Reviews for Ranger's Apprentice: the Icebound Land
Booklist Reviews 2007 June #1
The third book in the Ranger's Apprentice series features a dual story, switching between the ranger's apprentice, Will, accompanied by princess Evanlyn, and the ranger, Halt, accompanied by Will's friend Horace, a young knight-in-training. After an unsuccessful attempt to escape from the ship where they are captives, Will and Evanlyn are taken to Skandia and put to work as slaves. Meanwhile, Halt and Horace ride to the rescue, or at least toward the rescue, only to be detained by a series of petty thieves and a nefarious knight. Although both strands of narrative feature journeys, each provides its own challenges for the characters and pleasures for readers. The Halt/Horace strand combines elements of knightly combat with a certain dry wit, and the Will/Evanlyn strand offers a good adventure story with a surprising twist. Throughout the novel, Flanagan's deft character portrayals and well-paced story will engage readers, and the ending will leave them clamoring for the next volume.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Apprentice ranger Will and princess-in-disguise Evanlyn endure slavery until escaping from the Viking-like Skandians. Ranger Halt and Battleschool apprentice Horace defeat a rogue knight en route to attempting a rescue. The incidental plot develops grist for future installments rather than coming to a resolution, but fans of the guileless characters and elemental combat strategies will enjoy the agreeable journey. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Apprentice ranger Will and princess-in-disguise Evanlyn endure slavery until escaping from the Viking-like Skandians. Ranger Halt and Battleschool apprentice Horace defeat a rogue knight en route to attempting a rescue. The incidental plot develops grist for future installments rather than coming to a resolution, but fans of the guileless characters and elemental combat strategies will enjoy the agreeable journey. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 May #2
A mild case of middle-volume-itis afflicts the third episode in this increasingly popular fantasy series, as Flanagan alternates short chapters to weave a double-stranded tale that advances the main story only an inch or two while filling out the page count with incidental adventures and repetitive explanations. In the odd-numbered chapters, Will and Evanlyn, enslaved by Skandian (Viking) captors in the previous volume, manage to escape into the snowy northern mountains, but only after Will acquires an addiction to warmweed, a brain-numbing narcotic. In the even-numbered ones, Will's Ranger mentor Halt and talented knight-in-training Horace set out through Gallica (France) on a rescue mission, and are themselves temporarily imprisoned by a cruel robber baron. The author hasn't expended much effort to develop original cultures or characters, but--repeated side comments and references to past events aside--his fluent writing, engaging protagonists and credibly choreographed fight scenes will keep readers involved. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 May #4
Will and Evanlyn, introduced in the first volume of John Flanagan`s Ranger's Apprentice series (which PW called "an exciting tale of battle and honor"), find themselves kidnapped and aboard a slave ship, having fought the evil Morgarath at the end of the last book. As Horace and Halt head towards Skandia to rescue their friends, they discover that many challenges stand in their way in Ranger's Apprentice: The Icebound Land, the series' third installment. (Philomel, $16.99 256p ages 10-up ISBN 9780-399-24456-8; June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2007 August
Gr 5-9-- This third installment in the series picks up where The Burning Bridge (Philomel, 2006) left off. Apprentice Ranger Will and Evanlyn (Princess Cassandra incognito) are being taken by ship to the snowy northern country of the Skandians, a Viking-like group of raiders who plan to sell them as slaves. Will's mentor Halt, frustrated at not being allowed to follow them, stages an incident to get himself thrown out of the Ranger corps so that he can mount a rescue mission. He is joined by Will's friend Horace, and the chapters alternate neatly between Will and Evanlyn's plight in Skandia and Halt and Horace's obstacle-ridden journey to find them. As in the previous titles, the action is well paced and the writing style is engaging. The main characters continue to be believable and to inspire readers' interest and sympathy. A particular strength of this series is that Will has never been the effortless hero. Though talented and intelligent, he makes mistakes and he often needs help from those around him--making him a very realistic and appealing protagonist. Fans of the series will not be disappointed in this latest installment and will be left eagerly anticipating the next one.--Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL [Page 114]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2007 August
The third volume of The Ranger's Apprentice series picks up exactly where The Burning Bridge (Philomel, 2006/VOYA August 2006) leaves off, with Will and Evanlyn captured by Skandians and heading toward slavery. Although Halt vowed to go after his charge, the King has forbidden him to do so, ordering him to hunt down the last remnants from Morgarath's evil army. Neither Will nor Halt are ones to simply resign themselves to fate, and before long, Will works out an escape and Halt is banished from Araluen. Meanwhile Evanlyn reveals her royal heritage to Will, placing them in even greater danger, as the Oberjarl of Skandia swears to eradicate the entire Araluen royal family Flanagan offers exactly what his fans have waited for-the continuing adventures of favorite characters. The chapters still alternate between Will and Halt's points of view and end on cliffhangers to keep the pages turning. Readers picking up the series for the first time will have no trouble figuring out what took place in previous volumes. The problem is that there is nothing new here. The characters do not seem to grow or change, and although the plot moves along at a brisk pace, nothing much seems to happen. Will is still in wilds of Skandia at the end of the book, and Halt is not even close behind. This series has the makings of being very long and drawn out, which probably will not bother the author's fans in the least.-Arlene Garcia 3Q 4P M J Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.