Author: John Flanagan
Back-of-the-Book Description: Still far from their homeland after escaping slavery in the icebound land of Skandia, Will and Evanlyn's plans to return to Araluen are spoiled when Evanlyn is taken captive by a Temujai warrior. Though still weakened by the warmweed's toxic effects, Will employs his Ranger training to locate his friend, but an enemy scouting party has him fatally outnumbered. Will is certain death is close at hand, until Halt and Horace make a daring, last-minute rescue. The reunion is cut short, however, when Halt makes a horrifying discovery: Skandia's borders have been breached by the entire Temujai army. And Araluen is next in their sights. If two kingdoms are to be saved, an unlikely union must be made. Will it hold long enough to vanquish a ruthless new enemy? Or will past tensions spell doom for all?
My Description: Honestly, I still don't know why that one Temujai guy kidnapped Evanlyn. I spent a good part of the book thinking about that before I finally was able to brush it off. Also, I didn't like the tension that ensued between Evanlyn and Will... I liked their relationship, and when the problems came between them--which I didn't even understand--I was looking forwards to a resolution of sorts... but no, they still are--...I don't know what they are, but the book just ends without them making up or anything, and I looked up the next book, and it doesn't look like Evanlyn is going to be in it much if at all... As a matter of fact, it looks like in the next book Mr. Flanagan is going to have more with Alyss. I wish if he was going to do that he would have built Alyss' s character more and Evanlyn less, because I hardly know Alyss and to lose Evanlyn will be hard for me. Maybe I'm wrong and she is in it... I hope I am.
I had a hard time believing an entire year had gone by since Halt had been banished (okay, shy of two weeks, but about a year). I just couldn't, and it made me feel a little sad to think so. I mean an entire year of that horribleness for Will and Evanlyn... an entire year of banishment from the Ranger Corps for Halt...
It was nice to see Will and Halt together again. I've been waiting for them to reunite and it was nice when that happened fairly early in the book.
Erik is a cool and interesting character, and I loved how things worked out for him.
This book has a lot more action than the last... a huge battle, arrows everywhere... It was all well-written and exciting--I had such a ride!
All in all, humorous, adventurous, funny and fun, but the ending wasn't for me.
Recommendations: To those who have enjoyed the Ranger's Apprentice books (including The Ruins of Gorlan, The Burning Bridge, and The Icebound Land), more for boys than girls, though both genders can enjoy.
Writing Rating: 8
Story Rating: 8
Overall Rating: 8
Book #14 of '09, Book #64 of all