From Goodreads: After a senseless tragedy destroys his life, Will is obsessed with punishing those responsible - even if it means leaving the Ranger Corps. His worried friends must find a way to stop him taking such a dark path.
is Halt who suggests the solution: Will must take an apprentice. The
candidate Halt has in mind surprises everyone - and it's a request Will
Training a rebellious, unwilling apprentice is
hard enough. But when a routine mission uncovers a shocking web of
crime, Will must decide where his priorities lie - finishing his quest
for revenge, or saving innocent lives?
Thoughts: John Flanagan is lucky to be such a talented writer or he may have suffered from pushing a series one book too far. In fact each book in the 12 book series can stand on it's own merits. Each story is different and while there are reoccuring characters, the constant introduction of new characters I think helped keep the series fresh and interesting.
The Royal Ranger is touted as "the final book of the Ranger's Apprentice series" and I hope it is. While room was left at the end to move on a different tangent, I hope this is the last book in which Will is a leading character. I think the biggest risk Flanagan took in this was making Will's apprentice the first female ranger. This could have become very twee and condescending, but Flanagan managed it well. Maybe by choosing to make it comment worthy but not trouble making he avoided wandering into dangerous territory.
This series is a wonderful one and one I recommend at every possible opportunity. Well written, fast paced and entertaining - it's been a great journey.