Jumat, 01 Februari 2013

Ranger's (no longer) Apprentice - Book 5 and 6

Title: The Sorcerer in the North
Series: Ranger's Apprentice #5
Author: John Flanagan
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781864719086
Pages: 336 pages
Original Published Date: 2009

Series: Ranger's Apprentice #6
Author: John Flanagan
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 9781864719093
Pages: 328 pages
Original Published Date: 2009

"So what do you plan to do now?" said Malcolm.
"Now, we head back to the forest," Will said, giving in to the inevitable.
Xander looked at him curiously. The young Ranger seemed to be admitting defeat, but there was a note of grim determination in his voice. Xander knew that this matter was a long way from finished."What then?" he asked.
Will turned to face him. The deep cowl of his cloak hid the top part of his face in shadow. Xander could see only the mouth and the determined set of his jaw.
"Then," he said, "I'm getting Alyss out of your damned castle — if I have to take it apart stone by stone to do it."

Will, now a full-fledged Ranger, had assigned to his own fief, a nice tranquil fief with nice comfy hut on his own. But even that quite environment had its own problems. He hadn't even got to his fief when he had the taste of  it in a form of a dog was lying three-quarter death in the side of the road. *this dog had a different eye colors, brown and blue. funny that heterochromia has been a theme on few of the novels that I read, people, dogs, cats. Oh, I'm mumbling again. Sorry....* With this he heard his first issue, John Buttle. Hadn't have the change to tidy this thing up, another wave came hitting. Now in the faces of Skandian wolf ship home for 30ish hungry skandian sailor in their last raiding party before winter. But he wouldn't be a ranger if he couldn't deviously walked his way out in one nutty swap.

And while these things haven't even cooled down, Alyss came with his new hush hush mission. He had to post as a joker and found out what happend on Macindaw Castle, up in the north. Macindaw might be small, but it had great importance of guarding the boundary with the Scotty. So, the Lord of Macindaw was severly ill, could be poisoned, and his son was the suspect and his nephew looked like very decent heir. But, what is a good adventure without a little twist, yeah, it was the other way around with that son and nephew. So Will had to take refugee to the forrest, in the hand of Malcolm the Sorcerer. The thing was.... that silly Lady Gwendoline was left behind in the castle, and Lady Gwendoline was actually Alyss undercover. 

To help Will, Crowley and Halt sent *who else* Horace. Added to this duo, 25 Skandian as soldier of fortune. Alyss, now held in the tower, acted as their eyes from inside. And lastly, Malcolm the Sorcerer and his deformed people complete the mix. That's all thay had to take down a castle, get the girl and prevented the Scotty for drawing a new border line.


In my personal opinion, these installments are the best of the series. I mean, it's very pleasant to watch Will -and Horace- in their mature life. Will always had his determination, but from time to time, its overshadowed by Halt's authority. Now he's like blossoming out of his master's silk. That thing he's done with the Skandian in the shore of his fief, that's epic. I can totally imagine him calmly -but deathly- threatening Gundar,
"It's hard thing to do with only ten men!
*applaud* And in the end of the previous book, when he said he'd rescued Alyss even if it means to tore Macindaw Castle brick by brick, I truly believed that he would. *more applaud* *encore... encore* More than that, I think it also very adult thing to admit that he needed plans, he needed help and he needed more time to do all that. He knew there was other things in stake here, and... he also trusted Alyss that she could take care herself for the time being. He did not do a reckless and sudden moved that -I believe- he would do if the setting were two or three years before (like in Skandia, where he just jumped and tried to save Evanlyn from the Temujais). No. He'd still had his head cool even though we know how his heart in rage. One more thing, when he decided to leave Shadow with Trubar, just because Trubar needed her more that he did, that's really made my heart melt. Oohhh...... *standing ova*

Horace, unexpectedly, was more mature and sensitive than what I had him taken credited for. His battle and strategic ability was of course out of question. It was how he handle his relationship with Will, and how he's supporting both Will and Alyss that made me admire him. He definitely not stupid war machine he always said he was. But it also deligthful and so natural to see him and Will, not just watched each other back, but also acted childish and picking on each other. 

As for Halt and Crowley, they just watched their boys worked from behind the scene now, but omg, their scene were hillarious. It's nice to see Halt out of his serious grave mask and relaxed a little bit.

If I had just one thing that annoyed me, it was the constant remainder of how ranger's cloak could camuflage them, made the melt in the environment *daa...* and how the rangers could walk without sound in the forrest, made them could sneak behind you unnoticed *we know*.  You don't have to write it down every time they move. Oh yeah... one more thing. We also constantly reminded that Rangers was this closed tight bound of an elite individual that knew each other by faces and names. But WHY when Will met that other ranger, they need to introduced to one another? Not in very friendly manner even. Why.... why.....


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