Book Review: “The Beast From Another Time” by John Flanagan

Posted December 27, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: “The Beast From Another Time” by John Flanagan

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

"The Beast From Another Time" by John Flanagan
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Middle Grade
Published by Penguin-Random House on November 21, 2017
Pages: 56
Format: eBook
Source: the library

Also by this author: Scorpion Mountain, The Tournament at Gorlan, The Ghostfaces, The Caldera, The Red Fox Clan, Duel at Araluen, Return of the Temujai, The Missing Prince, Escape From Falaise

A short story, 12.5, in The Ranger’s Apprentice adventure fantasy for middle-grade readers series with this story revolving around Maddie. It’s been almost two years since The Royal Ranger, 12. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of The Ranger’s Apprentice books on my website.

NOTE: I did read this at the back of Flanagan’s The Caldera.

My Take

While The Ranger’s Apprentice is aimed at young readers, I love Flanagan’s writing and his stories, and this one is a blend of compassion, knowledge, and ignorance with a woman at the heart. One who may resent the attitude of others, but does take her culture and time into account. Unfortunately, it’s an ignorant attitude on her world’s part…much like our own.

In this short story, Flanagan uses third person simple subjective point-of-view (a practical choice for this short) which has Maddie as a good role model for girls to look up to and for boys to understand that girls are just as good as the boys. “The Beast From Another Time” will also appeal to those who encourage the protection of animals to those who mourn their extinction.

And I’m sure this won’t be the first time young Maddie will have to prove her competence. And it turns into such a sweet — after the terrifying — tale with a touch of the eerie.

The Story

Naturally, a couple comes to Will for help, complaining about a mysterious beast that’s stealing their sheep. Only, Will has left home for a few weeks, leaving Maddie in charge, trusting her to pick her battles. After all, she’s only been an apprentice for a few years!

But, but, Maddie is a girl! Everyone knows that girls aren’t Rangers!

But this is what Maddie is training for, to help people. And she knows enough to do her research and make a plan. A plan that is not completely without dangers…

The Characters

Maddie, a.k.a., Princess Madelyn and heir to the throne of Araluen, has been Will’s apprentice for almost two years, and she’s deadly with a sling and a bow. Bumper is Maddie’s horse. Princess Cassandra and Sir Horace Altman are her parents.

Will Treaty is all grown up now and mentoring Maddie as an apprentice. Tug is his horse, and Sable is still his dog. Trained as a scribe at the same time as Will trained as a Ranger apprentice, George is now head librarian and historian at Castle Redmont.

Hector and Gert Farrows live alone on a small farm in the Spiny Mountains.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a deep range of blues and green from the night sky to the deeper green of a thickly wooded forest partially hiding a full moon to the mist rising up from the ground on which a small farm and its buildings are tucked in the distance. It’s Maddie out front on the left with her long hair flowing, wearing a Ranger uniform, and carrying her kit. The author’s name is small and white near the top on the left while the title is larger and below it in a soft yellow. The series information is at the bottom right in white.

The title is “The Beast From Another Time”, one thought to be a myth.

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