Review #4…

The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan

Despite only posting these reviews now, I spent the last week of our Christmas break devouring 4 books in the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan.  As someone who played the first version of Dungeons & Dragons, adores Tolkein and still draws fantasy, I truly appreciate the crisp prose, engaging characters and the vivid, believable world that this author has created.  One of my daughters got tired of wondering why I was chortling at a funny passage or sighing when something wonderful happened and has begun reading the series for herself. She is now hooked as well.

The Kings of Clonmel jumps us a year or so ahead of where the events of The Siege of Macindaw ended. Instead of remaining at his assigned fief, Will Treaty is given the chance to return to where he grew up, and first apprenticed under the famous Ranger, Halt, as part of a small, elite team that will help protect the kingdom of Araluen in case of emergency.  As with the rest of the saga, adventure lurks just around the corner. Will’s former mentor returns with tales of a strange cult known as the Outsiders in the neighbouring kingdom of Clonmel… a group that had been eradicated from Araluen several years ago.  This novel not only reunites favourite characters, it gives us a deeper insight into Halt’s mysterious past before he became the most famous Ranger in the kingdom.  Will, Halt and Horace return to Clonmel to gather information, but what they discover could put both kingdoms in jeopardy as well as their own lives!

The next book in the Ranger’s Apprentice set, Halt’s Peril does not come out in paperback until March.  I like the look of the new paperback format on my bookshelf and as much as I enjoy these stories, I’m not ready to buy the last 2 in hardcover format and mess up the look of my library.  I will move on to lots of other books on my list for now but eagerly anticipate the next installment in this well crafted collection of fine fantasy tales.

Paperback format,  355 pages, published by Puffin Books

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