Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice 7)
Author: John Flanagan
Publication: Philomel (January 5, 2010)
Product Description from Amazon: What does it mean to earn the Silver Oakleaf? So few men have done so. For Will, a mere boy, that symbol of honor has long felt out of reach. Now, in the wake of Araluen’s uneasy truce with the raiding Skandians comes word that the Skandian leader has been captured by a dangerous desert tribe. The Rangers are sent to free him. But the desert is like nothing these warriors have seen before. Strangers in a strange land, they are brutalized by sandstorms, beaten by the unrelenting heat, tricked by one tribe that plays by its own rules, and surprisingly befriended by another. Like a desert mirage, nothing is as it seems. Yet one thing is constant: the bravery of the Rangers.
In this red-hot adventure, winner of the Australian Book of the Year Award for Older Children, John Flanagan raises the stakes on the series that has already sold millions of copies worldwide.
My Thoughts: This was another excellent addition to an excellent series. Will is on the verge of graduation and feels unready and hesitant about leaving his teacher Halt. It is at Halt's wedding the news comes that Erak has been captured and is being held for ransom. Princess Cassandra convinces her father, King Duncan, that she can handle the negotiations to free him. He is reluctant to send her but is more reconciled when Halt, Gilan and Will go along. Horace is also sent. It is good to see more of these favorite characters reveal their character in this story. The princess is shaping up to be a very good ruler and Will is definitely ready to be a Ranger.
Now I want to read more in this series. Luckily, a student received the Australian versions of 8 and 9 for Christmas and is willing to lend them to me. But, oh what a long wait, it will be for volume 10.