August 02, 2010

Ranger's Apprentice: The Kings of Clonmel

By John Flanagan
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Flanagan returns with book 8 in the Ranger's Apprentice series.  Fans of Halt, Will and Horace will be more than delighted to reacquaint themselves with these great characters as they face their newest adventure.  Halt has discovered a religious cult that call themselves The Outsiders has infiltrated the country of Hibernia.  The Outsiders are supremely dangerous beyond just gathering followers.  They also hire a group of bandits to raid towns and farms and then claim that only their god Alseiass can protect the townspeople...if the townsfolk give up their gold and jewels to make offerings to the god.  Well, of course they move on when the town has been bled dry, but they also gain followers.  And when they get enough followers, they are going to attempt to take over the kings who run the country and rule it all.  But Halt gets wind of it and of their leader Tennyson, and takes Will and Horace along to Hibernia which we learn is Halt's actual birthplace.  And going to Hibernia reveals a few choice tidbits about Halt's most mysterious past.  Is there fighting against impossible odds?  Of course!  It is what we love about this series.  The end is a bit of a cliffhanger, for while the immediate threat is dealt with, the story isn't over.  Fans will look forward to the next book in the series, Halt's Peril, due out in October 2010, that should conclude this particular adventure, and will be happy to know a book 10 will follow in the spring of 2011.

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