Arazan's Wolves (Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger 6)

Arazan's Wolves (Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger 6)
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Release Date
September 05, 2023
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When Maddie and Will get a message that dire wolves—huge misshapen changelings, much larger than regular wolves—have been marauding and attacking through the hills and valleys of Celtica, the Rangers are sent on a mission to unravel just who or what is behind these dangerous creatures.

Will isn’t anxious to return to Celtica, especially approaching the Rift. And as they travel, Maddie must grapple with their growing dealings with the spiritual and supernatural. But they are Rangers—and they will do whatever it takes to accomplish their mission. After they receive some offers of help from locals, Will and Maddie learn the name of the sorceress behind these strange and dangerous attacks, Arazan, along with the location of her hideout.

On the way to take her down once and for all, the Rangers must face direwolves, wargals, dark magic, and more. And as Arazan’s desires lead her to the most evil of powers, Will and Maddie must form a plan of action that can outwit not just the sorceress but the darkest forces from the beyond.

Editor review

1 review
Facing unexpected challenges
(Updated: December 06, 2023)
Overall rating
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What worked:
Maddie is mentoring as a Ranger and she accompanies Will on a mission to investigate reports of a mythical creature. She also happens to be the daughter of royalty but that information is kept secret. Girls have never been allowed into the Rangers so it’s interesting to see the interactions Maddie has with the public. Most men and women are shocked to meet her although one woman thinks Maddie probably has better sense than most of the male Rangers. Maddie’s skill in using a sling to fire small pellets and stones is quite unique among the Corps. She’s still learning the nuances of being a Ranger from Will but she brings her own talents to the adventure.
This book revisits Celtica where Will and Halt battled Morgarath in the original Ranger’s Apprentice series. Morgarath used mind control to amass an army of Wargals which are the only beasts to strike fear in Will. There are rumors that an evil witch may be controlling a dozen Wargals herself so that creates some subtle tension in Maddie’s mentor. Other books in the author’s various series don’t include magic and the supernatural but Flanagan introduces some uncertainty in these areas. The Rangers are skeptical but Will admits 1% of unusual incidents can’t be explained by gullibility, misinformation, and trickery so that leaves a mathematical door open for the possibility of sorcery. It adds a new dimension to familiar plots and readers are left to use their imaginations.
The best part of the book is the whole world of the Ranger Corps. This book makes numerous references to previous books and events but they’re informative, not required knowledge for readers. The Rangers are primarily scouts, strategists, and keepers of the law in Araluen and their reputations stretch beyond the kingdom Their excellence with the longbow is legendary and Will is especially adept with the weapon. The Rangers’ uncanny talent to hide in plain sight makes some people believe they must have supernatural powers. Rangers have special bonds with their horses that go beyond human and animal. Will and Maddie take a moment to discuss this relationship at one point and readers suspicions will be confirmed. This book also reveals unspoken Ranger fears that they must learn to control and overcome.
What didn’t work as well:
The mystical element of this book is unusual for the author and doesn’t totally work for me. I enjoy how the Rangers seem to be supernatural but their skills and abilities can be explained by training and years of practice. The inclusion of incantations by characters and the Rangers' acceptance of them steps out of the norm. It’s not terrible and may not bother most readers but it will take getting used to for loyal fans.
The final verdict:
Fans of the author will enjoy revisiting Will and Maddie although the sorcery is a new twist. They once again return peace to fearful villagers but their opponents present new challenges. Overall, it’s a fun adventure and I recommend you give it a shot.
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