Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ranger's Apprentice, The Early Years #2: The Battle of Hackham Heath by John Flanagan

The Battle of Hackham Heath (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years #2)My name is Halt, and we know Morgrath is plotting revenge against King Duncan. I ventured into the mountains to learn more about the army of Wargalsp Morgrath is amassing. He controls the ape-like creatures with his mind, and they form a ferocious killing machine. This army is four times larger than the king's forces, and the Wargals are now terrorizing the fiefs in the kingdom. These attacks are designed to deplete our food sources and will delay the villagers from joining the king. We don't stand a chance against a siege on the castle, and our only hope is to face Morgrath and the Wargals at a location of our choosing. Our Ranger skills will be tested if we hope to survive.

I feel like I keep repeating myself, but all of the books written by Flanagan have a similar feel and format. A lot of adventure, interesting characters, and a little touch of magic. It's fun to compare/contrast Halt's character in this book with his character in the original Ranger's Apprentice series. He's a new Ranger in this series but has already earned the respect of more seasoned Rangers; there's a moment of uncertainty in the plot when Halt is left in charge of his peers. However, he is able to prove himself through his archery skills and decision-making, and Rangers from the last book speak up to support him. It's clear from the beginning that this book will lead to a battle with Morgrath, and as always, the odds are totally against the Rangers. The conclusion of this book introduces a familiar Ranger to readers, as an orphan baby named Will is left in Halt's care. Lovers of Flanagan's books, like me, were probably anticipating this moment.

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