This is a review of “Ranger’s Apprentice book 5: The Sorcerer of the North” by John Flanagan.
Will is finally a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief to look after. The fief seems sleepy – boring even – until Lord Syron, master of a castle far in the north, is struck down by a mysterious illness. Joined by his friend Alyss, Will is suddenly thrown headfirst into an extraordinary adventure, investigating fears of sorcery and trying to determine who is loyal to Lord Syron. As Will battles growing hysteria, traitors, and, most of all, time, Alyss is taken hostage, and Will is forced to make a desperate choice between his mission and his friend.
It is always interesting to see more of Araluen and the way the various fiefs are governed. Even the various
This book is set after a timeskip of about three to four years. Will now has his silver oakleaf and he is no longer an apprentice, but Alyss still is. She has grown up and has more responsibilities than before though, so she seems to be on the cusp of becoming a proper diplomat. There are tiny hints of the romance between Will and Alyss and how it has developed so far, and the slowness is good. They aren’t jumping into things.
Becoming a Ranger in his own fief and then being sent on a special mission to another, Will shows that he has grown from boyhood to adulthood since the past book. He is more mature than before, but he is still quick to laugh. He also does occasionally wish to or does ask for help from people who know things better than him, and it’s good to know that he isn’t an all-knowing superhero now.
The book is a little bit slow and maybe not quite as full of action as the previous books. There is a lot of time spent on what seems to be nothings where Will plays at inns and other places to entertain common people. However, it is building up to something big and it is obvious that it is part of an arc with the sixth book of the series.
Other than the slight slowness, there is nothing bad to actually say about the book.
Definitely recommended as usual!