Author: John Flanagan
Publication: Philomel; 1 edition (April 19, 2011)
Description: Months have passed since Horace departed for the eastern nation of Nihon-Ja on a vital mission. Having received no communication from him, his friends fear the worst. Unwilling to wait a second longer, Alyss, Evanlyn, and Will leave their homeland behind and venture into an exotic land in search of their missing friend.
When they finally catch up with him, they find Horace entangled in a military coup. Determined to protect the imperial throne, Will and his band of Araluens must piece together and train a force in order to fend off the master Senji warriors intent on overthrowing the emperor.
Suspense and pulse-pounding action abound in this final adventure in the worldwide phenomenon that is Ranger's Apprentice.
My Thoughts: This was a fitting conclusion to the Ranger's Apprentice series. We get to see the characters we have known since they were young show that they are smart and honorable adults. Horace is on a mission to Nihon-ja to observe the culture and their battle techniques. He has become friends with the emperor and finds him to be a very admirable ruler. When a coup attempt happens, Horace flees with the emperor to a legendary fortress with plans to retake the empire. They are however overwhelmingly outnumbered. They need to make soldiers out of woodcrafters.
Meanwhile, Halt, Will, and Alyss are also away from home negotiating a treaty between two rival countries. When Evanlyn comes to them and says Horace is missing, all of them are determined to go to Nihon-ja to rescue him.
Once they have all reunited, the book concentrates on the preparations of turning non-soldiers into an effective army. Along the way we see how the relationships between the four young people are developing. Horace and Evanlyn love each other but really haven't admitted it to each other. Alyss and Will are more comfortable in their relationship. However, Alyss is jealous of the friendship between Will and Evanlyn fearing that Evanlyn will try to take Will from her. There is initially a lot of jealousy between the girls which Will is oblivious to.
This is a great adventure that will satisfy war-hungry boys but there is also enough romance for most young girls too. I recommend the series to middle grade/young adult fans of fantasy adventure. And, while this series is over, young adventure lovers can continue to find out more about the world Flanagan created by reading his upcoming The Outcasts which is the first in the Brotherband Chronicles and will be out in November 2011.
"Do you ever," the older Ranger said with great deliberation, "manage to ask just one question at a time? Or does it always have to be multiple choice with you?"I bought this one at Amazon. I am a big fan of the series. You can get your copy at Amazon too.
Will looked at him in surprise. "Do I do that?" he asked. "Are you sure?"
Halt said nothing. He raised his hands in a "See what I mean?" gesture and appealed to the others in the room.