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The Royal Ranger: Escape From Falaise

By John Flanagan
Reviewed by Sarah Custance

Australian author John Flanagan is world renowned for his works, The Ranger’s Apprentice and The Brotherband series of books. Escape from Falaise is the 5th instalment of The Royal Ranger series which is intertwined within the Ranger’s Apprentice series of books.

Ranger Will and his young apprentice Maddie have been imprisoned after a betrayal while trying to rescue the prince of a neighbouring country. As their captor, Baron Lassigny, has seen their potential, he tries to recruit them as his own spies. That is until Maddie decides to speed up the inevitable by challenging Lassigny’s best commander to a horseback duel.

With a Baron who won’t fight fair, an impossible escape to plan, and a prince to save, it seems that Will and Maddie have all the cards stacked against them, that is until help arrives in an unexpected form… Even with all of their Ranger training, will it be enough to save them from the noose?

While this book can be read alone, I would highly recommend  reading The Royal Ranger’s series in order (of which this is book 5) as readers will then have more understanding of the backstories and characters to fully engage with the novel.

In Escape from Falaise, John Flanagan gives us the perfect combination of a strong, determined, awesome young female character in Maddie as well as a sensible, funny, good adult mentor in the form of Will. It is rare in middle grade and YA books to have adults not portrayed as either collectively evil, or stupid and useless. In this regard Flanagan has beaten that stereotype to a pulp and given a wonderful example of how adults  can be both uplifting and empowering to younger generations while still showing the wisdom and responsibility expected  of adults.

Escape from Falaise is fast paced, full of action sequences and suspense that will keep any reader immersed in Flanagan’s detailed world.

Penguin Random House 2021

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