Book Review: Ranger’s Apprentice: Erak’s Ransom

Erak’s Ransom
Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 7
By John Flanagan

Set between The Battle for Skandia and The Sorcerer of the North, Erak’s Ransom deals with the final months leading up to Will’s graduation from Apprentice Ranger to a full member of the Ranger Corps.

Redmont Fief is celebrating a marriage long in the making, the marriage of Ranger Halt and Lady Pauline. Midway through the celebrations, the party is interrupted by the appearance of an old friend, the Skandian Svengal. The Skandian oberjarl, Erak, has been taken captive by the Arridi, a nation of desert-dwellers, and Svengal has been sent to bring back an outrageous ransom.

King Duncan agrees to lend Svengal the ransom and Halt, Will, Gilan, Horace, and the princess accompany him to back to Arrida. The negotiations with the Arridi go well, but Erak is kidnapped from the Arridi by a militant group of desert nomads. The friends must join forces with the Arridi to rescue Erak before the nomads deliver him to a Skandian traitor.

Erak’s Ransom provides a unique look at the father-son relationship that has developed between Will and Halt. As graduation gets nearer, the author gives us glimpses of nervousness from not just Will, but Halt as well. We are also treated to a view of the depth of emotion felt by a Ranger toward his trusty horse.

I think one of my favorite parts of this book is the interactions between Will, Horace, and Evanlyn. There is a subtle love triangle between the three that widens to include Alyss when she is around Will. I would recommend this book to any fans of fantasy fiction, especially fans of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

This review originally appeared 9 February 2013 on fantasyreviewer.com

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