Book Review: John Flanagan’s The Lost Stories

Posted December 5, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Middle-Grade readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: John Flanagan’s The Lost Stories

The Lost Stories


John Flanagan

It is part of the , , , , , , , , series and is a action & adventure, fantasy in Hardcover edition that was published by Philomel Books on October 4, 2011 and has 422 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Sorcerer in the North, The Siege of Macindaw, Erak's Ransom, The Kings of Clonmel, Halt's Peril, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, The Outcasts, Invaders, The Hunters, The Royal Ranger, Slaves of Socorro, Scorpion Mountain, The Tournament at Gorlan, The Ghostfaces, "The Beast From Another Time", The Caldera

An omnibus of ten stories revolving around the Ranger Corps in the Kingdom of Araluen.

Flanagan takes an unique approach introducing this collection of short stories he has written around the Ranger’s Apprentice by having an archeology professor in 1896 dig up a chest full of reports at a dig site. He ends with a fragment/afterword that introduces his new series, The Brotherband Chronicles.

All are in the Ranger’s Apprentice series

“Hibernian”, 0.25
“Death of a Hero”, 0.5
“Inkwell and the Dagger”, 3.5
“Roamers”, 7.5??
“Purple Prose”, 10.5
“Dinner for Five”, 10.6
“Bridal Dance”, 10.7
“And About Time, Too…”, 10.8
“Wolf”, 10.9

The Stories

“Death of a Hero” tells the story of Will Treaty’s father and his heroic death on Hackham Heath along with how Will ended up at Redmont Castle in the Ward.

“Inkwell and the Dagger” begins with Ranger Gilan watching Halt ride off after being banished from the kingdom for 12 months and “stripped of his position in the Ranger Corps”. Crowley decides Gilan needs something to distract them from the loss of their friend Halt and assigns Gilan to an investigation of a killer by the name of Foldar.

“Roamers” find Halt and Will capturing river pirates but only to arrive home and discover that gypsies stole Ebony. Alyss feels responsible and insists on going with Will to retrieve Will’s still-young dog.

“Purple Prose” is a few months before Horace and Cassandra’s wedding and Will is struggling to create a memorable speech in his role as Horace’s best man. Unfortunately, the only copy is along for the ride when Will and Halt work to foil a moondarkers’ plot to wreck ships. Truly, “Purple Prose” in the verbal and physical forms!

“Dinner for Five” results in a foodless dinner for Gilan when Jenny foils the silver thieves.

“Bridal Dance” finds Will suspicious of a pair of Toscan strangers and what their plans may be during Horace and Cassandra’s wedding festivities. The wedding guests are a who’s who of the series: Erak, the Oberjarl of the Skandians; Gundar Hardstriker brings the Emperor of Nihon-Ja, Shigeru, on his “Wolfwill”; and, the Arridi, Selethen.

“Hibernian” provides the back history on who first trained Halt and how he came to be a Ranger. It’s also a fascinating early history on how low the Ranger Corps fell before Duncan became King.

“Wolf” is so sad. It takes place after Will has been a Ranger for 15 years and tells of how Tug is retired from the Ranger Corps.

“And About Time, Too…” is of Will and Alyss’ wedding with Horace and Cassandra as best man and matron of honor, Tug and Ebony as best horse and best dog, Halt and Pauline, Jenny and Gilan, Baron Arald to marry them and Lady Sandra, and Malcolm and Trobar with Shadow.

The Cover and Title

The cover includes the embossed black arch across the top of the cover framing a highly-decorated round wooden shield with the Rangers’ black oakleaf centered on it and a sword piercing it from top to bottom against a blue-green background of forest.

The title, The Lost Stories, refers to Professor Giles MacFarlane finding a lost cache of Ranger chronicles.