Author: John Flanagan
Grade Level: 3-9
Horace has been on a mission to Nihon-Ja, to learn and better understand the unique fighting styles of the Senshi. During his time there, he has befriended the Emperor of the Nihon-Ja, a kind man who believes that the lower classes of his society should have more say and kinder treatment from the elite Senshi. However, an evil Senshi leader called Arisaka desires the throne himself and he uses the kindness of the Emperor, Shigeru, to spread lies that allow him to rebel and come after the Emperor. Horace cannot leave this good man to die and have his people perish with an evil usurper, and so he helps Shigeru to safety. However, his absence is noted and of course, Will, Halt, Alyss, Selethen, and Evalyn come to his rescue. With the help of all these brave gajiin, the Emperor finds allies among the lower social classes and they are all able to gather and create a brave resistance to Arisaka's evil. Will all of this be enough to save Nihon-Ja from Arisaka's evil? Will the people finally feel like they are worthy to fight and defeat the Senshi? Find out in the final installment to the Ranger's Apprentice series.
After 10 books, I get why the author has decided Will and his friends' story must come to a close, but I find the moment bittersweet. I have really loved each and everyone of these books, sitting on the edge of my seat at times--you know that moment in a book when you want to put it down because you are terrified of what will come next, but you can't put it down because it is that good!! Well, that is the world of the Ranger's Apprentice, and this final chapter was worthy of all those that came before. I will even miss these characters since no more books are to come. Like all stories, there could be many more books--no story is ever finished, the author has just chosen to stop telling it.