The Sorcerer in the North (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 5)
John A. Flanagan
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Will’s first adventure as a full-fledged Ranger!
Time has passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, led the Araluens to victory against invaders, and Will is now a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief to look after. The fief seems sleepy -- boring, even -- until the king is poisoned. Joined by his friend Alyss, Will is thrown headfirst into an extraordinary adventure propelled by fears of sorcery, and must determine who is trustworthy to the king and who is trying to take his throne.
Will and Alyss must battle growing hysteria, traitors, and most of all, time. The king is fading, but when Alyss is taken hostage, Will is forced to make a desperate choice between loyalty to his mission and loyalty to his friend.
Adventure abounds in this absorbing installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
stopped in surprise at the sight of a solitary figure on the road ahead of them. Not a knight or a warrior of any kind, he saw. It was a slightly built figure on a small shaggy horse. There was a longbow held almost casually across his thighs, but no sign of other weapons. No ax, no sword, no mace or club. His men straggled to a halt behind him, fanning out to either side of the path as they moved to see what was causing the delay. "A Ranger," said Ulf Oakbender, who pulled the bow oar on board
them are simple minstrels." "And you play that lute of yours quite well, Halt tells me," Crowley put in. Will looked at him, the confusion growing. "It's a mandola," he said. "It has eight strings, tuned in pairs. A lute has ten strings with some of them acting as drones ..." He tailed off. Then he felt a small glow of pleasure as he registered what Crowley had said. "Do you really think I play well enough?" he said to Halt. The older Ranger had always assumed a long-suffering expression
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
"Who dreamed up Lady Gwendolyn, by the way?" he asked her. Alyss shook her head. "Oh, she's real enough. A bit of an intellectual lightweight, but terribly loyal. When we found that she had arranged to travel here this month, she agreed to allow me to take her place. It was an ideal situation, really. She'd been invited to winter here by Lord Syron before all this business began. Orman could hardly go against his father's offer of hospitality. I spent days practicing her half-witted giggle, you
little man was making sense. He patted Tug's neck absentmindedly, then stepped up onto the narrow verandah to join Malcolm. "I'm sorry," he said. "It's driving me crazy knowing that she's still in there. Knowing I left her there." "As I understand it, you had no other choice," Malcolm said and Will sighed as he sat down. "That doesn't make it any easier to bear. I've been racking my brains trying to figure out where Buttle sprang from," he added. "He's the one you saw in the castle—just