The Sorcerer in the North

by John Flanagan
Series: Ranger's Apprentice #5
304 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Clodsley S.

Good descriptive read, but a little low on action.


Five years have passed since the last Ranger's Apprentice book, "The Battle for Skandia", where the Araluens and the Skandians made a peace treaty, and Will, now a full-fledged ranger, must help the lord of Macindaw with a sorcerer who was said to have cursed him with a mysterious illness.


You're led to believe that one of the characters is a good character when they really aren't. Another character appears to be bad when that person is really good. Other than that, good is good and evil is evil.

Spiritual Content

References to sorcery. Orman, the lord of Macindaw, reads books about black magic.


A subtle description of a wounded, abused dog. A few arrows are shot from Will's bow, many of them inflicting wounds on other people.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Characters drink ale and wine at taverns and around campfires, some rather excessively.

Sexual Content

A housekeeper tells a jongleur to "keep his hands to himself", and a reference is made to "pinching her ample backside". A local girl at a fief seems to have an interest in Will, and Alyss and Will modestly flirt.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

"Oh God", "D-mn", "H-ll" pepper the dialogue of numerous characters, and I think "b-st-rd" is used a few times as well.


This isn't your regular fantasy book, if you want to call it fantasy at all. A lot of times it focuses on rather political problems and less on action. If you want a rousing read, don't reach for "The Sorcerer of the North". Flanagan is a very good author, but this book is more talking than doing, though there are a few climatic moments.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 3
Written for Age: 13+

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