Brittany's Reviews > The Icebound Land

The Icebound Land by John Flanagan
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Jun 16, 11

Recommended for: Fans of YA epic fantasy, fans of Eragon
Read from June 12 to 14, 2011 — I own a copy

Third in the Ranger's Apprentice series, this book didn't let me down. In many ways, I believe fantasy books are becoming more and more stuffy, overly long, and are losing some of the enjoyability I found in them at a younger age. That is not the case with Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice books. The stories are quickly paced, the writing quick and easy to read while still being well done and moderately intelligent, and the characters are slightly stereotypical and yet still fun.

It seems to me that so much good fantasy doesn't just aim to entertain but also to educate. Many fantasy books teach young readers morals by putting their characters in difficult situations with overarching evils and the odds stacked against them. I find that, for me, this is one of the charms of fantasy and of being a young reader. In this book I believe we get to see a lot of that grey area between good and evil, acceptability and forgiveness. From the very start of the story we see difficult decisions being made by morally sturdy people. It's just a simple reminder that these things come up in the lives of every person, no matter how intrinsically good they try to be.

The thing that shocked me most about this book was Will's warmweed addiction. It happened so fast, and was something I would never have expected from him. Granted, we miss the grey area between his first dose and total addiction, but nevertheless it hurt to see someone you're attached to fall so far. Furthermore, that Evanlyn had all but ignored him since she arrived. Where was she the first few weeks of their slave stint? Busy? Couldn't make time to try to see and reassure Will? Perhaps give him the hope he would need? Her attitude overall was unimpressive at first, but I think she grew up a lot when she had to care for Will and deal with his addiction and the necessity of survival. I love to see a character grow, and she certainly did.

Overall, this book was a bit heartbreaking, but a quick read with a good story and a great exploration for younger readers in the grey area between right and wrong.
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Reading Progress

06/15/2011 "finished but have to find time to review it."

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