November 8, 2013
It’s been a while since I read a classic sword and sorcery fantasy novel, but I enjoyed this one a lot. In fact, it had no sorcery at all, which was kind of refreshing. It was a believable, well-grounded alternate medieval earth. In Flanagan’s world, young wards of the state have to choose professions, and Will is reluctantly recruited to become a ranger. The relationship between Will and his Battleschool rival is particularly well portrayed, and Will’s training as a ranger makes for great reading. The novel was a bit long on the explanations for my taste -- a lot of telling about the characters especially at the beginning when showing would have sufficed -- but that did not stop me from enjoying the book. On a purely technical note, this was one of the few books I’ve read that uses third-person omniscient point-of-view and actually pulls it off. We know what most of the characters are thinking all the time, and yet it doesn’t get confusing. I will definitely look for the rest of this series.