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John Flanagan – Ranger’s Apprentice Book 12: The Royal Ranger

As I haven’t read any of the Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan I asked a student to review this book for me. Better review than I would write. Well done Will!


Review by Will C
After the tragic death of Alyss, Will’s wife, he becomes withdrawn and unsociable. Years after the last book, Will himself is a grey-haired ranger, and to help aid him through the process of recovery after Alyss’ death, his old friends come up with a solution: Will should have his own apprentice.
This book feels just like the previous ones, with an action-packed, rather predictable storyline. Despite it being predictable, it was well-written, and interesting, with a few inventive ideas. As always, there is a bad guy who the good-guys need to catch, and they end up going on a quest to fix the problem. This is the sort of book which younger readers would love, with the whole idea of learning to become something special, even if you don’t seem to be.
The whole series started with Will becoming an apprentice ranger to Halt, and learning new skills and ideas, whilst saving people and going on exciting quests at the same time. However, as the series progresses, Will himself earns the title of a ranger. In this book, the young becomes old, and teaches young, almost as if the whole series has come in a full circle, and is back where we started with Will all those years ago.
Reading this book almost made me feel as though John Flanagan started writing this series with the idea of Will being an apprentice ranger, but as he went on, he had to stop that idea as Will grew out of being an apprentice, and just became friends with his old mentor Halt. I feel that the series should have stopped at book 11, and there could only be 4 reasons for writing this one- the first is for more money with one more, final book; the second is because John Flanagan just wanted to write about an apprentice again; another that he wanted the full circle idea to become a reality, and the last is that he wanted way to lead into a new series involving Will and Maddie. Personally, I think that he was going for the last one, because we have seen it so many times before with successful series like The 39 Clues with Vespers Rising, a novel which led to the sequel series ‘Cahill’s vs. Vespers’. The exact same thing happened here, with a book we all thought was the last, which fit, and made us all happy- until the unexpected real last book came out, which mysteriously has masses of material which could easily be turned into a sequel series, and that is exactly what I believe will happen.
So, for all Ranger’s Apprentice fans, I think this will be one to think of as not actually part of the series, but a book which could potentially lead to even more stories about the rangers in Flanagan’s world.


About hgtl

I am a secondary English/History teacher (BA DipEd, MA (Education) and a Teacher Librarian (MEd). I LOVE to research and through this site aim to -Support the introduction of the Australian Curriculum (especially in History) through sourcing quality and varied internet based sources (research guides) - Support teachers through conducting education based literature reviews - Provide suggestions on useful Web 2.0 tools - Offer other services such as curriculum writing, library collection assessment, novel recommendations (see my blog


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