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Monthly Archives: April 2015

“Ranger’s Apprentice book 4: The Battle for Skandia” – J. Flanagan

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This a review of “Ranger’s Apprentice book 4: The Battle for Skandia” by John Flanagan.

This is a continuation of the previous reviews for book one, book two and book three.

After escaping slavery in a foreign land, Will and Evanlyn’s luck turns sour when Evanlyn is taken captive. Employing his Ranger training to locate his friend, Will soon finds himself completely outnumbered – until Halt and Horace make a daring, last-minute rescue. But their reunion is cut short when they discover that the Temujai army has breached Skandia’s borders, with their native Araluen next in line. Only an unlikely union can save the two kingdoms, but can it last long enough?

With Evanlyn captured by the Tamujai right off the bat and Will finally reunited with Horace and Halt the story picks up pace once more. Skandia is under attack by a highly mobile, mounted people from the east and Erak, Will, Holt, Horace and Evanlyn must mount a shaky and extremely quick defence of Skandia in order to survive.

Evanlyn, Will and Horace grow as characters, and I start to like Evanlyn even more in this book. Halt is his usual sarcastic self, and Erak and his Skandians perfectly embody the spirit of the vikings that they were modelled after.

There are some moments of pure genius in this story, like when the two Ranger’s realise the futility of trying to teach the Skandians how to use a bow and arrow with masterful precision in the time they have. Their solution is utterly genius and thoroughly surprising, and the battle prowess of the Skandians themselves doesn’t pale even with the heroes now gathered together once more.

All in all this is a wonderful adventure book and I eagerly await reading the next one.

In other words: definitely a series that is warmly recommended!

 

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Books

 

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“The Redemption of Althalus” – D. & L. Eddings

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This is a review of “The Redemption of Althalus” by David and Leigh Eddings.

Althalus is a total rogue, thief and occasional murderer, yet he is set to become the champion of the world against the ancient evil trying to bring the universe back to nothingness. As the evil god uses his dark magic to rewrite history itself, Althalus has to gether a ragtag group of people and a goddess to fight him and his servants. But things are never easy, especially when Althalus’s group has no reason to trust him or each other.

The fact that the story starts out in the Bronze Age and then skips ahead to the Iron Age is a wonderfully done thing and definitely not something that one expects. The world is rich and the regions differ enough from each other to be recognisable. The various adventures and situations might be a bit dragged out or even a bit too short occasionally, but they are a fun and light read and it is very easy to get lost in the book.

Althalus is an interesting character, and it is easy to like him. Eliar is like a big, dangerous puppy, Andine develops nicely in her character arc, Bheid is the most fascinating priest in the story, Gher is the one with the ideas even if he is a bit confused about his age, and Leitha’s mind-reading abilities are always useful. And for being a goddess Dweia certainly is very down to earth, but my very favourite character is Sergeant Khalor.

There are, however, a few things that do annoy me with this book. The heroes start trusting each other way too quickly even when accepting the meddling of magic, and they sometimes tend to blend into each other. The secondary characters are easier to keep a track of sometimes, though they are sometimes difficult to keep track off with names that are far too alike. Also, I don’t mind strong female characters, in fact, I wish there were more of them, but when absolutely everyone starts using various variations of “yes ma’am” and “yes dear” whenever they are around it can get a bit annoying.

All in all this is a good adventure and a surprisingly quick read. I very much enjoyed reading this book and I do recommend it!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in Books

 

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