Halt O'Carrick Spoiler Alert!

Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Sorcerer in the North.

The Sorcerer in the North (The Sorcerer of the North in the United States) is the fifth book in the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan.

Synopsis Edit

Will, you are a Ranger now, protect your land at all costs.

You are a fully-fledged Ranger at last but your new land is already under threat.

The Grimsdell Forest is being haunted by eerie voice and the terrifying figure of the Night Warrior. Could this really be the work of sorcery?

As you battle growing hysteria and traitors, your lifelong friend Alyss, is taken hostage.

Time is running short. Do you save her or stay true to your mission?

Plot Edit

Seacliff Fief This novel starts with Will traveling to his first assignment as a fully fledged Ranger. During his travel to his assigned fief, he finds a female dog bleeding to death by the roadside. Will takes her in, stitches her up and places her on the back of his horse so he can tend to her.  He catches a boat ride to the main island, as Seacliff Fief is separated from the main body of Araluen by a stretch of water. The ferryman is wary of the Ranger, in particular when he talks quietly to Tug.  Riding through the village Will is greeted with slightly wary and suspicious gazes which comes as no surprise to him.  However, one young woman, looking out of a window in the village inn watches him intently. Will later finds out that she is called Delia

After spending a few weeks at Seacliff, the fief to which Will is assigned, Will realises that this fief has grown lax in the training of its knights and a little lax in its responsibilities due to being a bit of a 'backwater' and he struggles with the lack of activity, being used to the pace of life in a busy and large Fief like Redmont.

However, this is muted as he starts to make friends with Delia and he finds himself enjoying spending time with a pretty young woman and starts to get quite fond of her.

Skandians Edit

Just before the month is up, a Skandian raiding party consisting of around thirty men arrive at this lazy town. The soldiers are unprepared from the lack of practice and would certainly not stand a chance against the raiding party. Will rides out alone to meet them and they come to an agreement, in particular when Will is recognized by one of the Skandians who was present in the battle against the Temujai in the Battle for Skandia.

The Skandian party had little choice but to raid the town because they would have starved otherwise; however, if they attacked, Will would have killed at least half of them with his yew longbow before they even reached the town. Will had a better idea and persuaded the baron and battlemaster to supply a certain number of animals, food and drink for the Skandians and also has them thrown a banquet in the castle. By this, Will did two things: he taught the baron and battle master a lesson and protected Seacliff from raiding.  After that the Battlemaster has his knights and apprentices step up their training.

A New Mission Edit

After a few days, Alyss, Will's lifelong friend, arrives at Seacliff on a courier mission.  There is some awkwardness in the meeting as Will was entertaining Delia on his mandola which he has learned to play later on in his apprenticeship.  Alyss and Delia are therefore a little tense with each other as Alyss is still in love with Will.  Delia leaves, fuming quietly, as she quite likes Will. 

While sitting in Will's cabin, Alyss mentioned Halt, Will's former master, and Crowley, the Ranger Corp Commandant, have a task for him and that she was here to inform him about it, the courier mission merely being a ruse.  

Unfortunately their conversation is overheard by John Buttle, the man who had injured Will's dog earlier and was connected to a string of murders in the area. Will, realizing they are being spied on, knocks him out cold and ties him up.  Alyss says they will probably have to kill him, because he had overheard their conversation. Will had a better solution and gave him to the Skandian raiders as a slave. Which, Gundar Hardstriker (the captain of the Ship) is delighted by as it will help to make them a profit back in Skandia.

At the Gathering Grounds Edit

Will travelled to Halt and Crowley as Alyss had instructed him and met them at the Ranger's Gathering Grounds where he meets up with Halt and Crowley.

His master tells him to go undercover as a jongleur and gather information in Norgate, a northern fief, at the castle Macindaw. Lord Syron, the master at castle Macindaw, has fallen sick from some strange illness. Rumors have spread that a sorcerer was respond action.  He travels part of the way to Norgate Fief with a "retired" Ranger called Berrigan who still works undercover occasionally for the Ranger Corps, travelling as a jongleur with his guittara.

Castle Macindaw Edit

Once in Norgate Fief, Will, now comfortable with his role as a jongleur, heads for an inn to gather his first information.  After playing a few songs on his mandolin, the crowd in the tavern quickly warm to him and become quite friendly.  Shadow is also with Will, and he has trained her to help in his act.  The village folk reveal some of what they know about the situation at Castle Macindaw after Will says that is where he wishes to travel to next. 

At Macindaw, Will meets Orman, the temporary lord of the castle, the son of Lord Syron. An irate bibliophile, he always wears black. Orman is an unpopular ruler due to his lack of skill in battle and being more of a scholar than anything else. Will also meets Sir Keren, Orman's cousin and a more popular man among the subjects in the castle.

Will is immediately suspicious of Orman and so is Alyss, who just happens to be his contact sent by Halt and Crowley. Alyss is undercover as Lady Gwendolyn, a pompous and superficial woman on her way to her fiance's castle in the next fief.

Unmasked Edit

Later as the plot unfolds Orman summons Will to his quarters and it is revealed that the guise of a simple jongleur has failed and Orman knows Will to be a Ranger. Orman tells Will that Keren was planning a take over of the castle and that Keren has poisoned Lord Syron and has managed to do the same to Orman. So Will escapes from the castle with Orman and his assistant, Xander to Grimsdell Woods where the "sorcerer" lives.

Once there, they find Malcom the "sorcerer" and ask for his help which he gives. Alyss meanwhile is puzzled seeing Will help Orman and entertains many hypotheses, none of which are right. Then Keren enters her room to tell her about recent events, but as they are talking, John Buttle walks in. He recognizes Alyss and she is captured. Keren hypnotizes her with a stone and tries to force her to tell the truth; the first attempt doesn't work, but the second does.

Rescue my life Edit

Will later goes back to Macindaw in an attempt to save her. He climbs the tower wall and attempts to dissolve the bars protecting the window with a special acid he has received from Malcom. Will fails in the rescue attempt and barely escapes from the castle with his life.

The Help of a Friend Edit

The story ends with a scene at Castle Araluen.  Halt and Crowley are debating what to do about the situation in the north.  They haven't heard from Will via the pigeon messages and after discussing (at times in a somewhat heated fashion) they send for Horace, one of the best knights in the kingdom.  Horace heads off for Norgate Fief to help his friend and discover what has happened.

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Books in the Ranger's Apprentice Series