"Rangers Apprentice Book 5: The Sorcerer of the North" by John Flanagan is a wonderful book about a teenager named Will who is struggling with a quest of his own and a new one that appears along the way. He must finish his quest and save many lives or choose to start a new quest, embarking to save the lady Alyss. With wonderful action, suspense, and great detail to make it very exciting, plus a more important relationship between Will and Alyss than in the previous books, this book is very good and entertaining. I believe the author’s style was not exactly the same as his other books and enjoyed reading this new-sounding style.
All of the wonderful, fantasy-style parts such as battles are all very well written. There is great detail and suspense-making action. The author always chooses the perfect words for the time. The author also does a great job describing the characters’ thoughts and feelings. One of my favorite parts was in the midst of a person being hypnotized to get information. It showed the person’s thoughts and how she tried to stop herself from saying things. The author went into great detail about her internal struggle. I very much enjoyed these scenes.
The author also explores more deeply Will’s feelings for Alyss. In the rest of this series, Alyss does not appear very much. In this one, however, she appears much more. She becomes a central character to the story. There is also more romance between them than before. I was surprised to see so many romantic scenes in this book, and I wish there were fewer. However, I understand that characters get older in a series, and Flanagan showed that Will was growing up.
Another difference in this book compared to the others in the series is that the author’s style appeared to change. The writing seemed more mature. The other books in the series seem to belong in the kids’ section of the library, and this one seemed more fitting in the teens’ aisle. This book had more romance, was heavier in the details, and lighter in the action. But it was an interesting change. I can’t really say that I like this style better then his previous books; it was very good either way.
I believe this book should not be read until you have read the rest in the series. Book 5 does not go back and explain what happened before like some books do. In this one you wouldn’t know who the characters are, or what certain things they did, and that is very important to understanding the story.
Altogether, "Ranger’s Apprentice Book 5: The Sorcerer of the North" by John Flanagan was a very good book. I would recommend this book to my friends, and can’t wait to read the next in this series.
Ranger’s Apprentice Book 5: The Sorcerer of the North
Philomel Books (2008)
Reviewed by Avery Largent (age 9) for Reader Views (10/08)