Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review - The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 3) by John Flanagan (4/5 stars)

The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 3)Reading level: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 288 pages
Publisher:  Puffin
Release Date: February 5, 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0142410752
Stand Alone or Series: 3rd book in the Ranger's Apprentice series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the third book in the Ranger's Apprentice series; there are twelve books planned in this series with the tenth book, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, released in April of 2011.  This was a good book in the series and continues the story line that was started in book 2, The Burning Bridge.

Will and Evelyn have been kidnapped by the Skandians and are at sea on the way back to the Skandians' homeland.  Will they survive their kidnapping and be safely returned home?  Halt is determined to go find Will, but is needed elsewhere in the kingdom.  Halt will try to force the King's hand and ensure that he is able to go after Will.  Will Halt and Horace be able to save Will and Evelyn?

I liked this book somewhat better than the first and second books in the series.  Much of the story is spent with Will and Evelyn and they are both great characters and really grow throughout this book.  These poor two characters face many trials and tribulations as they are forced to serve as slaves to the Skandians.  The remainder of the story is told from Halt and Horace's point of view; Halt still has his biting sense of humor and Horace is much more likable than in previous books.

The plot is fairly predictable, there isn't anything here that hasn't been done before.  The story is well written and engaging. There is a lot of humor throughout which makes that story fun to read.  This book ends on another cliffhanger, so you may want to buy Book 4, The Battle for Skandia, ahead of time.

Overall this was a solid addition to the series.  The story is engaging and the characters likable.  The plot is well done, but predictable and nothing new.   The humor throughout sets this apart from other middle grade fantasy and makes this book a fun read.  This book does end on another horrible cliffhanger so be ready for that.   I am looking forward to how things pan out in The Battle for Skandia.  If you like this series I would recommend The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens and A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Fantasy Reading Challenge

The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 3)

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