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The Battle of Hackham Heath

(Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years #2)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  4,700 ratings  ·  313 reviews

The peace in Araluen is under threat and newly crowned King Duncan must prepare for war. Morgarath is in hiding, recruiting an army of savage beasts known as Wargals for his next attack.

Halt prepares for a seemingly impossible task – to scale the Mountains of Rain and Night to spy on the enemy and uncover their plans.

He knows that one wron
Published December 1st 2016 by RHCP Digital (first published October 31st 2016)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  4,700 ratings  ·  313 reviews

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Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should probably give this book 4 stars, but well, it was so easy and fast read and I love the idea of the prequels to Ranger's Apprentice series. I read the first book, Ruins of Gorlan, many years ago. I liked the idea of mysterious and skillful Rangers, who could shoot the bow like no one else, and ordinary people knew so little about them that they actually thought the Rangers were wizards of some kind, who could become invisible.
My favorite character has always been Halt. Grumpy, seemingly
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Onward to the flailing of a fangirl. I did rather love this. (Hence it took me three hours to read from cover to cover) There is so much that excites me about returning to the great old kingdom of Araluen and the great old characters that are all so familiar.
(Disclaimer: actually, I don't really know quite why I rated it 4 stars rather than just struck me as not quite 5-star stuff. Almost, but not quite)

It was so fun to get back to the old characters that I remember, and quiz my brain on
Rangers Halt and Crowley are once again called upon to defend the realm for Duncan. Halt is sent off to spy on Morgarath and his band of Wargals, gaining valuable intelligence while Crowley accompanies the Queen to a spa during her difficult pregnancy. The serial introduction of important characters in the latter series was fun, as well as learning more backstories, but there is too much meandering and repetition in the novel, which could have been omitted.
Of course this is a good read, if too focused on coffee and meals. But I love the relationship between Halt and Crowley and young Gilan, King Duncan and Baron Arald. Fun to see the birth of Princess Cassandra and the origins of Will, Horace, and the other wards (orphans).
If I hadn't already read The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge, this book wouldn't have felt somewhat anticlimactic and predictable. But that's the risk when an author writes prequels to a finished series.

Flanagan repeated
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed by this book. I must admit, I started it with a bad attitude. The end was alright, but I did not find it a good book.

The first sentence was lame. The first 100 pages were also lame. I did not care about the characters or about the story. It is a prequel, I know who lives at the end. There should have been more there to care about. When you read a good book you actually care about the outcome.

The action got a bit better towards the last 1/3 of the book. But I still was not comp
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic John Flanagan book. I love this world and the characters and getting to see Halt and Crowley in their younger years. Parts of this book made me want a whole series dedicated to Gilan and his backstory with Halt... but I can't wait to see what comes next.
Kevin Topolovec
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Unfortunately, this book was light on the usual banter of the series, which is really the main reason why I read these.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 STARS...
As much as I love the Ranger's Apprentice series, I'm sad to only rate this book 3.5 STARS. I enjoyed this book, but it seemed a bit repetitive at times.
The title is The Battle of Hackham Heath and when the battle came, it just came and went. It just didn't seem like much of a battle to me. Everything that came before was more exciting than the battle.
I don't remember much about the first book in this prequel series, but did it mention the Wargals in it? How did these Beasts come ab
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
I didn't enjoy this book as much as other Ranger's Apprentice novels, but it was still a good middle-grade read.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I really liked it how it gave more information about how the battle of Hackham Heath went. And It followed how it went after wards.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as other books in the series, but still enjoyable. A little disappointed in the ending, maybe that's a another book...
Vivian Chen (Vivian's Book Pavilion)
This is post originally on Vivian's Book Pavilion

Yeah!! I’ve finally read this book!!!! Congrats to me!!! I actually bought it last year, as soon as it was released. But…I didn’t read it until now. What am I waiting? Like…I don’t know…I realize that my reading process is rather slow during the semester…although I haven’t had a lot of work to do. (Wait…like hell I don’t have works to do…I’ve tons!) Now…I’ve loved Halt and Crowley, and i especially love how John Flanagan put all those character
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Book 2 of prequel duology set in the world of Ranger’s Apprentice- This duology follows the character Halt (and company) through his early days in the Ranger Corp. You don’t necessarily need to have read the Ranger’s Apprentice books to follow the plot, but you definitely should read the duology in order. FYI: You will care more about the characters if you are familiar with at least some of the other RA books.
Suzzy Jims
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow . He did it again!! It was just so amazing words can't describe how much I loved it!!!!!!! It answered some of my questions too ! You'll love it!!!!!
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
This would have done better as a novella perhaps, because this really felt stretched and to be honest, not entirely necessary.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5 stars

Whether I should be reading this prequel series to Ranger's Apprentice is up for debate; however, I know I am definitely enjoying it. After reading The Tournament at Gorlan, I was ready for the next book in this series.

The Battle of Hackham Heath was an exciting book. Most of the book was spent on various battles that the Rangers and kingdom fight against Morgarath who is now equipped with some deadly allies, the Wargals. By controlling the Wargals with mind control, Morgarath can s
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy, 2018
Wow. It felt unbelievably good to be back in the world of Ranger’s Apprentice. I have been reading these books for the last decade (literally) and am so loving Flanagan’s Early Years series.

After reading The Tournament at Gorlan, I was a tad worried picking this one up that I wouldn’t love it. I enjoyed The Tournament at Gorlan but I didn’t absolutely love it. I was worried that I was finally outgrowing the series. I’m happy to report I am not. The Battle of Hackham Heath was emotional and thril
Shane Fritz
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this second book of two prequels. It had the humor, the suspense, the great story-telling that John Flanagan displays in all these Ranger' Apprentice books. The prequels feature Halt, a new Ranger, trained by the best and a dead shot with arrows. He teams up with the jovial Crowley, the becoming fast friends and allies in the quest to save the kingdom from the cruel Lord Morgarath, who plots in secret against the king and prince, hoping to win the throne or himself. In the first prequel ...more
Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)
I didn't not enjoy this book, but I didn't love it. I would probably have liked it more if I'd already read the actual series first.

I did enjoy the characters. They are clever and capable and The interactions are engaging.

The plot itself was predictable and a little slow in places. It was also very focused on battle strategy, which isn't really my kind of thing. My main complaint, though, came in the repetitive nature of the writing; we were often told, more than once, things that we didn't ne
This book was a continuation of the first one, and it was just as good. Once again, it was fun to see the characters as their earlier selves, and the story was just as action packed as the real series.
Lauren Debeuckelaere
Mostly for nostalgia's sake. That ending though.
Barb Middleton
Jun 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Mainly on the adults in the Ranger's Apprentice series. Mostly a battle with no much character development. Read the series first to get the most out of it. The protagonists are Halt and Crowley.
Karen ⊰✿
Ranger's Apprentice is such a great series, I was so excited about this prequel series and it doesn't disappoint. The epilogue to this book was especially revealing, but it is also great to revisit all these characters and learn more about their back story.
Great audio narrations too
Sean Little
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I love the Ranger's Apprentice series. I love John Flanagan's work.

I hate prequels.

There was no drama. We all knew who would live and die.

Prequels are rarely worth it.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book
Absolutely loved it!
Clayton Wilcox
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE THESE BOOKS! They are full of everything! I'll have to read them again!
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great read in this awesome world!
Avery (Book Deviant)
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

No correlation between previous book or original series

Let me just say this first. If you're writing a book, and there's a SLIVER of a possibility that there COULD be a prequel-whether you write it first or last-you have to match your facts. You can tell nearly immediately that that isn't what Flanagan did. Not only did he go against facts he presented in the original series, but he also flipped facts around in the first book, The Tournament at G
- ̗̀  jess  ̖́-
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
This was a lot higher quality than some of the more recent Ranger's Apprentice book, but still at times missing the banter and wit that I loved from the original series. The battle tactics are back. In full force. I really do love the way Flanagan describes battle scenes. It's easy to understand where everything is, and very descriptive, but at the same time full of action.

Also: (view spoiler)
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Oakleaf Bearers: The Early Years: The Battle of Hackham Heath 1 8 Oct 20, 2016 05:20PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

For mysteries by this same author, see John A. Flanagan.

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. It wasn't until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed. It

Other books in the series

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years (3 books)
  • The Tournament at Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years, #1)
  • Untitled (Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years #3)

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47 likes · 11 comments
“The soldiers chuckled. One of them, a grizzled veteran, rose and walked over to where Duncan and his two senior officers were standing. He made a show of inspecting the ground, brushing aside a few twigs and rocks, then spread out a none-too-clean neckerchief and gestured for the King to sit. “There you go, my lord. Your royal bum should be comfortable there.” The” 3 likes
“The men chorused their understanding. Halt studied them for a moment or two, making sure they had all grasped the idea. He didn’t want anyone to get carried away in the excitement of the moment and charge down on the massed ranks of Wargals. Cavalrymen did tend to get excited, he knew. But he could see from their faces that they all knew this was to be a feint. “All” 1 likes
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