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The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice Series #5)
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The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice Series #5)

4.7 657
by John Flanagan

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Several years have passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, first met, and 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


Several years have passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, first met, and 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.

Editorial Reviews

At first, Will's first tour of duty as a full-fledged Ranger seems routine, almost boring, but that changes abruptly when the king is poisoned. Without warning, the young warrior finds himself enmeshed into desperate situations never described in any training manual. Book Five of John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice space opera is a corker!
VOYA - Arlene Garcia-Allen
Years have passed since Will's adventures in Skandia-he is now a full-fledged Ranger on his first assignment. Thinking he is stuck in the isolated Fief of Seacliffe, Will is surprised to be called away by his old mentor, Halt, for a secret mission. Rumors of genuine sorcery, not simple mind control or mass hysteria, are plaguing Castle Macindaw and upsetting the succession of the barony in the north. The Rangers need Will's special skills to investigate. Disguised as a traveling musician, Will embarks on another quest that not only might cost him his life but also the lives of those about whom he cares. As always, Flanagan is to be complimented for creating a fantasy world that relies on character and action rather than magic, but fans may have difficulty getting into this fifth Ranger's Apprentice novel. The first chapters' exposition tells rather than shows what Will has done during the years between the Battle for Skandia and the present. Familiar characters are sadly absent for the first part of the book, although Halt makes his appearance midway through. The Princess Cassandra is mentioned only in passing, and Alyss, a diplomat, is introduced as Will's new romantic interest. Readers have to assume the relationship between them, as so much happened "off stage" that it is difficult to warm to her character. As the novel progresses and the action picks up, however, it becomes a satisfying, albeit not the best, addition to this popular series. Reviewer: Arlene Garcia-Allen
From the Publisher
The last few years have seen the publication of many fantasies, but few have the appeal of this original story. -Booklist, starred review, for The Ruins of Gorlan

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Ranger's Apprentice Series
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
850L (what's this?)
File size:
534 KB
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON THEY REACHED THE SEA AND WILL knew he was near the end of his journey. Castle Seacliff was set on a large, leaf-shaped island, separated from the mainland by a hundred meters of deep water. At low tide a narrow causeway allowed access to the island, but at high tide, as it was now, a ferry provided transport across. The difficult access had helped keep Seacliff secure for many years and was one of the reasons why the fief had become something of a backwater. In earlier times, of course, the raiding Skandians in their wolfships had made things quite lively. But it had been some years now since the sea wolves from the north had raided the coast of Araluen.
The island was perhaps twelve kilometers in length and eight across, and Will could not yet see the castle itself. He assumed it would be set somewhere in the high ground toward the middle—that was basic strategic thinking. For the moment, however, it was hidden from sight.
Will had debated stopping for a meal at noon, but now, so close to the end of his journey, he decided to press on. There would be an inn of some kind in the village that would huddle close to the castle walls. Or he might find a meal in the castle kitchens. He tugged the lead rein to bring the packhorse alongside and leaned over to inspect the wounded dog. Her eyes were closed and her nose rested on her front paws. He could see the black sides moving in and out as she breathed. There was a little more blood around the lips of the wound but the main flow had been stanched. Satisfied that she was comfortable, Will touched a heel to Tug’s side and they moved on down to the ferry, a large, flat-bottomed punt that was drawn up on the beach.
The operator, a heavily muscled man of about forty, was sprawled on the deck of his craft, sleeping in the warm autumn sunshine. He awoke, however, as some sixth sense registered the slight jingle of harness from the two horses. He sat up, rubbed his eyes, then came quickly to his feet.
“I need to get across to the island,” Will told him, and the man saluted clumsily.
“Yes indeed, sir. Of course. At your service, Ranger.”
There was a hint of nervousness in his voice. Will sighed inwardly. He was still unused to the thought that people were wary of Rangers—even one as fresh-faced as he was. He was a naturally friendly young man and he often longed for easy companionship with other people. But that was not the Rangers’ way. It served their purpose to remain aloof from ordinary people. There was an air of mystery about the Ranger Corps. Their legendary skill with their weapons, their ability to move about unseen and the secretive nature of their organization all added to their mystique.
The boatman heaved on the thick cable that ran from the mainland to the island, passing through large pulleys set at either end of the punt. The punt, afloat at one end, moved easily from the beach until it rested wholly in the water. Will guessed that the pulley arrangements gave the operator a mechanical advantage that allowed him to move the large craft so easily.
There was a tariff board nailed to the railing and the operator saw him study it.
“No charge for a Ranger, sir. Free passage for you.”
Will shook his head. Halt had impressed on him the need to pay his way. Be beholden to no one, he had said. Make sure you owe nobody any favors.
He calculated quickly. Half a royal per person, and the same for each horse. Plus four pennigs for other animals. Close enough to two royals all told. He swung down from the saddle, took a gold three-royal piece from his purse and handed it to the man.
“I’ll pay,” he said. “Two royals is close enough.” The man looked at the coin, then looked at the rider and the two horses, puzzled. Will jerked his head toward the packhorse.
“There’s another animal on the packhorse,” he explained. The ferry operator nodded, and handed him a silver one-royal piece in change.
“Right enough, sir,” he said. He glanced curiously at the packhorse as Will led it onto the punt, taking in the dog in its snug retreat.
“Good-looking dog, that ’un,” he said. “He’s yours, is he?”
“I found her injured by the road,” Will said. “Someone had cut her with a blade of some sort and left her to die.”
The boatman rubbed his stubbly chin thoughtfully. “John Buttle has a shepherd like that one. And he’d be the kind to injure a dog and leave it that way. Has a nasty temper, John does, particularly when he’s in his drink.”
“And what does this John Buttle do?” Will asked.
The boatman shrugged. “He’s a herder by trade. But he does most things. Some say he does his real work at nights along the roads, looking for travelers who are about after dark. But no one’s proved it. He’s a might too handy with that spear of his for my liking. He’s a good man to stay away from.”
Will glanced at the packhorse again, thinking of the cruel gash in the dog’s side.
“If Buttle’s the one who hurt that dog, he’ll do well to stay away from me,” he said coldly.
The boatman studied him for a moment. The face was young and well-featured. But there was a hard light in the eyes, he saw. He realized that with Rangers, it never did to assume too much. This pleasant-looking lad wouldn’t be wearing the Ranger gray and green if he didn’t have steel in him. Rangers were deceptive folk and that was a fact. There were even some who held that they were skilled in the black arts of magic and sorcery and the boatman wasn’t altogether sure that those people didn’t have the right of it. Surreptitiously making a sign to ward off evil, he moved to the front of the punt, glad for an excuse to break off the conversation.
“Best be getting us across then,” he said. Will sensed the change in atmosphere. He glanced at Tug and raised his eyebrows. The horse didn’t deign to notice.
As the boatman heaved again on the thick hawser, the punt slid across the water toward the island, small waves burbling under the blunt prow and slapping against the low timber sides. Will noticed that the ferry operator’s home, a small planked hut with a thatched roof, was on the island side—presumably as a security measure. The prow of the ferry soon grated into the island’s coarse sand, the current slewing it sideways a little as the forward progress stopped. The operator unhitched the single rope rail across the front and gestured for Will to disembark. Will swung up astride Tug and the horses’ hooves clopped on the planks as they stepped carefully forward.
“Thank you,” he said as Tug stepped off onto the beach. The ferry operator saluted again.
“At your service, Ranger,” he said. He watched the slim, erect figure as he rode into the trees and was lost from sight.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
The last few years have seen the publication of many fantasies, but few have the appeal of this original story. -Booklist, starred review, for The Ruins of Gorlan

Meet 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.

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The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice Series #5) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 657 reviews.
Aki More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding adventure tale and very well written. Okay I will admit it. I am an adult who read this book. Believe when I say I as old as I am, I got caught up in this story. The story is about a man named Halt who chooses an apprentice named Will. They soon learn to respect each other. Halt is a Ranger who teaches Will how to shot a longbow, use knives to throw, make himself invisible to others so he can hear what is going on in the kingdom. Halt's teaches Will not only survival skills, but how to relate to a bully who has pestered Will in school. Will learns many of life's lessons from Halt who has plenty of experience as a Ranger. Naturally there is an evil man who wants to take over the kingdom. Also there some creatures who will cause trouble for the Ranger and his apprentice. Halt can easily relate to Will's feelings and is an understanding man. There is plenty of action, adventure, wit, and character charm in this book. I would highly recomment it for any school library. It is an excellent teaching tool for a child who does not like to read. The story moves fast, the characters are people you care about, and the dialogue is excellent. Higly recomment for the young reader and older reader too.
imcgregor More than 1 year ago
The Sorcerer in the North was a great book in the adventurous series The Ranger's Apprentice. John Flanagan has done a wonderful job on this book as well as the others. As an Australian author his books have done very well even in the Untied States. The fifth book of his series is extremely action packed and always keeps you guessing what will happen next. Will has just become a ranger after years of training. His first assignment tests his limits as he is sent to investigate strange happenings in the northern part of his country, Araluen. Rumors of a sorcerer have spread and are causing trouble to the people. This wonderful author uses foreshadowing amazingly, but at the same time keeps you guessing what is going to happen next. This book kept me entertained the entire way through and I couldn't help but to keep reading to find out what happens on the next page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It speeds forward in time, skipping over the rest of Will's training, mentioning his past in 1 chapter. You don't hear of Alyss since The Burning Bridge, and she suddenly pops up as Will's romantic interest. Princess Cassandra is hardly mentioned, like a wisp of smoke in the sky, and I've noticed that some of Will's friends(George and Jenny) vanish from the story in The Burning Bridge. However, I think that The Sorcerer of the North is well written, and plenty of people will like it if they read the books in order. I read this book, and I would recommend this book to people ages 3-103.
devinm7 More than 1 year ago
Engageing reads, very thrilling and just the right size. I can sit down and read for 5 to six hours over the course of the day and be finished. No drawn out fillers. Great series. I recommend this book to anybody and everybody i know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the better books I've read. If you like this book i definetly recomend The Hungergames by Suzane Collins
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
This is one of the best books Ihave ever read. The whole series is awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put the book down! It was just an awesome read. The more you get into the book, the more suspenseful it gets, making it hard to put it down. You'll find yourself reading the next book in no time, especially with the cliffhanger ending...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Ranger's Apprentice series are great. I could not put them down.
writingenius21 More than 1 year ago
John Flanagan is a writing genius! His Ranger's Apprenitice books are some of the greatest storys I've ever read. His charecter portrayal and plot building is that of a master and his writing style is fluid and easy to read, which grabs you into the story. The only thing is, your going to want to read the next book as soon as possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And I love them! I think john flanagan should write a series about halt... and I think someone should make movies from the ranger books the brother band series would make good movies too. But for them to be good who ever makes them has to stay close to the books...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book in the series so far i cant wait till i get numbr 6
psychedforreading More than 1 year ago
It's a good book. It's my least favorite in the series, but it's needed to introduce the next book in the serise which I love. Its still a good book though. I recommend the rest of the series and Warriors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive been reading it and its reallgoood. Cant wait to finish it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Book Review Book title and author: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Sorcerer of The North by John Flanagan Title of review: Sorcerer of The North Review Number of stars (1 to 5): 4.5 stars Introduction The theme of this book is just because it is new doesn’t mean that it is bad. John wrote a very exciting book. Description and summary of content In this book Will, a new ranger, mysterious figures that most think sorcerers themselves, is sent to solve a case of sorcery. When he gets to the place he discovers a plot bigger than anyone imagined. Evaluation I loved this book and thought that is was well written and very clever. There was action at every turn. There are many twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Conclusion In conclusion I think that this book is very well written and I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wanted excitement and action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books i have ever read!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book one of the best in the series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great book that hass a lot of detail and adventure and action. You will love this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does will become a full ranger in this book or the one before this?