For a series that has had the grand title “The Final Chapter” plastered against not one, but two installments, Ranger’s Apprentice and its preceding spin-offs, prequels, and sequels have had a remarkable sense of an open-ended tale. The lore that binds the many regions and characters of Araulen together never has had a definite conclusion in sight, despite author John Flanagan’s frequent attempts to plaster his latest books in such a manner. And after years of being trapped in this one franchise and its seemingly never-ending lineup of series, Flanagan has dropped the whole notion and instead pressed into it, delivering a brand-new series that will be continuing this May with Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger – Duel at Araulen. The entire series is famously based off the twelfth Ranger’s Apprentice book, originally titled The Royal Ranger.The new series has brought in some fan-favorite characters yet new blood to the scene, including a new main protagonist. It’s the first real and momentous step that Flanagan has prompted in years, feeling like a definite move forward for the series and its continuing arcs.
Back in 2010, book ten of the original Ranger’s Apprentice series, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, was released, noted as “The Final Battle.” Mincing words here and there, that essentially means the final conclusion of this series. The book is intended to wrap up the arcs of all our favorite rangers, knights, and more in one neat, satisfying bow, and that’s a task it certainly accomplished. While it barely scratches the surface in the quality of previous entries, there’s a lot lurking under the dense 590 pages to enjoy, with the satisfying conclusion certainly being one of those things. Point being, it was a definite step towards wrapping it all up and hopefully allowing author Flanagan to move onto bigger and brighter things, but he wasn’t done with Araulen just yet.