colleen the fabulous fabulaphile's Reviews > The Lost Stories

The Lost Stories by John Flanagan
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's review
Apr 26, 2013

really liked it
bookshelves: action-adventure, middle-grade, fantasy
Read from April 23 to 25, 2013

A collection of short stories set in the Ranger's Apprentice universe - one of my favorite series.

Overall comments:

I went in thinking the set was mostly filling in various gaps of the other stories, and there are a few stories that do that, but a lot of the stories took place after book 10, and I almost feel like Flanagan wanted to write another book but knew he'd said it was done, so went this route instead. It would be ironic if that was the case, since another book is coming out now. ^_^

Like any short story collection, some are better than others. It started a bit slow, for me, but picked up with the fourth story, 'Purple Prose', and I was reminded why I love this series so much - mostly for the characters and their various interactions.

It was nice to see some stories that highlighted other characters - Gilan, Jenny, Alyss - though I noticed that poor George seemed to have been left out of the proceedings entirely.

Overall, I ended up really enjoying the set, and recommend it to any fan.

Individual stories:

Right from the start I was put into a bit of a funk because I found the foreword a little depressing.

Basically, the foreword opens with an archaeological dig in the future of the RA world, and they are at Castle Redmont and the find the cottage and the collection of stories that are in this book. That's the framing story.

But, the thing is, I like to think of the characters in books I read as sort of timeless and eternal. Sort of living forever within the worlds of their stories - kind of like in the Thursday Next books, but less depressing 'cause they're not forced to just repeat the same pages over and over again.

Silly, I know, and I know it's kind of gleaned in the blurb... but I was prepared for it, and it made me a bit sad.

And then I wasn't sure what to make of the first story, 'Death of a Hero', which was also a bit depressing and also a bit ret-conny, though that's explained in the story. (2.5)

'Inkwell and the Dagger' was pretty good, and I liked to see Gilan get his own story, but there was something off about it. (3)

And then came 'The Roamers' which, again, was pretty good but not great, and I felt that Ebony being stolen was a bit too reminiscent of Tug getting lost in one of the books, and I was also a bit uncomfortable with some of the stereotypes - though, in fairness, this series has always sort of skirted that line. I did like seeing Alyss kick some butt, though. (3)

But then came 'Purple Prose', which I loved. Halt and Will were front and center, and the camaraderie between the two, the humor and friendship, reminded me what I love so much about the series. (5)

'Dinner for Five' was good, too, and we see more of Gilan, this time pair with Jenny. (3)

'The Bridal Dance' was, I think, the second best story. Many friends from throughout the series are brought together for Horace and Evanlyn's wedding, and Will is also front and center with a mystery to solve. (4)

'The Hibernian' is a cool look into Halt and Crowley's first meeting, and the beginning of their revival of the Ranger's. (3)

'The Wolf' was bittersweet, and left me a bit teary-eyed. It dealt with an issue with the horses which I had been wondering about myself, and it was handled well - though I was so miffed at Will for being so careless! - but, still... (3.5)

Lastly, 'And About Time, Too...' was a nice ending to the set, with a lot of d'awww attached. (4)

Overall, I'm pleased with the collection and the happy jujubees it left me with. :>
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Reading Progress

04/23/2013 page 57
12.0% "The foreword made me a bit sad. Or wistful, at the very least.

Not sure what I think of 'Death of a Hero'."
04/23/2013 page 111
24.0% "It's cool to see Gilan front and center."
04/24/2013 page 170
37.0% "The Roamers was a pretty good story, though it reminded me too much of the one where he had to rescue Tug. Also, I was a little put off by some of the stereotypes - though this series has made use of a lot of cultural stereotypes, to be honest. I liked Alyssa's role in the story, though, especially the end. :>"
04/24/2013 page 225
50.0% "'Purple Prose' is definitely my favorite so far. The comraderie with Halt and Will, and wry humor, are the best parts of the series, and in abundance in this story."
04/25/2013 page 270
60.0% "'Dinner for Five, - in which Jenny bakes a tart and kicks ass."
04/25/2013 page 330
73.0% "I liked 'Bridal Dance' a lot. Lots of camaraderie and meeting up with old friends... and it was nice to see a case where Will was solo and took charge."
04/25/2013 page 375
88.0% "'The Hibernian' - a nice glimpse at the first meeting of Halt and Crowley."
04/25/2013 page 410
97.0% "'The Wolf' was bittersweet, but I suppose it had to happen. A bit miffed at Will, tho, for not paying attention."
04/25/2013 page 419
99.0% "I have one thing to say about 'And About Time Too... ' and that's: D'awwwww"

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