Reviews for Burning Bridge


Booklist Reviews 2006 May #2
Gr. 5-8. First published in Australia, the excellent Ranger's Apprentice series began with The Ruins of Gorlan (2005). Now apprentice ranger Will and his friend Horace, a Battleschool apprentice, plunge into a desperate situation. While traveling on the frontier as their kingdom prepares for war, they discover a nearly completed bridge that will make possible a devastating sneak attack by the enemy. With the help of a young woman in disguise, they attempt to thwart the enemy's plans. Flanagan's clarity of vision extends from the many distinctive, sympathetic characters to the well-delineated plot. Even when alternating narratives show events on several fronts at once, the story is never confusing. The pace is swift, and action is often at the forefront, but elements of humor and nuances of emotion are apparent as well. From spying to attack by bestial Wargals to medieval combat, Will's vivid world will entice fantasy readers who are drawn by the lure of high adventure carried out by believable, down-to-earth heroes. ((Reviewed May 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
In their war-threatened kingdom, Ranger apprentice Will discovers and foils an invasion plot, while Battleschool student Horace challenges their adversary, Morgarath, to single combat. Though the military strategy that forms much of the book--and its appeal--is naive and dampens credibility, younger fans of the series will be satisfied with the likable characters and their closely woven affections. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2006 May #1
More absorbing, straight-arrow adventures set in the medieval, alternate world kingdom of Araluen and featuring the three apprentices introduced in The Ruins of Gorlan (2005). As the brutish wargals of Morgorath, Lord of Rain and Night, gather for an invasion, deft young Will and his strapping friend Horace discover that Morgorath has planned a complex feint that, unless scotched, will spell doom for the armies of Araluen. The third apprentice, diplomat-in-training Alyss, is relegated to a subplot in this outing, but is sure to play larger roles in future episodes. Flanagan explains more than he needs to but propels the plot forward at a heady clip, stirring in live-wire characters who are still learning the finer points of their assigned professions but prove equal to each challenge they face. He also adds to the company a young fugitive who is far more than the lady's maid she claims to be, and closes with the requisite battle, a breathtaking single combat-and a dismaying lead-in to the next episode. It all adds up to a winning formula that should prove out to a long, steady run for this above average series. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Review 2006 August

Gr 5-9 In the second volume in this series, apprentice Ranger Will becomes involved once again in the war against the evil Morgarath. When he joins what should be a simple envoy mission, he and his companions realize that they are the only ones who know the extent of Morgarath's duplicity, and it's up to them to save the kingdom. Will and his friend Horace, along with noblewoman-in-disguise Evanlyn, make a dangerous journey and discover that Wargals, Morgarath's mindless warriors, are infiltrating their kingdom, and their brave actions at the burning bridge of the title lead to Will's and Evanlyn's capture and much room for sequels. Will's initial doubts and learning process add reality to his character, but his exploits never achieve true immediacy. Background characters are generally flat, though touches of humor add spice to the narrative. Flanagan creates a well-realized picture of life on the trail and its hardships, but his battles and their resolution seem almost too easy. Fans of the first volume will enjoy this adventure, but readers new to the series may not share their excitement.Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI

[Page 120]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2006 July
Much like its predecessor's jumpstart prologue, this sequel leaps into action as if there is no time to waste, picking right up where Ruins of Gorlan (Philomel, 2002/VOYA December 2005) left off. Halt and Will are tracking Wargals, war is pending, and Morgarath is gathering followers. Fans will recall that Wargals are bad, Morgarath is worse, and Halt and Will are sort of reconnaissance/messenger/foresters in a medieval-styled fantasy world on the brink of civil war. Will, having earned a silver oak leaf, is now entrusted with traveling as emissary to Celtica and gets mixed up in the middle of solving the mystery of why miners have gone missing. Is it part of Morgarath's evil plan New characters are introduced, each as delightfully complex as the last. Will, Horace, and Alyss mature, and Evanlyn, a rescued refugee is an interesting addition. Halt remains gruff and unintentionally humorous. Honing new skills such as knife combat and near misses with arrows make for exciting scenes. Details are carefully placed, and clues to the denouement are mentioned early. Politics and geography play noticeably larger roles in this book, resulting in a deeper and richer story: Military success hinges on the control of a specific narrow mountain pass. The book's title and fiery cover give away the climatic ending, and occasionally the plot's direction is too obvious, but a surprise twist will keep readers on pins and needles waiting for the next book. Purchase this one where book one was popular.-Beth Gallaway 4Q 3P M J Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.

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