Ranger's Apprentice: The Siege of Macindaw

 

Treason has been comitted at Castle Macindaw. Sir Keren, poisoned both the lord of the castle and its heir and now plans to sell the strategic structure to violent raiders from the north. With Castle Macindaw under their control, the wild Scotti would be able to run rampant through norther Araleun. But not if Will has anything to say about it.

After his failed attempt to rescue Alyss from Macindaw, Will finds out of the possible sell out of the castle to the Scotti and must put his goal of rescuing of Alyss aside, for the sake of the Kingdom. The newly made Ranger, along with Horace, and a group of wild Skandians in tow form a plan to lay seige to the castle. Possible rescuing Alyss and defeating the Scotti invasion plan in one fell swoop.

But how can you lay seige to an entire castle with just twenty seven men?

 

 

 

/*** THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPHS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***\

**/** SPOILERS ARE PRESENT **\**

 

 

As I mentioned in my review of, The Sorcerer of the North, book five was written as a setup to the plotline of this book. The set of book 5 and 6 are one of the few instance when a storyline carries through multiple books, in the lengthy Ranger's Apprentice Series. And this one, The Seige of Macindaw, is by far the better of the set of two.

As the name imply's the climx of the book is when Will, Horace, and some Skandians lay seige to Castle Macindaw, and what a battle it is. Ranger's Apprentice is one of the only series where two protagonists can lay seige to a castle and both survive unscathed. In every books, at least one would have died or been heavily wounded, or barely survived (you could argue Horace barely survived, but I don't think so).

 

But on to the real story ...

Whoever invented the Courier code should be idolized. That code is the most simple yet devious code I have ever heard of. The person who invented it was probalby like: "Lets make a code where the position of a light in a square and the number of times said light flashes correlates to a letter. That'll be hard to hard to crack. And even better lets eliminate the 'q' and the 'z', just to make it harder.". But thank god the person made the code. Without it, Araluen would have been overrun by Scotti in the matter of a few weeks.

And the ther's will who comes up with the brilliant idea to conceal his light used to send the message in a nuch of other colored lights. Thats like the smartest plan (that actually worked as intended) I've read. Unfortunately, there were other plans that did not quite go so well.

I am referring to Will's battle with MacHadissh. We've never really seen Will struggle in a fight before, not even against the Temujai in the Skandia, but he's lucky he survived this one. MacHadissh was fast and intelligent (something rarely seen in the art of swordmanship) and had it not been for Horace, Will would be dead. And we can conveniently lay blame to Will's concealed throwing knife.

In book 5, when Will is assigned this task in Norgate Feif, Crowley and Halt give him a new cloack with a concealed pouch for the throwing knife. Unfortunately for Will, the knife kept snagging on the cloalk and became unusable. And it almost becomes his downfall ... twice. Have to tell the Ranger Corps that ... "no more concealed knife pouches".

 

Now on with our seige. Will's plan was genius. The best plan devised in these books. He and Horace wait for eight hours underneath a "broken" cart with a ladder and weapons waiting for the Night Warrior to comeout and terrify the guards of Macindaw. Then they storm the castle along with twenty some-odd Skandians (who Horace could apparently conquer the world with) and pretty much regain complete control in less than an hour. And even better ... it worked perfectly. Exactly as he planned it.

But then Keren has that dumb special stone at the end. After Will's flight from the castle in book 5, Keren begins putting Alyss in some sort of trance using a blue stone. This was partially remedied by Malcolm/Malkallam with the "stellatite pebble" Will shot through Alyss's window in this book. But at the end, Keren gives Alyss one last command under the power of the stone. "Kill the Ranger". And she would have too. Had it now been for three words. The words everyone has pretty much seen coming since book five.

We all knew at the end of book 4, Will had no romantic feelings for Evnalyn. If he did, he would by a Royal Scout, not a ranger. But he remained a ranger. And thus told us that he and Evanlyn would remain friends but nothing more. (Her and Horace on the other hand ...). And if it wasn't Evanlyn, we could all but assume it was Alyss.

And so we finally get the straight truth. Wills' romantic feelings are for Alyss (we all assumed so right?).

But the funny part is ... she has no memory at all of what Will said. Only that it snapped her out of her trance, seconds before she killed him with her dagger. And then they spend the rest of the book avoiding the real question.

At least until, Alyss admits the same thing in a letter to Will. And then Will left his feif for a second time to go see her presumably. We can assume this will be an ongoing relationship and that the two of them go on more missions together (hopefully).