice volume one, if one can plagiarize one’s own work!  So how does this book rate? As a one off book it’s a good read and well worth it, and a good lead into the Ranger’s Apprentice series, but as a volume of the series as a whole,  all I could think is that Ranger Halt would think it over thought and not how the story should be.

– Darren


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