Just as spring approaches and Will and Evanlyn can finally escape Skandia, Evanlyn is carried off by mysterious horsemen. Will sets out after them, but one boy against six fierce Temujai warriors is impossible odds – even for a Ranger’s apprentice. Halt and Horace arrive just in time. But the happiness of their reunion is cut short when Halt realises these Temujai are only the scouts for a massive invasion force. The four Araluans must work together with the Skandians to defeat the invaders – if the Oberjarl will accept their help.
I read this book under the name ‘Oakleaf Bearers’ however it was also published under the name, ‘The Battle for Skandia’.
The book begins as the thaw is starting. Will and Evanlyn must consider their trek back to Araluen however before they’ve had a chance, Evanlyn is captured by a strange horseman. Meanwhile Halt and Horace have made it to the Skandian border. However what greets them changes everything.
The books are just getting better and better. I am hoping this means that the author has found his groove and he will stick with it!
There was a maturity about this book that I liked. The content was a little more detailed and gave greater credit to the reader.
I just love Will. He is such a great character. You’d think he couldn’t keep getting better and better but he does. You can see his growth in each book and it’s remarkable to see how far he has come. He’s certainly not a kid anymore. Obviously Halt and Horace are as likeable as ever. I did find Evanlyn’s character interesting. I didn’t like her in the second book. By the end of the third book I did and throughout this book I wavered between both feelings, coming to an unknown conclusion. I do find it hard to reconcile her as both Evanlyn and Princess Cassandra. I really liked the Skandians in the story (except for Slagor). They are a rough, brutish bunch with good hearts.
Again the pace was steady and the book was riveting, keeping me turning the pages long after my bedtime.
One thing I will say is that I’m a little wary about the love triangle that seems to be surfacing. I guess I feel like no one is good enough for Will!
I would definitely recommend this book for children and even adults if you like fantasy and adventure. However you really need to start at the beginning with the first book, The Ruins of Gorlan.