I recently read the twelfth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series, The Royal Ranger. I read it because it was the next book in the series that I hadn’t read. It is by John Flanagan who has been nominated many times for the Young Reader Choice Awards. He has written the Ranger’s Apprentice series and the Brotherband series which are all in the same world.
The Royal Ranger is a book set in the near future of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.
It is about the Will Treaty, one of the most respected Rangers ever. He is mourning the death of his wife and has shut himself off from his closest friends, some of whom are the king and queen of the kingdom. Their daughter, Maddie, is a rebellious teen who sneaks off to hunt in the forest. They think this is dangerous for the future queen of the kingdom to be doing so they send her to Will’s cabin as a apprentice Ranger so that she can learn respect and how to work for something.
Maddie arrives at Will’s cabin thinking that this will be all fun and games because Will is an old friend. However Will immediately starts her working hard with chores. He then teaches her the Ranger weapons, two knives and a longbow. She begins to understand the work required to earn something. She gradually begins to get better and better at her weapons until Will decides to take her on a mission with him to take down kidnappers. This mission takes a more serious turn when Will finds out that the lead kidnapper is one of the last leaders of the gang that killed his wife.
He takes it personally to bring him in for justice. They pursue the gang who sends in the Storyteller, a man to frighten the children with horror stories so they are easier to kidnap. They find them at their main camp on the coastline where they wait for the ship that will take the children away into a life of slavery.
They rescue the kids by firing arrows into the camp and distracting them so that Maddie can lead them away. However the kidnappers find Will who was buying time for Maddie and the kids to get away. They decide to burn him just like his wife but their leader insists on taunting him over and over by pretending to light the pit where Will is tied up. Maddie returns after Will doesn’t meet with her where they agreed to. She kills three of the kidnappers and scares all of them away except for the leader who is determined to light Will on fire before dying.
The climax of the plot is when Will and Maddie go to rescue the kids. This scene is tense and very dangerous as this is the scene where everything comes together and if someone messes up everything could go wrong and they would both be killed. The narrative voice in this piece is first person. This allows the reader to understand what the character is feeling and why they acted how they acted. This is important in this book because throughout the book Maddie goes through big changes in her life and knowing how she felt lets us understand more about how she feels. The character development is huge in this story. Maddie starts off as a rebellious teen but in the end she understands that work is the only way to get anything in life and that she must work hard if she is to be a good queen one day.
One of the most important quotes in the book is when Will says that “Maddie might finally be learning what it is like to be an ordinary person.” This is important because it helps us understand what other main characters are thinking. It also helps us understand the character development that Maddie is going through. That is the main point of the story and the author including this helped us understand the journey that Maddie has gone through.
I would rate this book a 6/10 because this book was well written and had a good story but it seemed repetitive in the parts of Maddie’s development. I think the author should have included more about the individual adventures instead of just the changing that Maddie went through. I would recommend this series to someone but not the individual book itself.