Author: John Flanagan
Series: Ranger's Apprentice (Book 12)
Publication: Philomel Books (November 5, 2013)
Description: The story that brings the Ranger's Apprentice arc full-circle!
Will Treaty has come a long way from the small boy with dreams of knighthood. Life had other plans for him, and as an apprentice Ranger under Halt, he grew into a legend—the finest Ranger the kingdom has ever known. Yet Will is facing a tragic battle that has left him grim and alone. To add to his problems, the time has come to take on an apprentice of his own, and it’s the last person he ever would have expected. Fighting his personal demons, Will has to win the trust and respect of his difficult new companion—a task that at times seems almost impossible.
John Flanagan returns for one final bow to the series that has conquered millions of readers worldwide with this pulse-pounding adventure that brings one era to a close, and ushers in the next . . .
My Thoughts: This final book in the Ranger's Apprentice series begins with a grieving Will and a spoiled princess. Maddie has taken to sneaking out of the castle and wandering the forest nearby. This frightens her mother and father. Maddie's defiance has put them at the far end of their patience. When the commander of the Rangers suggests that Maddie be placed as Will's apprentice, it is his goal to kill two birds with one stone.
Will needs some new purpose in his life to derail him from his single-minded pursuit of the outlaw who was instrumental in causing the death of his beloved wife Alyss and Maddie needs a purpose in her life to turn her into the kind of person who will one day inherit the throne.
The first part of the story has Maddie learning to be a Ranger and learning to be a less selfish and self-centered person. The next part of the book has she and Will going on a mission to investigate the death of another Ranger. No Ranger can believe that he fell from his horse and broke his neck. Rangers are too good at riding and their horses are something special too.
It doesn't take long for Will and Maddie to stumble into a kidnapping ring that is gathering children to sell as slaves. It happens that the gang is being led by the outlaw that Will has been searching for. Will and Maddie have lots of adventures as they track down the gang and rescue the children.
This story was filled with action and adventure. It was also a good story about growing up and also learning to live again after a devastating loss. I liked that Will found himself repeating to Maddie some of the same things that Halt had told him when he was an apprentice. The story really did make a full circle back to its beginning.
"Mother...," Maddie began in a tone that implied her mother was being unreasonable. Maddie only called Cassandra "mother" when she was exasperated by what she saw as obsessive, over-controlling behavior.I bought this book in 2013. You can buy your copy here.
Cassandra was all too well aware of that fact, and her eyes flashed with anger.