- File Size: 576 KB
- Print Length: 284 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books; 1st edition (June 26, 2007)
- Publication Date: June 26, 2007
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000Y2I7OK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,043 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$18.99|
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The Icebound Land: Book Three (Ranger's Apprentice 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 284 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 10 and up|
|Grade Level: 5 - 6|
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To recap (spoiler alert!), at the end of Book 2 we had the main character (Will the ranger) kidnapped along with the princess-in-disguise Evanlyn by 'Skandians', who are basically Vikings. So this book will feature them plotting an escape, right? Nope, they just kinda ... sit around in captivity. OK, then maybe the series' hyper-competent Halt the Ranger parachutes in to save the day? Nope, he spends half the book moping and the other half slowly meandering through fictionalized French countryside ('Gallica'). Well then, maybe the main characters learn more about themselves and the complex society they inhabit through their drastic change in circumstance? Nope, they just get high. Wait what?
Yes, this is a Very Special Episode in classic 1980's style about drug abuse, as written by someone who apparently knows nothing about it writing for a 5 year old. You see, Will is given 'warmweed' by one of his captors, and instantly (and I mean instantly) turns into a shambling zombie addict with no free will or thought processes for about 2/3 of the book. This ruins the book's already low momentum, as the main character's POV is essentially turned off for most of the book. Eventually, he is weaned off of the drug by the long-suffering Evanlyn, and suddenly 'wakes up' with his addiction cured and no memory of anything that happened while addicted, and everything's fine. I'll leave you with my 10-year-old's reaction: "This is stupid." Indeed.
And drug addiction.
For a young adult fantasy title, one can definitely see how such a subject could polarize reader response. In general, drugs are found very little in fantasy, unless we're talking about Michael Moorcock's ELRIC SAGA, which is quite a bit more adult in nature than this series.
However, I think one also needs to keep in mind that John Flanagan initially wrote this book for his son. Maybe this installment was a subtle way of teaching children about the dangers of addiction.
Ironically, I felt that the inclusion of such a rare subject matter is what made this book work for me; for the offerings of the rest of the book are basically chivalrous challenges and jousts--a dime a dozen in fantasy.
One thing I disliked about this book is in the characterization of Halt, the senior Ranger who is trying to track down Will, his apprentice. In this volume, Halt shows a bit more of his personality--to include his soft side. On the one hand, this makes Halt a bit more human, but on the other hand I found it a bit harder to imagine Halt as a force to be reckoned with.
Where the last two books dealt with grander settings and senses of urgency, this book takes a detour to explore the personal struggles and inner workings of some of the characters. Don't expect it to be as action-packed, but in its own way it is still entertaining and sets the stage for the next installment, which I'm sure will be more along the lines of the first two books.
Top international reviews
For lovers of fantasy this is a must, do not buy Eragon, buy this instead, the ranger's apprentice series is the best fantasy/adventure series to come along in many years.
You can't keep a good Rangers apprentice down, not when he's someone as irrepressible as Will!
Drugged and beaten, will is at his lowest but he has a true friend in evanlyn, who plans an escape and nurses Will back to health.
Horace and Halt make their way overland to rescue our two prisoners and provide the comic relief of the book
The writing is, at times, a little simplistic, but the story itself is so involving that I only really notice when I first start to read. Within a few lines I'm so engrossed in the events and the characters I just don't notice.
This is the 3rd book in the series and continues straight on from the events in Burning Bridge - so much so that if this was an adult series, I'd guess there would only be one much longer book.
It also has a turn of events that surprised me - but made the book all the more thrilling to read. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
To my surprise I've become completely amazed by the writing. The author draws you into the characters really well and you do really want to know what happens next.I won't dwell on the stories but the characters of Halt, Will and Horace and their exploits have me hooked and I'm halfway through Book 4 currently and there is no let up in the quality of the storylines.
Try one, every Dad will want to be a Halt, every son a Will or Horace and Mum will love the peace and quiet given by these engrossing tales.
Even at the age of 50 I look forward to more of the same fascinating tales.