The lost stories

John Flanagan

Book - 2011

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.

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New York : Philomel Books 2011.
Main Author
John Flanagan (-)
1st American ed
Item Description
Originally published: North Sydney, N.S.W. : Random House Australia, 2011.
Physical Description
422 p. : map ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Flanagan, whose Ranger's Apprentice series ended this spring with the tenth volume, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, offers fans a generous parting gift: a collection of nine stories showing events not recorded in the books and following the familiar characters during certain unrecorded times. In the framework story, set in 1896, an archaeologist discovers the fabled lost stories of the medieval Kingdom of Araluen. What a find! Who would want to miss Horace's wedding to Princess Cassandra, complete with assassins and Will's dreaded speech? Two stories go back further in time, one to explore Will's parentage and another to show how Halt came to join the Ranger Corps. Inspired by questions from readers, these short stories retain the adventure and the camaraderie of the novels. One could enjoy them without having read the series, and the amusing Dinner for Five is highly recommended to those who loved Patricia C. Wrede's Utensile Strength (aka The Frying Pan of Doom ) in Book of Enchantments (1996), but a knowledge of the characters enhances the book's undeniable charm.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-A wood and brass chest, unearthed during an excavation of the ancient kingdom of Araluen, contains manuscripts authenticating the existence of the Rangers, who had merely been legend. These lost stories weave a thread through events and characters from previous titles in the series. The collection opens with Ranger Halt divulging to his apprentice, Will, how he came to be his mentor. Years before, he was saved in battle by a young sergeant named Daniel, who, in his last breath, asked Halt to look out for his wife and a son-a baby named Will. In another chapter a young Ranger, Gilan, takes on Halt's search for a coldhearted killer when Halt is exiled for insulting King Duncan. Animals are keen and well-developed characters throughout the series and this volume is no exception. In one story, Will's dog, Ebony, is stolen by Roamers training fight dogs for sport and, in another, Flanagan pulls heartstrings with the bittersweet retirement of Will's horse, Tug. More sentimentality and bits of humor are shown as Flanagan's leading men find their mates and settle down. Halt's masculine demeanor is softened by Pauline and, as Will prepares a speech for the marriage of his best friend, Horace, readers will also be rooting for his union with Alyss. Author notes at the beginning of each chapter explain how readers' questions often prompted the stories. While those unfamiliar with the earlier books will enjoy the adventurous tales on their own merit, Lost Stories will be most satisfying for diehard fans reluctant to say goodbye to the series.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

It had been a long, hard three days. Will had been on a tour of the villages surrounding Castle Redmont. It was something he did on a regular basis, keeping in touch with the villagers and their headmen, keeping track of the everyday goings-on. Sometimes, he had learned, little pieces of gossip, seemingly trivial at the time, could become useful in heading off future trouble and friction within the fief. It was part of being a Ranger. Information, no matter how unimportant it might seem at first glance, was a Ranger's lifeblood. Now, late in the afternoon, as he rode wearily up to the cabin set among the trees, he was surprised to see lights in the windows and the silhouette of someone sitting on the small verandah. Surprise turned to pleasure when he recognized Halt. These days Will's mentor was an infrequent visitor to the cabin, spending most of his time in the rooms provided for him and Lady Pauline in the castle. Will swung down from the saddle and stretched his tired muscles gratefully. "Hullo," he said. "What brings you here? I hope you've got the coffee on." "Coffee's ready," Halt replied. "Tend to your horse and then join me. I need to talk to you." His voice sounded strained. Curiosity piqued, Will led Tug to the stable behind the cabin, unharnessed him, rubbed him down and set out feed and fresh water. The little horse butted his shoulder gratefully. He patted Tug's neck, then headed back to the cabin. Halt was still on the verandah. He had set out two cups of hot coffee on a small side table and Will sat in one of the wood-andcanvas chairs and sipped gratefully at the refreshing brew. He felt the warmth of it flowing through his chilled, stiff muscles. Winter was coming on and the wind had been cold and cutting all day. He gazed at Halt. The gray-bearded Ranger seemed strangely ill at ease. And despite his claim that he needed to talk to Will, once the usual greetings were out of the way, he seemed almost reluctant to begin the conversation. "You had something to tell me?" Will prompted. Halt shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Then, with an obvious effort, he plunged in. "There's something you should know," he said. "Something I probably should have told you long ago. It's just . . . the time never seemed right." Will's curiosity grew. He had never seen Halt in such an uncertain mood. He waited, giving his mentor time to settle his thoughts. "Pauline thinks it's time I told you," Halt said. "So does Arald. They've both known about it for some time. So maybe I should just . . . get on with it." "Is it something bad?" Will asked, and Halt looked directly at him for the first time in several minutes. "I'm not sure," he said. "You might think so." For a moment, Will wondered if he wanted to hear it, whatever it might be. Then, seeing the discomfort on Halt's face, he realized that, good or bad, it was something that his teacher had to get off his chest. He gestured for Halt to continue. Halt paused for a few more seconds, then he began. "I suppose it starts after the final battle against Morgarath's forces, at Hackham Heath. They'd been retreating for several days. Then they stopped and made a stand. We'd broken their main attack and we were forcing them back. But they were rallying on the right, where they'd found a weak point in our line . . ." Excerpted from The Lost Stories by John Flanagan All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.