Ranger’s Apprentice: The Battle for Skandia
It was a constant tapping sound that roused Will from his deep, untroubled sleep. He had no clear idea at what point he first became aware of it. It seemed to slide unobtrusively into his sleeping mind, magnified and amplified inside his subcon-scious, until it crossed over into the conscious world and he realised he was awake, and wondering what it might be. Tap-tap-tap-tap . . . It was still there, but not so loud now that he was awake and aware of other sounds in the small cabin. From the corner, behind a small curtain of sacking that gave her a modicum of privacy, he could hear Evanlyn’s even breathing. Obviously, the tapping hadn’t woken her. There was a muted crackle from the heaped coals in the fireplace at the end of the room and, as he became more fully awake, he heard them settle with a slight rustling sound. Tap-tap-tap . . .
When we last left Will and Evalyn, Will was hopelessly addicted to warmweed, fed to all slaves to keep them working in the cold without thoughts of resistance, and Evalyn plotting to get him out of the hostile ice-land of Skandia, with its Viking-like warriors, and back to Halt. Yet Evanlyn is taken captive by Temujai warriors, and soon Halt makes a horrifying discovery: Skandia’s borders have been breached by the entire Temujai army, fierce fighters all. And Araluen is next in their sights. If two kingdoms are to be saved, an unlikely alliance must be made.