Title: The Siege of Macindaw
Author: John Flanagan
Series: The Ranger’s Apprentice #6
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Easy reading, Medieval fantasy
Publisher: Random House Australia
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘There was some mention of food?’ he reminded them.
In this desolate northern fief, where can Will find the fighting men he needs to overcome the traitorous Sir Keren and his band of criminals? Across the border, the fierce Scotti tribesmen are waiting for the signal that Castle Macindaw is in friendly hands, and the way is clear to mount a full-scale attack.
Time is running out. Will’s courage and ingenuity – and the arrival of an old friend – may be the only things that stand in their way.
Will is determined to rescue Alyss – even if it means laying siege to an enemy castle!
The depth of Will’s care for his loved ones becomes blatantly obvious in The Siege of Macindaw. The lengths to which he is willing to go to rescue Alyss are remarkable, and the depth of his conviction throughout this story is incredibly endearing. It is also a great hallmark of the man that Flanagan was able to effortlessly create out of the boy who started out confused and scared in The Ruins of Gorlan.
Keren’s ability to quickly hold sway over Alyss’ mind and attention was a new technique in this medieval world that doesn’t quite employ magic, but rather a medieval approach to life. Malcolm’s eventual explanation of this seemingly mystical control fit perfectly into the ideal of mind over matter, and the power of persuasion. Alyss’ strength and ability to fight such control is admirable and shows that it’s not only men who can be powerful and strong, but women too. The ability of Alyss, Will and Horace to all use their individual talents to triumph and maintain their integrity in such a difficult situation.
Although this is a great fantasy series, I love the fact that Flanagan creates scenarios which feel completely plausible. Need to overtake a castle? Don’t have enough men to do it? Will is able to figure out a way that is believable – it is not so fantastical that it is painful to try to imagine. There is something so special about being able to imagine the characters acting in flawed and plausible ways – not just suddenly having the answer to all of their problems, but having to fight for it and struggle until they are able to triumph over their adversaries.
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