Author: John Flanagan
Genre: Middle Grade/YA Fantasy
Length: 249 Pages
Release: June 2006
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I've been thinking about reading this book for a long time. It's one of those that would constantly pop up as a recommendation online or that I would pass on the shelves in the library, but I never picked it up. I'm really glad I finally did.
The story is kind of slow in some points, but it's a really fun fantasy read for younger audiences. I think I would have absolutely loved this book about ten years ago. I still really enjoy it, but then it would have been a definite favorite. I love these fantasy stories.
The world building for this was simply but well done. The society that Will (the apprentice) is growing up in is well described. At fifteen all of the inhabitants of his city either become an apprentice to a task master or become farm hands. Will is an orphan, so the likelihood of becoming a farm hand is more likely because he doesn't have a family connection to get him into one of the crafts.
Each craft has a craft master and I really enjoyed getting to see a few of them, if only briefly. There is definitely room for development in this area as the series progresses and I'm sure that many of them get more attention.
One of my favorite things about this novel was Halt, the Ranger, and his relationship with Will. It was really nice to see how much he appreciated and cared for Will even though he was a closed off sort of person. The development of this relationship was really well done. I also really liked the rest of the relationships we got to see develop throughout the book.
This was a really fun book and I'm looking forward to continuing with the rest of the series at some point in the future.