Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ranger's Apprentice: Book Five - The Sorcerer of the North

Ranger's Apprentice: Book Five - The Sorcerer of the North

John Flanagan
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Penguin, 2008   ISBN: 978-0399250323

After many adventures and some very close calls, Will is no longer a Ranger’s apprentice. He has proven that he now ready to take on the responsibilities of a full-fledged Ranger, and his superiors in the Ranger Corps decide to send him to his first posting in the Fief of Seacliff.

Will isn’t on the island of Seacliff long before trouble arrives in the form of a ship full of Skandian raiders. Will deftly uses his previous encounters with the Skandians to persuade the leader of this raiding party to take only what he needs from the islanders and to leave peacefully without harming the people of Seacliff or their property. Will acquits himself so well in fact that it is decided that he is the perfect person to take on a very ticklish situation that has developed in Norgate Fief.

Apparently the commander of Castle Macindaw in Norgate Fief, Lord Syron, has developed a mysterious illness, and there is talk that an evil sorcerer is at work in the region. The Ranger Corps wants Will to go to the castle, undercover, to find out what is going on. The plan is that Will, who has some musical talent playing the mandola (a stringed instrument), is to visit the castle pretending to be a jongleur – a travelling entertainer. At first Will is appalled by the idea, but he is soon convinced that he can keep up the deception if he is careful, and if he remembers not to behave like a Ranger.

This exciting and thoroughly addictive fifth novel in the Ranger’s Apprentice collection will delight readers who have enjoyed the earlier titles in the series. Will is very different from the young man that we first met in The Ruins of Gorlan. He is now a skilled and confident Ranger who has to use his wits to solve – or avoid – problems of all kinds.