Buttons Book Reviews

All books are magical, whether enchanted or not.

The Tournament at Gorlan, by John Flanagan — January 14, 2018

The Tournament at Gorlan, by John Flanagan

download (1)In this prequel to the to the Ranger’s Apprentice series, Halt and Crowly travel north seeking Prince Duncan’s royal warrant to stop Morgarath from corrupting the Corps, but if they are to prevent a coup that is nearing success, the young Rangers will have to tread a dangerous path toward the annual tournament at Gorlan.

This book is set way in the past. 15 years in the past to be exact (FYI: I’m doing this off of the first book in the series). I loved this book just as much as I loved the rest of the series. Maybe better. If you read more you’ll find out.

The characters were awesome. I loved them all. I liked how we got see some of the characters way younger, and making mistakes. It was really cool. I loved how funny some of the characters were. Because they were really funny. We also got to know more about some side characters that we meet earlier in the series. 

Crowly was a side character in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. He was a main character in this book. I really enjoyed hearing his quicksilver tongue at work. He was a great leader. I loved how funny he was. It was really satisfying to hear him get at Halt. I wrote down some great insults from Crowly. My eternal gratitude.

So, as you can probably see, I really loved the characters in this book. They were so strong and were always looking out for each other. But, they seemed a little too perfect to be real. That was my only problem with them, otherwise they were awesome, like their skills at insulting people. Those were really satisfying. I admire them for their skills and their courage. 

The plot was very well written. There was lots of suspense and stalking and plotting but there was also a lot of action and running and climbing. This book also had a lot of fun little scenes that made the book way better. The book would not have been the same without those. There was lots of suspense and tension in the little group as well. I loved it so much!!!!!! Sometimes, books just need a fun scene to lighten the mood in a book. I know that I do. There was more action at the end of this book, then in the front of the book. I loved it that way, because it wouldn’t have made sense for it to be in the front of the book. What I’m trying to say is that I loved the plot a lot.

The setting was awesome. I loved how detailed it is. I felt like I was in the book, no surprise there. I think that the book couldn’t have been better. I trusted John Flanagan and he did not let me down. I loved Morgarath’s castle so much. It was so beautiful and I wish I lived there. It sounds like a castle that I saw in Canada, Castle Luna. Or Casa Luna. I loved how in the book the setting was always able to grab my attention and hold it there. It made me want to be there and that is what makes a good setting in my eyes.

I loved this book so much and I highly recommend it and the series. It doesn’t matter if you read this book first. Please remember to fill out my survey!!!!! You can find a link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

The Royal Ranger, by John Flanagan — January 13, 2018

The Royal Ranger, by John Flanagan

download (1)Will Treaty is a shell of his former self, and his apprentice may be the only one who can save him.

First, this book is at least 15 years in the future. Just a warning. This book was really really good. I think that it was the best book in the series. I loved it and all of it’s action scenes. I also liked the first ever girl Ranger. After this book started I was thinking: Finally. This book is paced perfectly and everything at just the right time. There were also some interesting events that happened before the book started that I won’t tell you about. Want to know more? Read on.

The characters were once again very fleshed out. I didn’t know what to think in the beginning of this book because everyone was so different. I mean, everyone has changed big time. There is lots of character development in this book because of that, I think that was awesome because everyone needed to change. Like, my favorite character Maddie who I will talk about in the next paragraph.

Maddie was awesome. I loved how tough she was. She was so relatable as a rebellious teenager. You know, my parents don’t understand me sort of thing. Sometimes she was to whiny though. I loved how she was so ready to learn and go on adventures. And how she was sassier then Will. Especially the last one. 

The plot was really intense and deep. There was a lot of action and suspense in this one. There was also a murder mystery aspect in this book so if you don’t like that sort of book then you should not read this one. There was also some stalking and hiding in this book to. This book talks about how hard it is for Maddie, the first girl Ranger, to train and gain acceptance. It was really cool to read about. And then there was the last half of the book. It was full of action and loyalty and revenge. Basically, everything that I look for in a fantasy novel. Honestly, I really loved the plot.

The setting was just as good as the rest of the book. Which means that the setting was really close to perfect. We got way more details about the Redmount Ranger Cabin and Redmount in general. It was really cool. If I could imagine myself there before, I could describe the setting in immense detail now. John Flanagan is a master of settings. I think that it could not have been better. I hope that all of the books that I read in the future are this book. 

I loved this book and series and I highly recommend it everyone. Regardless of age, gender, and genre reading this book will make any reluctant reader excited about books. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)Series Rating: th (14)

The Lost Stories, by John Flanagan — January 12, 2018

The Lost Stories, by John Flanagan

download (1)In 1896, an archaeological dig unearths an ancient trunk containing manuscripts that confirm the existence of Araluen Rangers Will and Halt and tell of their first meeting and some of their previously unknown exploits.

This book was awesome. There were 10, I think, short stories in this book. All of them were really funny and had excellent. I believe that there were 2 weddings in that book. There were also lots of adventure stories and crime stopping cliffhangers. I loved the characters once again. As in, the characters were once again awesome. Just like the rest book. Do you want to know more? Then read on.

The characters were maybe the my favorite characters in the series. They were all the same but we got to see more of them. There was more backstory and character development in this book. I felt like I understood the characters on a deeper level. They were more realistic and funny in this book then they were in other books. 

My favorite character was Tug. He was such a loyal horse through and through. I loved the special bond between him and Will. It made me want a horse all over again just so that I could bond with it and we could go on awesome adventures like Will and Tug did. Hearing about these creatures makes you want one for yourself a lot.

As you can see, I love these characters so much. Even the side characters were fleshed out and realistic and I feel like these characters have a special place in my heart. I loved how they felt actual emotions and cared for each other. That always makes me happy. From those three paragraphs you should know what I like in characters in a book. Maybe all of my ratings will be in arrows now. They’ll just be based off of these books.

The plot(s) were intense and there was a fair share of action in each story. There were always battles to be fought or ambushes to be laid. I loved it. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t down time or relaxation in the book. There was. There just wasn’t as much of that as there was action. There were also a lot of cliffhangers and mysteries. There were quite a few mysteries in these short stories. I wasn’t that good at them but that doesn’t really matter. What I am trying to say, and probably failing to, is that the plot is excellent and you should really read the book.

The setting(s) in these short stories were very descriptive. I could imagine myself being there, in whatever adventure Will and Co. were on. I loved that. I think that the setting could have been a little more descriptive though, but that can be easily remedied. So basically, this book was really really close to perfect. I loved it so much and I highly recommend it. 

Please read this book. It’s awesome. Please also remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, by John Flanagan — January 10, 2018

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, by John Flanagan

download (1)In a faraway land, a young warrior must protect an emperor from an uprising and train an inexperienced army, with help from his Ranger friends.

This book was as close to perfect as it could get. I loved it to pieces. I hope that the rest of the books are this good. The characters were as funny as ever. Even when the characters were under pressure they still made an effort to be funny. I enjoyed that. There was lots of character building in this book, which impressed me. The plot was full of twists and turns and there was a fair bit of action. Read on to know more about why I love this book so much.

The characters were as I said earlier, very funny. They were always cracking jokes and laughing at one another. The characters also got cool nicknames like Will was, Choco. Apparently that’s a term of great respect. The side characters in this book were really different. The people talk like they’re from China. They people on the cover remind me of the Terra Cotta Warriors from China. 

The Kikori were amazing as well. They were so brave and loyal to their Emperor even when they didn’t have to be. I was amazed at how poorly they were treated by the upper class though. I mean they are important too. The Kikori were amazing and I think that they should’ve been treated better. 

Shigeru was my favorite character in this book. He was at peace with himself and the world. This made him a great leader. He also believed in the equality of all people, this is important to me because of certain events happening in my country, America. And the fact that he acted like a father to Horace made me happy as well. Horace needs that.

The plot was very intense. There was a fair amount of action although there was also a lot of planning that needed to happen to make those scenes happen. John Flanagan showed us those planning scenes as well. That made me very happy. Sometimes in books they just show you the action scenes and you get sort of annoyed by it. Those books normally get low ratings. Anyway, there was quite a bit of suspense in this book. I loved that. Honestly I think that all of these books have had some kind of suspense element. The writing style was also very good. All in all, the plot was very good.

The setting was also awesome. I loved how descriptive it was. I think that it is meant to be set in China? Not really sure about that. I think that the setting and the philosophy that Horace and Shigeru took about the setting was amazing. I wish that there were more people in the world like them. I loved the fortress. Even though it was not what everyone thought that it was, it was still really cool. I enjoyed how everyone thought about the setting, more than I loved the setting itself.

So as you can probably tell I loved this book a lot and I highly recommend it. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

Halt’s Peril, by John Flanagan — January 8, 2018

Halt’s Peril, by John Flanagan

download (1)Tennyson, the false prophet of the Outsider cult, has escaped and Halt is determined to stop him before he crosses the border into Araluen, but Genovesan assassins put Will and Halt’s extraordinary archery skills to the test.

This book was very well written. The characters were very funny, for at least part of the book. Then things started getting a little intense. Ok, maybe a little more then intense. I loved this book and all that it did. I think that this book could have been a little bit better though. All in all, I loved this book a lot. Here’s why.

The characters were, again, very fleshed out. I hope that is a lasting trend with this author. The characters were also very funny. After this book, I would trust any of these characters with my life. At least, I am pretty sure that I would trust them with my life. 

My favorite character Malcom was back. I will not tell you why and when but he’s back. And his kind spirit has not changed either. I have always loved Malcom, but in this book I loved him even more. You will realize why if you read the book. 

I don’t know of it’s possible but everyone got even funnier. At least, for the first part of the book. Then everyone started getting moody and depressing. But I understand. I would be moody and depressed if what happened in the book happened to my friend. Will and Horace did try to be optimistic though. All in all, the characters were very well written, and were likable as well.

The plot was very intense. There was always some kind of motion going on and there was also lots of suspense. Lots and lots of suspense. I had to cross my fingers and hope that everything would turn out alright. There was also lots of riding and hiding. I was fine with that but I know that some people aren’t. So there’s a fair warning for you. There was also a fair amount of fighting. So there was a balance between boring (and sometimes pointless) action and sword – fighting arrow – shooting action. 

The setting was very interesting. After a time we stayed in the same place so I can describe the place to you in great detail. The other places were described very well as well but the descriptions were not as long. That was fine by me. I did enjoy reading about the drowned forest. It seemed to be a very sad and beautiful place to me. I wanted to see what it really looked like so I searched it up. It was very sad, but not very beautiful. That was fine by me. The rest of the setting was well done. I loved this setting just as much as I loved the book. Please read it.

I loved this book and I highly recommend it and the rest of the series. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

The Kings of Clonmel, by John Flanagan — January 7, 2018

The Kings of Clonmel, by John Flanagan

download (1)When a cult springs up in neighboring Clonmel, promising to quell the recent attacks by lawless marauders, people flock all over to offer them gold in exchange for protection. But Halt is all to familiar with this particular group, and he knows that they have a less than charitable agenda. Secrets will be unveiled and battles fought to the death as Will and Horace help Halt in riding the land of a dangerous enemy.

I loved this book so much!!!! It was the perfect blend of suspense and drama. There was lots of action, which I love. And the villains weren’t really trying to kill them until the end of the book. I really enjoyed reading this book. Here’s why.

The characters were very realistic. Or, as realistic as fictional characters can get. I loved their humor quite a lot. I think that all of the characters were very close to perfect. As I have said throughout all of the book reviews concerning this series all of the characters were very fleshed out. I love these characters so much. They are like my little babies!!!!

My favorite character in this book was Horace. I didn’t know that he had a devious side. It was impressive. I hope that Horace uses that devious side more often. He might make a good Ranger after all. 

The villains were perfectly villainous and evil. Even if it was not the kind of evil that you normally read about. I will not spoil any of it, but at first I was shocked at what the cult was doing.

Tennyson was not the villain that I expected either. He was very different. Aren’t villains supposed to know how to use a sword? But most villains don’t have bruisers to take care of their dirty work either. So Tennyson was a different kind of bad guy. It was weird. And I think that this isn’t the last that we will be seeing of him.

The plot was very intense. There was lots of suspense and battles. There was also some sneaking around and spying, something I do when I’m not reading or blogging. It was very intense. But that is not to say that there weren’t some feels. Long lost brothers being one of them. There were lots and lots of plot twists. And since sometimes the characters had to split up Will would know something really important and Halt and Horace would be left in the dark. Sometimes I had to put down the book and breathe for a few seconds to remind myself that nothing would happen to them. I think that is the sign of a good plot. 

The setting was very well written. I could imagine myself there and going with the Rangers and Horace. My bookish favorite character. I enjoyed reading about the barricades that the villagers put up to fight off the raiders. It showed how poor they were and how desperate they were.  I can’t wait to read more of the series. I highly suggest it. 

I really love this book and series and I think that everyone should read it. That means that I want you to read the books. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

Erak’s Ransom, by John Flanagan — January 6, 2018

Erak’s Ransom, by John Flanagan

download (1)On a mission to pay the ransom of a new ally, apprentice Will and his friends find themselves in a desert wasteland awash with enemies.

This book was just as good as all of the books in the series before it. I loved the characters so much. I might have a new fantasy crush. No, I am not too old enough for them. And the plot was very different then all of the other books’ plots. It was sort of suspenseful but not really. I really enjoyed it though. My one wish for these books is that they become more diverse. That could happen easily enough. Now, on with the review.

We moved back to being an apprentice Ranger. But John Flanagan explained why in a letter in the front of the book. I still would have liked this book and the two in front of it to be switched. But at least he explained it. 

The characters were interesting. I liked how some of the side characters became main characters. I have been saying that a lot haven’t I. I have also said this multiple times but I will say it again. All of the characters were very fleshed out. I loved that. I related a lot to some of the characters. If you can relate to a character then the character is probably well written. 

My favorite character was Selethen (I think that I spelled that right). He was smart and cared about his people. I like those kinds of leaders the most. I think that most people do. He was also really nice to the Rangers and Cassandra. He didn’t need to be that nice. Therefore, he is one of my fantasy crushes and maybe my favorite Ranger’s Apprentice character. 

The plot was very good. I loved reading about the desert adventure. It was different from anything else that I have ever read. Very different. Will and the rest of the group got separated so there were 2 different viewpoints. Until the end when they got reunited, because no one saw that coming. The plot was pretty obvious. You had a good guess at what was going to happen next. Sometimes you’re guess was right and sometimes it was wrong. You just didn’t know. But besides those minor issues the book was very good.

There was not much of a setting, to speak of, because most of the book they were in a desert. So the setting was described when they were not in the desert but when they were in the desert it was left up to your imagination. That wasn’t hard at all. It was a desert. Big deal. They probably all look the same, somewhat (please tell if I am wrong about this, I don’t live in a desert). The setting was very well written. 

I really enjoyed this book and I hope that you do as well. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

The Siege of Macindaw, by John Flanagan — January 5, 2018

The Siege of Macindaw, by John Flanagan

download (1)Now a full – fledged Ranger, Will must rescue his friend Alyss from a rogue night and uncover vital information to ward off a Scotti invasion.

This book was just as good as all of the other books in the series. I loved it. There was way more action in this book then in the previous book. I loved it. I also love how we haven’t had school for the past 2 days. That is awesome. The characters were really well written and I enjoyed learning more about them. I always do. Please take my recommendation and read this book you won’t be disappointed. Here’s why.

The characters were super in depth and their feelings and emotions are realistic. I always love characters that actually feel something. It impresses me that someone could get into their characters head and make those emotions show. I hope that I can do that to my characters. Then my world would be saved.

My favorite character was once again Malcom, the healer. I love how he is willing to give up everything that he has ever worked for to help Will and his friends. That takes guts. I hope that everyone who reads this series gives Malcom the respect he deserves. I also love how Malcom takes care of all of the people who have been driven out of their villages, he doesn’t have to take the time to go find and care for these people. Yet he does it anyway. Malcom is a great person and we should all try to be like him.

The plot was very action packed and your heart was always racing wondering what was going to happen next. So, in short, the book was very unpredictable (I did too spell that right you stupid red line). Nothing ever happened the way you thought that it would. The characters were always making split second decisions and changing things. I loved that so much. I am not sure how much you know that I love that. 

The plot twist. Oh, that was beautiful. No one knew what was going on and neither did I until it was finished. It was very confusing, but it was written to be confusing. Then I read on and after I understood what was really going on I reread it so that I understood. I really enjoyed doing that. So all in all the plot was amazing.

The setting was very detailed. By the end of the book I knew the layout of the castle like the back of my hand. I knew what Alyss’s bed chamber looked like because we spent so much time there. I knew these things and I am pretty sure that I will always know them. Just like I will always remember Healer’s Clearing. So the setting was amazing as well. Now you know why I am shoving this book at your face and telling you to read it.

I loved this book and series and I hope that you do too. Please remember to fill out my survey. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

The Sorcerer of the North, by John Flanagan — January 4, 2018

The Sorcerer of the North, by John Flanagan

download (3)Now a full – fledged Ranger responsible for a sleepy fief, Will finds new adventure seeking the traitors who poisoned the Lord of Macnidaw, investigating rumors of sorcery, and trying to rescue Alyss, who was taken hostage.

This book was just as good as all the other books in the series. It might have even been a little bit better. Who knows? Only me until we get on with the review. I enjoyed the characters a lot and the plot was pretty straight forward. I think that everyone should read this book and series. Now lets stop my endless jabbering and get on with the review.

The characters are just as good as the characters in all those past books. They are very realistic. If you have been with me for a while then you know that I love realistic characters. I also loved how funny the characters were. And how John Flanagan didn’t use the he is unpopular so he must be the bad guy trope. Even though he definitely had the chance to. I think that Malcom was my favorite character in this book. He was such a nice person, even though everyone thought that he was evil. I also liked Orman, it is refreshing to read about a fellow nerd. I loved how he didn’t like Will’s playing yet still respected him. I think that Orman will make a good leader. I just hope that he gets the chance. He will probably get the chance. The side characters were very fleshed out as usual and we were always learning new things about them. I loved it. 

The plot was very straight forward. Will goes to Norgate Fief to investigate sorcery rumors. That is basically the plot. Mind you, even though that sounds lame, it is actually really interesting and engaging. I loved how even though the plot was pretty straight forward John Flanagan still managed to add some twists and turns to the book. We did not get that much of Halt and Crowly in this book which made me sad. But it was ok. There was not lots of intense action in this book, there was more information gathering. But I hear that in the next book there will be castle storming. That sounds like a lot of fun to me. But it may just be me being weird. I trust that the next book will have more action, and that we will see more of Halt and Crowly. I really recommend this book and series (I think that I already said that but I will say it again.).

I loved this book and series, I hope that you do as well. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)

The Battle for Skandia, by John Flanagan — January 3, 2018

The Battle for Skandia, by John Flanagan

download (1)After Ranger’s apprentice Will battles Temujai warriors to rescue Evanlyn, Will’s kingdom of Skandia joins forces with rival kingdom Araluen to defeat a common enemy.

This book was as good as all the other books in the series. Not better but just as good. It was very intense and the crew was reunited again. That was a time of happiness for us all. I enjoyed reading this book a lot even though it was suspenseful and dramatic. I highly recommend this series to anyone and everyone who sees it at the bookstore. Or on Amazon. Just read the book. Let me tell you why.

The characters were very interesting. We got more in depth with the some previous side characters. I always find it interesting when a side character becomes a main character. It is something that I will file away for later reference. I was very happy when the crew got back together. And they made it very dramatic. The drama was sort of interesting but not that important. My favorite character in this was Erak. The big Skandian that was totally awesome. All of the characters were awesome. And once again the characters, and the side characters, were very fleshed out. They were also realistic. I can’t go a post without speaking about it. Did I mention it in the last post? No, I didn’t. So I was able not to mention it once. Aren’t you proud of me? No, ok. Sorry for the distraction. If you love to read books that have amazing characters then you should totally read this one.

This was an adventure story so the plot had to be pretty intense. Lucky for me, it was. I loved how fast – paced the plot was. I also enjoyed laughing at the all the jokes because these people are funny. I am not sure if it is just because I have a warped sense of humor or if it is because they are actually funny. I want to know this. Since this was a third person narrative you always knew more then the characters did. So that meant that sometimes you were hoping that the characters didn’t choose things that might kill them. The setting was done very well. As it always is. I trust that the next book will be just as good.

Sorry for the really short review. I am just tired after all of the New Years parties. I highly recommend this book and series. Please remember to fill out my survey. You can find the link on my about page. Thanks for Reading!!!! Have a Great Day!!!! -Annalee and Buttons

Book Rating: th (14)