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The Siege of Macindaw

by John Flanagan
Series: Ranger's Apprentice #6
293 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Clodsley S.

Talky-but-enjoyable book for teenagers; some language.

Plot

It's only been a few months since Will, a newly appointed Ranger for the kingdom of Araluen, has begun to work for the Ranger Corps when he finds himself tangled in a plot to take over Castle Macindaw, a plan led by the traitor Sir Keren. Meanwhile his friend Alyss is in captivity, and Will finds himself turning to the violent Skandians for help.

Morality

One of the characters in the book has betrayed the kingdom but often has second thoughts about his treachery. Alyss is always his voice of reason but he never listens to her. Other than that, good is good and evil is evil.

Spiritual Content

Malcolm, the alleged "sorcerer" who was banished from the kingdom, tries to get information from a Scotti psychologically, by seemingly conjuring up the Scotti god Serthrek'nish. Sir Keren has a stone that can mesmerize anyone who stares at it.

Violence

To start, a Scotti general gets shot in the wrist with an arrow, and the wound is described rather graphically. There are a few intense skirmishes that are detailed, including the siege at the end. Soldiers are shot with arrows and impaled with swords. A man's wound in the side is described. One man meets his fate by getting acid thrown into his face and toppling out of a window.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Main characters drink a little bit.

Sexual Content

There's definitely tension between Alyss and Will, but it's quite subtle with only a few chaste kisses and mild flirting.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

A handful of four-letter words ("D-mn", "h-ll") as well as a few misuses of God's name ("What in the name of g-d", etc.). A few insults are exchanged.

Conclusion

At times, "The Siege of Macindaw" gets a little talky and slightly boring, and a good portion of the dialogue doesn't benefit the story in any way. However, many of the exchanges between Will and Horace I found quite funny, and the landscape described by the author put a picture in my head. But the author also puts detail into his battle sequences as well, with imaginable descriptions of arrow wounds and bloody combat.

Fun Score: 3.5
Values Score: 3.5
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

Average rating: 3 stars
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