Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Ranger's Apprentice 3: The Icebound Land by John Flanagan

The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, #3)My name is Evanlyn Duncan. I've been taken captive, along with Will Treaty, an apprentice to Ranger Halt, and the Skandians plan to sell us as slaves. I must not let them discover I'm the king's daughter, since their leader has vowed to kill my entire family. When we arrive in their homeland, things get much worse for Will. He's forced to work outside in the ice and frigid cold, and other slaves have secretly gotten him addicted to warmweed, a narcotic drug. Skandian warriors are all around. but I must do something to save him, but what? I know Halt would find a way, but he's busy trying to find an outlaw back in Araulen. My father won't let him leave the kingdom, and I know Halt will do anything to help Will. I don't think he would defy my father, would he? Then, someone unexpected offers to help Will and I, but I don't know if his help will make things better, or worse.

All of the books in this series and the spin-off series written by Flanagan have been enjoyable to read. This book is unusual in that Will becomes a minor character once he becomes addicted to warmweed. It's nice to see a female character take the role of hero, as Evanlyn is forced to protect Will and lead him to freedom. The subplot following Halt allows the author to continue sharing the mystique of the Rangers while Will is ill. Halt is cunning, intelligent, and a formidable warrior, and he shares his knowledge with Horace, Will's best friend, as they meet rogue knights during their travels. Their story presents a great lesson in chivalry. My only dislike for the book is when the conflict with Will and Evanlyn isn't completely resolved. You can enjoy this book by itself, but you'll appreciate it more after reading the other books in the series.

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