Monday, June 15, 2015

The Battle for Skandia

by John Flanagan

Story Summary: Alt-Vikings and alt-Mongols battle it out with some help from our young heroes Will, the Ranger; Horace, the warrior; and Evanlyn, the princess.
Sequel to The Ruins of Gorlan, The Burning Bridge, and The Icebound Land.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Rescues, escapes, and splendid archery skills.
  • The battle taking up the last third of the book is really epic. Awesomeness abounds.

And Why You Might Not:
  • It's quite simplistic in some ways, lacking in subtlety or complexity.

Thoughts: I'm thinking this series might be pretty much done for me now. I really enjoyed them for a while, but part of that was because of the expectation that they'd get considerably more complex and adult over time, like Harry Potter. But this didn't happen as much as I'd hoped. There was still a lot of "telling" instead of "showing" with regards to the character's emotions and thoughts, and not enough depth of characterization. (I would still highly recommend these to younger people though. I love well-written children's books in general, but you do come across some that are more enjoyable if you're young, and these go in that category for me.)

So I'll skim through the rest, reading the parts with characters than interesting me, bits that pop out, etc. Because they are still fun books. They definitely have enjoyable bits--the fight scenes can be pretty cool, and there can be moments that are quite funny or sweet.

Note: Since starting to write this review, I have gone ahead and skimmed through a couple later books. Although some of the later books do get a bit more complex (I enjoyed The Siege of Macindaw especially), I am definitely content with my decision to skim.

Grade: 2 1/2 stars

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