The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice Series #4)

The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice Series #4)

by John Flanagan


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, April 1


The international bestselling series with over 5 million copies sold in the U.S. alone!

Still far from home after escaping slavery in the icebound land of Skandia, young Will and Evanlyn's plans to return to Araluen are spoiled when Evanlyn is taken captive. Though still weak, Will employs his Ranger training to locate his friend but soon finds himself fatally outnumbered. Will is certain death is close at hand, until Halt and Horace make a daring last-minute rescue. But their reunion is cut short by the horrifying discovery that Skandia's borders have been breached by the Temujai army - and Araluen is next in their sights. Only an unlikely union can save the two kingdoms, but can it hold long enough to vanquish a ruthless new enemy?

Perfect for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone, Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series, and George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142413401
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 01/08/2009
Series: Ranger's Apprentice Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 10,605
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

IT WAS A CONSTANT TAPPING SOUND THAT ROUSED WILL FROM his deep, untroubled sleep. He had no clear idea at what point he first became aware of it. It seemed to slide unobtrusively into his sleeping mind, magnified and amplified inside his subcon-scious, until it crossed over into the conscious world and he realized he was awake, and wondering what it might be.

Tap-tap-tap-tap . . . It was still there, but not as loud now that he was awake and aware of other sounds in the small cabin.

From the corner, behind a small curtain of sacking that gave her a modicum of privacy, he could hear Evanlyn’s even breathing. Obviously, the tapping hadn’t woken her. There was a muted crackle from the heaped coals in the fireplace at the end of the room and, as he became more fully awake, he heard them settle with a slight rustling sound.

Tap-tap-tap . . .

It seemed to come from nearby. He stretched and yawned, sitting up on the rough couch he’d fashioned from wood and canvas. He shook his head to clear it and, for a moment, the sound was obscured. Then it was back once more and he realized it was coming from outside the window. The oiled cloth panes were translucent—they would admit the gray light of the pre-dawn, but he couldn’t see anything more than a blur through them. Will knelt on the couch and unlatched the frame, pushing it up and craning his head through the opening to study the small porch of the cabin.

A gust of chill entered the room and he heard Evanlyn stir as it eddied around, causing the sacking curtain to billow inward and the embers in the fireplace to glow more fiercely, until a small tongue of yellow flame was released from them.

Somewhere in the trees, a bird was greeting the first light of a new day, and the tapping sound was obscured once more.

Then he had it. It was water, dripping from the end of a long icicle that depended from the porch roof and falling onto an upturned bucket that had been left on the edge of the porch.

Tap-tap-tap . . . tap-tap-tap.

Will frowned to himself. There was something signifi-cant in this, he knew, but his mind, still fuddled with sleep, couldn’t quite grasp what it was. He stood, still stretching, and shivered slightly as he left the last warmth of his blanket and made his way to the door.

Hoping not to wake Evanlyn, he eased the latch upward and slowly opened the door, holding it up so that the sagging leather hinges wouldn’t allow the bottom edge to scrape the floor of the cabin.

Closing the door behind him, he stepped out onto the rough boards of the porch, feeling them strike icy cold against his bare feet. He moved to the spot where the water dripped endlessly onto the bucket, realizing as he went that other icicles hanging from the roof were also dripping water. He hadn’t seen this before. He was sure they usually didn’t do this.

He glanced out at the trees, where the first rays of the sun were beginning to filter through.

In the forest, there was a slithering thump as a load of snow finally slid clear of the pine branches that had supported it for months and fell in a heap to the ground below.

And it was then that Will realized the significance of the endless tap-tap-tap that had woken him.

Behind him, he heard the door creak and he turned to see Evanlyn, her hair wildly tousled, her blanket wrapped tight around her against the cold.

“What is it?” she asked him. “Is something wrong?”

He hesitated a second, glancing at the growing puddle of water beside the bucket.

“It’s the thaw,” he said finally.

After their meager breakfast, Will and Evanlyn sat in the early morning sun as it streamed across the porch. Neither of them had wanted to discuss the significance of Will’s earlier discovery, although they had since found more signs of the thaw.

Small patches of soaked brown grass were showing through the snow cover on the ground surround-ing the cabin, and the sound of wet snow sliding from the trees to hit the ground was becoming increasingly common.

The snow was still thick on the ground and in the trees, of course. But the signs were there that the thaw had begun and that, inexorably, it would continue.

“I suppose we’ll have to think about moving on,” Will said, finally voicing the thought that had been in both their minds.

“You’re not strong enough yet,” Evanlyn told him. It had been barely three weeks since he had thrown off the mind-numbing effects of the warmweed given to him as a yard slave in Ragnak’s Lodge. Will had been weakened by inadequate food and clothing and a regimen of punishing physical work before they had made their escape. Since then, their meager diet in the cabin had been enough to sustain life, but not to restore his strength or endurance. They had lived on the cornmeal and flour that had been stored in the cabin, along with a small stock of vegetables and the stringy meat from whatever game Evanlyn and he had been able to snare.

There was little enough of that in winter, and what game they had managed to catch had been in poor condi-tion itself, providing little in the way of nourishment.

Will shrugged. “I’ll manage,” he said simply. “I’ll have to.”

And that, of course, was the heart of the problem. They both knew that once the snow in the high passes had melted, hunters would again begin to visit the high country where they found themselves. Already, Evanlyn had seen one such—the mysterious rider in the forest on the day when Will’s senses had returned to him. Fortunately, since that day, there had been no further sign of him. But it was a warning. Others would come, and before they did, Will and Evanlyn would have to be long gone, heading down the far side of the mountain passes and across the border into Teutlandt.

Evanlyn shook her head doubtfully. For a moment, she said nothing. Then she realized that Will was right. Once the thaw was well and truly under way, they would have to leave whether she felt he was strong enough to travel or not.

“Anyway,” she said at last, “we have a few weeks yet. The thaw’s only just started, and who knows? We may even get another cold snap.”

It was possible, she thought. Perhaps not probable, but at least it was possible. Will nodded agreement.

“There’s always that,” he said.

The silence fell over them once more like a blanket. Abruptly, Evanlyn stood, dusting off her breeches. “I’ll go and check the snares,” she said, and when Will began to rise to accompany her, she stopped him.

“You stay here,” she said gently. “From now on, you’re going to have to conserve your strength as much as possible.”

Will hesitated, then nodded. He recognized that she was right.

She collected the hessian sack they used as a game bag and slung it over her shoulder. Then, with a small smile in his direction, the girl headed off into the trees.

Feeling useless and dispirited, Will slowly began to gather up the wooden platters they had used for their meal. All he was good for, he thought bitterly, was washing up.

The snare line had moved farther and farther from the cabin over the past three weeks. As small animals, rabbits, squirrels and the occasional snow hare had fallen prey to the snares that Will had built, the other animals in that area had become wary. As a consequence, they had been compelled to move the snares into new locations every few days—each one a little farther away from the cabin than the one before.

Evanlyn estimated that she had a good forty minutes’ walking on the narrow uphill track before she would reach the first snare. Of course, if she’d been able to move straight to it, the walk would have been considerably shorter. But the track wound and wandered through the trees, more than doubling the distance she had to cover.

The signs of the thaw were all around her, now that she was aware of it. The snow no longer squeaked dryly underfoot as she walked. It was heavier, wetter and her steps sank deeply into it. The leather of her boots was already soaked from contact with the melting snow. The last time she had walked this way, she reflected, the snow had simply coated her boots as a fine, dry powder.

She also began to notice more activity among the wildlife in the area. Birds flitted through the trees in greater numbers than she’d previously seen, and she startled a rabbit on the track, sending it scurrying back into the protection of a snow-covered thicket of blackberries.

At least, she thought, all this extra activity might increase the chances of finding some worthwhile game in the snares.

Evanlyn saw the discreet sign that Will had cut into the bark of a pine and turned off the track to find the spot where she and Will had laid the first of the snares. She recalled how gratefully she had greeted his recovery from the warmweed drug. Her own survival skills were negligible and Will had provided welcome expertise in devising and setting snares to supplement their diet. It was all part of his Ranger training under Halt, he had told her.

She remembered how, when he had mentioned the older Ranger’s name, his eyes had misted for a few moments and his voice had choked slightly. Not for the first time, the two young people had felt very, very far from home.

As she pushed her way through the snow-laden bushes, becoming wetter and wetter in the process, she felt a surge of pleasure. The first snare in the line held the body of a small ground-foraging bird. They had caught a few of these previously and the bird’s flesh made excellent eating. About the size of a small chicken, it had carelessly poked its neck through the wire noose of the snare, then become entangled. Evanlyn smiled grimly as she thought how once she might have objected to the cruelty of the bird’s death. Now, all she felt was a sense of satisfaction as she realized that they would eat well today.

Amazing how an empty belly could change your perspective, she thought, removing the noose from the bird’s neck and stuffing the small carcass in her makeshift game bag. She reset the snare, sprinkling a few seeds of corn on the ground beyond it, then rose to her feet, frowning in annoyance as she realized that the melting snow had left two wet patches on her knees as she’d crouched.

Evanlyn sensed, rather than heard, the movement in the trees behind her and began to turn.

Before she could move, she felt an iron grip around her throat, and as she gasped in fright, a fur-gloved hand, smelling vilely of smoke, sweat and dirt, clapped over her mouth and nose, cutting off her cry for help.


Excerpted from "The Battle for Skandia"
by .
Copyright © 2009 John Flanagan.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice Series #4) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 746 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was an amazing way of Flanagan to bring all tje characters into one daring rescue. This book is an epic battle that will take you to your own world! A colision of raders and defenders mix to one team to defeat the riders from the east. The princess of Arulen risks her life for the city of Halasholm, Skandia. Let the series continue! It took me to my own little world, battle, and character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book i really got a good picture of every thing that was going on. I loved the imagination and visulisation in this book. Think the author did an awsome job
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book 3 had less action and more on the emotional side. It was a turning point for Will when he and Evanlyn were captured and taken as slaves. Book 4 is action-packed and had humorous moments just like the first two books. This series is addicting. I'm getting ready to start book 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Halt adds alot of humor will is starting to be serious its like halt has lost his seriousness and gained will's funnyness 5 STAR
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very nice follow up to the previous book and as far as I am concerned the best book of the series so far. Many of the characters were given more depth and the plot has just the right amount of twists and turns. Not a book that is easy to put down!
Sofia Mato 7 months ago
it is realy good read it in order though
M. Csoros 7 months ago
I have read this so many times and it is still my favourite one. Action packed from start to finish.
Anonymous 9 months ago
There is just enough tension, action and developing facets of the charaters to keep my students wanting to read more of the story. So glad I discovered this series. not just for them because I can't wait to start the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The books in his series never disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was amazing!!!!
9as01bev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book is great. I lke it because it's an action/combat book. I like action/ combat book. It is a ar book
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book a lot - with the fierce battles, the teeming, almost romantic relationship between Evanlyn and Will, and I got a little teary-eyed at the end. There's nothing like a well written novel to keep you wanting more.
9cp02bev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this is a very good book so far and i know that it is an AR book because my friend read it and did the test
runreadrepeat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good continuation of an interesting an entertaining story. Perfect for younger teen/ tween boys.
TigerLMS on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Will, recovering from his wormweed addiction he aquired as a slave in Skandia, tries to catch up to Evanlyn after she is captured by a roaming band of invading Temujai warriors just before she and Will were set to leave Skandia for home. Halt and Horace arrive just in time to meet up with the other two, and form an alliance with Erak, the once-captor who helped Will and Evanlyn escape slavery in Skandia. Like its predecessors, this is a fast-paced book full of action and suspense that will make readers anxious for more.
Nikkles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anther great Ranger's Apprentice book. I find I get more and more attached to the characters as I read, which is of course good. The action is great as well, which makes it a great choice for young adults and adults a like.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Halt and Horace catch up with Will and Evelyn in time to rescue them from the Temujai who have captured them. They then realize that the Temjuai are going to sweep through Skandia, take the boats, and sail up the coast to Araluen eventually. Halt and Will come up with a plan to possibly help the Skandians survive the battle against the Temujai, but will Ragnak be willing to accept such an unlikely union between two sworn enemies? This is a well crafted story, and those who love battle scenes will not be disappointed because this is a nail-biter! I love the series - there's nothing else I can say.
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After escaping Skandian slavery, Will and Evanlyn have been hiding in a cabin in the mountains when they are captured by Temujai scouts. Halt and Horace arrive in Skandia and discover the border post of Skandians has been completely destroyed. They follow tracks and find Will and Evanlyn, and take out the Temujai scouts, but Halt comes to realize that the Temujai are actually plotting a massive invasion. Halt must join forces with the Skandians in order to repel the mighty invaders and prevent a future attack on Araluen. In the middle of all this there is still the question of Evanlyn's secret -- if Ragnak, the Oberjarl ruler of Skandia discovers that she is really the daughter of his sworn enemy, King Duncan of Araluen, he will kill her immediately in revenge for the death of his own son. Lots of battle action and strategy, and the development of the Skandian characters that were introduced in The Icebound Land. Definitely read this series in order! Grade 6 and up.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth book in the Ranger's Apprentice series; there are twelve books planned in this series with the tenth book, The Emperor of Nihon-Jam, released in April of 2011. This was a good book in the series and continues the story line that was started in book 2, The Burning Bridge.Will and Evelyn are recovering in the cabin in the woods when things take a turn for the worse. Evelyn is abducted by a third party no one even knew was in Skandia. Will tries to save her and runs into Halt and Horace. The whole group tries to figure out what this third party is doing in Skandia, then Erak arrives and is drawn into the action. What results could be a battle that determines the future of Skadia and its neighboring countries.This book was basically the conclusion to the story arc that started in The Burning Bridge. It ends well, finally no cliffhangers. All of our favorite characters are in this story for the majority of it: Evelyn, Will, Horace, Halt and Erak. They are all likable and the story is engaging. This is a very solid fantasy book. This book deals more with war and strategy than previous books have. All of our young heroes have to take on more responsibility and come up with ideas to help save Skandia; it was great to see our heroes shoulder these responsibilities with grace. Having Halt in the book for the majority of the story was great, he is my favorite character of the bunch.The plot was again fairly predictable and a bit contrived. The way things work out and all the characters meet up is incredibly unlikely and made me roll my eyes a bit. The plot works out pretty much how you think it will at the beginning on the book. Basically this is another solid fantasy story, but not incredibly creative.Overall a very well done addition to this series. Wraps up the story arc that started in The Burning Bridge nicely. Our characters see a lot of growth and take on responsibility and Halt is in the story a lot, so that is awesome! The characters are likable, the story engaging. If you have liked previous books you will like this one too. I am still finding these to be a little too predictable and not as creative as I would like. Still they are quick, fun reads. I plan on continuing to read the series for now. If you like this series I would recommend The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens and A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull.
skyler.sims on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Will and Evelyne have escaped the slave camp and are hiding in a small house. Horace and Halt have noticed the border guards of Skandia have been killed. The group rejoins and get captured by Skandians. They relize that the evil Temunji a western enemy plan to take over Skandia than the rest other countrys. The team plans to unite with the Skandians and lead them into battle. After an emence battle the Temunji warriors fall. The group then returnes to Arulean. Halts banishment is cancelled and they sign a peace treaty with the Skandians.This was a good book and a great plot. The action was great the main battle was amazing. The best battle of the series was at the end. The build up of events was great and the end result a major battle. The book had a great end that was left open for the rest of the series. I give this book 5 stars for the great action. I hope you read it. For this is a great book.
lilibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Halt has located Evenlynn and Will in Skandia, but finds their return to Araluenn blocked by an invasion by a warlike tribe. Suddenly they are allied with the Skandians to thwart the shared threat.