The period of time from where we left off from the previous story, Ranger’s Apprentice Book 6: The Siege of Macindaw, was regarding the character, Will and Halt. While Will is a character that is bright, curious, and energetic; Halt is quite the opposite. Both of them are a Ranger, who is like the secret police force of Araluen – the kingdom capital, and Halt is the senior Ranger. The previous story didn’t explain how Will graduated to a senior Ranger. Each full-fledged maintain a certain fief of the kingdom, and with that Halt will also miss Will’s presence which brought light to his life.
The main story, Ranger’s Apprentice: Erak’s Ransom, starts with Halt and a close companion of his, Lady Pauline, getting married due to the fact that Will will be graduating soon. Then somewhere far away from Araluen and the wedding planning, a leader of the sea pirates is getting restless dealing with the countless document of the loots stolen. Tired from his work, he set off on one journey to satisfy his need. Long story short, he gets captured and the captor sent the other sailors to find someone to help ransom the money for their captain. Svengal, a captain and Erak’s first mate when Erak was still the captain of Wolfwind, comes barging in the wedding and gathered the other protagonists of Araluan.
Now we can’t just make this a story of “paying the ransom and then Erak’s free”, but John Flanagan had something pulled up his sleeves. Nomads of a raiding force had come and took Erak from Selethan’s hand, who was the original captor. So now the heroes and Selethan, are on a hot pursuit of the mysterious nomads who took Erak under the blistering sun in the middle of the desert.
Even though the story seems all too serious, Flanagan tried to lift the mood – even if it is with bad puns – there are moments where it is heart-warming. Moments like when Halt worried about Will, and the bravery that these Rangers take to such extent.
Like all story series, this book is hard to understand unless you read the previous books first. Starting on this book right away may leave some reader confused of what is going on at some parts. However, it is still a good book filled with action and adventure. With Ranger’s Apprentice Book 7: Erak’s Ransom, the series are in safe hand from the confusion of the past story.