The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice Series #3)

The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice Series #3)

by John Flanagan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142410752
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/05/2008
Series: Ranger's Apprentice Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 9,424
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. John began writing Ranger’s Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series and its spinoff, Brotherband Chronicles. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.

Read an Excerpt


Halt stood motionless against the massive trunk of an oak tree as the bandits swarmed out of the forest to surround the carriage. He was in full view but nobody saw him. In part this was due to the fact that the robbers were totally intent on their prey, a wealthy merchant and his wife. For their part, they were equally distracted, staring with horror at the armed men who now surrounded their carriage in the clearing.

But in the main, it was due to the camouflage cloak that Halt wore, its cowl pulled up over his head to leave his face in shadow, and the fact that he stood absolutely stock-still. Like all Rangers, Halt knew the secret of merging into the background lay with the ability to remain unmoving, even when people seemed to be looking straight at him. Believe you are unseen, went the Ranger saying, and it will be so.

A burly figure, clad entirely in black, now emerged from the trees and approached the carriage. Halt’s eyes narrowed for a second, then he sighed silently. Another wild goose chase, he thought. The figure bore a slight resemblance to Foldar, the man Halt had been pursuing since the end of the war with Morgarath. Foldar had been Morgarath’s senior lieutenant. He had managed to escape capture when his leader died and his army of sub-human Wargals faded away.

But Foldar was no mindless beast. He was a thinking, planning human being—and a totally warped and evil one. The son of a noble Araluan family, he had murdered both his parents after an argument over a horse. He was barely a teenager at the time and he had escaped by fleeing into the Mountains of Rain and Night, where Morgarath recognised a kindred spirit and enlisted him. Now he was the sole surviving member of Morgarath’s band and King Duncan had made his capture and imprisonment a number one priority for the Kingdom’s armed forces.

The problem was, Foldar impersonators were springing up everywhere—usually in the form of everyday bandits like this one. They used the man’s name and savage reputation to strike fear into their victims, making it easier to rob them. And as each one sprang up, Halt and his colleagues had to waste time tracking them down. He felt a slow burning of anger at the time he was wasting on these minor nuisances. Halt had other matters to attend to. He had a promise to keep and fools like this were preventing him doing so.

The fake Foldar had stopped by the carriage now. The black cloak with its high collar was somewhat similar to the one Foldar wore. But Foldar was a dandy and his cloak was immaculate black velvet and satin, whereas this was simple wool, badly dyed and patched in several places, with a collar of crudely tanned black leather. The man’s bonnet was unkempt and badly creased as well, while the black swan’s feather that adorned it was bent in the middle, probably where some careless bandit had sat on it. Now the man spoke, and his attempt to imitate Foldar’s lisping, sarcastic tones was spoiled by his thick rural accent and clumsy grammar.

“Step down from the carriage, good sor and mad’m,” he said, sweeping a clumsy bow. “And fear not, good lady, the noble Foldar ne’er harms one as fair as thee art.” He attempted a sardonic, evil laugh. It came out more as a thin cackle.

The “good lady’ was anything but fair. She was middle aged, overweight and plain in the extreme. But that was no reason why she should be subjected to this sort of terror, Halt thought grimly. She held back, whimpering with fear at the sight of the black figure before her. “Foldar’ took a pace forward, his voice harsher, his tone more threatening. “Get down, missus!” he shouted. “Or I’ll hand you your husband’s ears!”

His right hand dropped to the hilt of a long dagger in his belt. The woman cried out and cowered further back into the carriage. Her husband, equally terrified and more than fond of his ears where they were, was trying to push her towards the carriage door. Enough, Halt thought. Satisfied that no one was looking in his direction, he nocked an arrow, drew and sighted in one economical motion, and released.

“Foldar’, real name Rupert Gubblestone, had a brief impression of something flashing past, just in front of his nose. Then there was an almighty jerk on the raised collar of his cloak and he found himself pinned against the carriage by a quivering black arrow that thudded into the wood. He gave a startled yelp, lost his balance and stumbled, saved from falling by his cloak, which now began to choke him where it fastened around his neck.

As the other bandits turned to see where the arrow had come from, Halt stepped away from the tree. Yet to the startled robbers, it seemed as if he had stepped out of the massive oak.

“King’s Ranger!” Halt called. “Drop your weapons.”

There were ten men, all armed. Not a single one thought to disobey the order. Knives, swords and cudgels clattered to the ground. They had just seen a first-hand example of a Ranger’s black magic: the grim figure had stepped clean out of the living trunk of an oak tree. Even now, the strange cloak that he wore seemed to shimmer uncertainly against the background, making it difficult to focus on him. And if sorcery weren’t enough to compel them, they could see a more practical reason—the massive longbow, with another black-shafted arrow already on the string.

“On the ground, belly down! All of you!” The words cut at them like a whip and they dropped to the ground. Halt pointed to one, a dirty-faced youth who couldn’t have been more than fifteen.

“Not you!” he said and the boy hesitated, on his hands and knees. “You take their belts and tie their hands behind them.”

The terrified boy nodded several times, then moved towards the first of his prone comrades. He stopped as Halt gave him a further warning.

“Tie them tight!” he said. “If I find one loose knot, I’ll . . .” He hesitated for a second, while he framed a suitable threat, then continued, “I’ll seal you up inside that oak tree over there.”

That should do it, he thought. He was aware of the effect that his unexplained appearance from the tree had on these uneducated country folk. It was a device he had used many times before. Now he saw the boy’s face whiten with fear under the dirt and knew the threat was effective. He turned his attention to Gubblestone, who was plucking feebly at the thong securing his cloak as it continued to choke him. He was already red in the face, his eyes bulging.

They bulged further as Halt unsheathed his heavy saxe knife.

“Oh, relax,” said Halt irritably. He slashed quickly through the cord and Gubblestone, suddenly released, fell awkwardly to the ground. He seemed content to stay there, out of the reach of that gleaming knife. Halt glanced up at the occupants of the carriage. The relief on their faces was all too obvious.

“I think you can be on your way if you like,” he said pleasantly. “These idiots won’t bother you any further.”

The merchant, remembering guiltily how he had tried to shove his wife out of the carriage, tried to cover his discomfort by blustering.

“They deserve hanging, Ranger! Hanging, I say! They have terrified my poor wife and threatened my very person!”

Halt eyed the man impassively until the outburst was finished.

“Worse than that,” he said quietly, “they’ve wasted my time.”

“The answer is no, Halt,” said Crowley. “Just as it was the last time you asked.”

He could see the anger in every line of Halt’s body as his old friend stood before him. Crowley hated what he had to do. But orders were orders and, as the Ranger Commandant, it was his job to enforce them. And Halt, like all Rangers, was bound to obey them.

“You don’t need me!” Halt burst out. “I’m wasting time hunting these imitation Foldars all over the Kingdom when I should be going after Will!”

“The King has made Foldar our number one priority,” Crowley reminded him. “Sooner or later, we’ll find the real one.” Halt made a dismissive gesture. “And you have forty-nine other Rangers to do the job!” he said. “For God’s sake, that should be enough.”

“King Duncan wants the other forty-nine. And he wants you. He trusts you and depends on you. You’re the best we have.”

“I’ve done my share,” Halt replied quietly and Crowley knew how much it hurt the other man to say those words. He also knew that his best reply would be silence—silence that would force Halt further into the sort of rationalisation that Crowley knew he hated. “The Kingdom owes that boy,” Halt said, with a little more certainty in his tone.

“The boy is a Ranger,” Crowley said coldly.

“An apprentice,” Halt corrected him and now Crowley stood, knocking his chair over with the violence of his movement.

“A Ranger apprentice assumes the same duties as a Ranger. We always have, Halt. For every Ranger, the rule is the same: Kingdom first. That’s our oath. You took it. I took it. And so did Will.”

There was an angry silence between the two men, made all the uglier by the years they had lived as friends and comrades. Halt, Crowley realised, was possibly his closest friend in the world. Now here they were, trading bitter words and angry arguments. He reached behind him and straightened the fallen chair, then made a gesture of peace to Halt.

“Look,” he said in a milder tone, “just help me clear up this Foldar business. Two months, maybe three, then you can go after Will, with my blessing.” Halt’s grizzled head was already shaking before he’d finished. “In two months he could be dead. Or sold on as a slave and lost forever. I need to go now while the trail is still warm. I promised him,” he added after a pause, his voice thick with misery.

“No,” said Crowley, with a note of finality. Hearing it, Halt squared his shoulders.

“Then I’ll see the King,” he said.

Crowley looked down at his desk.

“The King won’t see you,” he said flatly. He looked up and saw the surprise and betrayal in Halt’s eyes.

“He won’t see me? He refuses me?” For over twenty years, Halt had been one of the King’s closest confidants, with constant, unquestioned access to the royal chambers. “He knows what you’ll ask, Halt. He doesn’t want to refuse you, so he refuses to see you.”

Now the surprise and betrayal were gone from Halt’s eyes. In their place was anger.

Bitter anger.

“Then I’ll just have to change his mind,” he said quietly.


Excerpted from "The Icebound Land"
by .
Copyright © 2008 John Flanagan.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice Series #3) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 719 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!! YOU should read the book one and two
Devin McCabe More than 1 year ago
Great book suggest read 1 2 first and just read whole series you will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Rangers Apprentice the ice bound land is a slow paced book that sets up the next book in the series. Will is doing all he can to recover and help Evanlyn. They are still with the skandians. this is a very exiting book were Halt and Horace are racing against time to save Will and Evanlyn when it takes unexpected turn in Galitca which will lose valuable time to save. This a very good book because of the back and forth movement is the book. Sometimes you will find you will be with Will and Evanlyn. I liked the book John Flanagan used the snow covered mountains as the seeing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my new favorite series. They are fantastic books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read all of these books they are so good!!!! Even at age30 im enjoying these books
Tammy Strunk More than 1 year ago
I have read the whole seiries and this might be my favorite
Barry Miller More than 1 year ago
J. Flanagan has once again achieved perfection with his 3rd book of The Rangers Apprentice. I just started to read his book and I am already in love with them. This is a great series for all ages. It is filled to the brim with action, a little bit of romance, and adrenalin. From advanced readers (9-12) to teens (13+) to adults, this series will make you laugh, love, and even cry at and for he characters. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this is the best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a grate book in every possible way !!!!!!!!! :) : D
ZuZusPetals More than 1 year ago
My eleven-year-old son and I have been reading together at bedtime since he was a little boy. We are always glad to find a series of books that we can enjoy together. This series by John Flanagan has been among the best. The characters are well developed and complex and you cannot help but like Halt, Will,Evalin, and Horace. The humor is smart and quirky. I think it is a wonderful lesson for my son to see how people who originally did not like each other can develope a friendship and mutual respect for each other. I also think he is impressed with the admiration and loyalty they feel for each other. The look in my son's eyes when Will finally recovered from his addiction to warmweed could not have been happier if it had been one of his own school buddies. We had to start the next book in the series the very night we finished this book. Great stuff!
icedominater1 More than 1 year ago
Ranger's Apprentice Book 3 I am going to tell you about this spectacular book, Ranger's Apprentice. The reason it must be told is because I find it to be an exciting tale of action, mischief, and it has an intriguing story that I think is stimulating. This book starts out with two main characters, Will and Evalyn (Will is an apprentice ranger, someone who uses a bow to fight, and Evalyn is a maid), who in the last book, got captured by a band of fierce Scandinavians. These barbarians plan to take Will and Evalyn back to their home country and sell them off as slaves. But what they don't know is that Will's master Halt (Halt is also a ranger, but he is a senior ranger, not an apprentice) and his friend Horace (a knight) are traveling to save Will and Evalyn. Meanwhile, the Vikings and their slaves get caught in a huge storm with waves higher than the ship. "The ship began to claw its way up the face of the wave, rising higher and higher, moving more and more slowly until Will was sure they must begin the terrible backward sliding motion again. Then the crest of the wave broke and thundered over them." Pg. 4 By the time that it is over, they are forced to dock on this small island. At the same time, Halt and Horace are traveling through a country called Gallica, and all these strange knights want to challenge Horace, but always loose. Soon Horace's fame spreads and attracts some odd knights. On their way through the country, they get captured by an evil knight named Deparnieux (day-par-nyeu), where in a couple weeks a challenge will be issued between Deparnieux and Horace. "What a thoroughly piece of work you are Deparnieux," Horace said softly, and the black knight leaned forward across the table, thrusting his chin out for the ritual blow with a glove that would issue the challenge and make the entire event irrevocable. "Frightened boy?" He sneered, and then flinched as a glove slapped stingingly across his cheek. Not the pain made him flinch. Rather, it was the unexpectedness of it all. For the boy across the table hadn't moved. Instead the bearded, grizzled ranger had come to his feet with the speed and agility that left the warlord no time to react, and struck him across the face with the glove he had held under the table for the past few minutes. "Then I challenge you, Deparnieux," Halt said. And for a few seconds the warlord felt a surge of uncertainty as he saw the light of satisfaction deep behind those steady, unwavering eyes" pg. 226 and pg. 227. Meanwhile, back in the Vikings home town, called Hallasholm, Will was sold as a yard slave, and Evalyn as a house slave. That means that Will has to work in the cold snow 20 hours a day, and Evalyn has to work inside for 15 hours a day. The sad part is that Will, just to stay warm, needs this very addictive drug called worm weed. If he doesn't get the drug he is turned into a mindless animal that always craves the drug. Finally, the Viking leader Erak, that captured Will and Evalyn, feels some sympathy for Will who was once a great warrior. So as you can tell.wait I'm not supposed to tell you the end, but I can tell you that the day comes when the challenge against Deparnieux is issued. Instead of Horace (the knight) fighting him, Halt (the senior ranger) challenges Deparnieux. But sadly, you'll have to read the book to find out the end. Rating: 10 stars out of 10 I rated this book 10 stars, because it had everything. Action, a great story line, and
darkawesomeness64 More than 1 year ago
An amazing story with lots of twists and surprises that will make you never want to put the book down, starting off with Will and Evanlyn getting taken to Scandia this is one book you won't want to miss!
Sandra Jensen More than 1 year ago
Itbis awesome
steverc More than 1 year ago
A can't put down book.
cardinal79 More than 1 year ago
My 11-year old son read this book and thought it was great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish there waz at least a little romance between 'Will' & some girl it should be akinda girl who is stubborn, short temperd, likes to fight, real quick witted and is one of the 'Rangers' daughter oh & she should also b 15 & hav long thick black hair and she should be training her whole life to bcome a 'Ranger' other than that this is avery great series!!! Hope they make a tv series outta this series!!!!!! Any1 agree with me here??!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really ,really ,really great, because there is a really good ending and cliffhanger!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I mentioned bad things. There aren't many, but the worst is that in the second half of the book, nothing happened. Or almost nothing. The whole second half just had me longing for something to happen. Very sad in places too, but that just adds to the drama. Other than that, the book was great. The first half was action-packed and left me hungering for more. So all in all, read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoever doesnt like John Flanagans writing needs to look at the other books that are popular like the hungar games was super predictable and undiscriptive. Twilight was a bunch of fail werewolves and vampires...The only other popular book series that is good is diary of a wimpy kid because it is funny and you dont now what to expect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the best ive ever read!!! But be sure to read the first and second ones
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it is so very aweso
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a stunning, action-packed book!
Michael Reyes More than 1 year ago
I loved this book its a little boring in the middle but a great book