Friday, May 18, 2012

Review - The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 8) by John Flanagan (4/5 stars)

Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 400 pages
Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: September 6, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0142418574
Stand Alone or Series: 8th book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the eighth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. There are ten books total in the series. If you have enjoyed the previous books in this series, then you will enjoy this one as well.

When Will arrives at the yearly Ranger’s Gathering he finds that Halt is missing. Halt is in the west investigating a mysterious religious cult called the Outsiders that is affecting the stability of the kingdom of Clonmel. Will and Horace are asked to go and assist Halt in dealing with the threat.

This book was very much like all the previous books in this series. It was a solid and well done fantasy with humorous banter between the characters. Will, Halt, and Horace are fun to read about.

The plot is very much like other plots in this series. This is a problem in a kingdom that needs to be dealt with; our trio goes and deals with it. Along the way there are some twists and turns that put them in tough situations and they need to use their wits and talents to figure out a solution.

There is one additional thing in this book that makes things a bit more interesting. In this story we learn a lot about Halt’s history, where he comes from, and who his family is. It was fun to learn about Halt’s past and get some more background on him. Although I found the background as to why Halt left his family to be a bit unrealistic when you consider who Halt is and how he normally acts.

I was a bit disappointed that none of the girls feature in this story. I have enjoyed having Alyss or Cassandra as part of the story. I also thought that there really wasn’t as much character development in this book as in previous books. Will is grown and seems a bit stagnant. Horace was more witty than in previous books but outside of that he was the same old Horace. Even Halt seems a bit tired throughout the story.

This book is the first half of a story that will be continued into book 9. As with previous books, this is a well written but not super creative story.

Overall another solid addition to this series. It was great to learn about Halt’s past. The witty banter between the characters is highly entertaining. I didn’t think there was as much character development as in previous books. In general this is a solid traditional adventure fantasy that should appeal to a middle grade and older audience.

This goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Books Reading Challenge

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