Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Emporer of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan

The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 10: The Emperor of Nihon-JaThe Ranger's Apprentice, Book 10: The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So another new country, but this time it is on the other side of the world. We see the Skandians innovating with ship building, we watch Evanlyn and Alyss resolve the last of the love triangle that was never capitalized on, and (my favorite) we get a brief suggestion that perhaps this is not a look at Medieval Europe, but maybe a futuristic European result. I know, I am stretching it a bit there, but it is possibilities like that that add dimension to a story, IMHO. (I base that off of the comments the characters made about the Suez canal stand-in...)

I like the good old-fashioned war that Horace finds himself in the middle of, and the outcome works with our expectations of the Rangers from previous books. I liked seeing Horace at the core of the story. The resolution of the romantic side-stories (they never take center stage, if you noticed?) is a good wrap-up, although it feels very permanent, and I'd like to hear more of these tales. I would like to see Horace's weaknesses a little more. So far he is always humble, never makes mistakes, has become witty, and is even catching on to the basics of Ranger training. What can't he do?

Four stars. I can't help it...

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