The end is near and I am getting a bit emotional about it. I have loved every book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan and I only have one book left. Two, if you count the collection of short stories. I am torn between snatching up the last book and reading it right now and waiting, just to delay the inevitable. Confession: I snatched the book up. Now, do I read it or finish the things I have already started? While I struggle with this personal dilemma you can read about Halt’s Peril. Be warned that you will encounter spoilers if you have not read the previous eight books. If that is the case, stop reading this and immediately run to the library/store/internet and get yourself a copy of The Ruins of Gorlan. You can thank me later. Anyway, moving along.
Halt’s Peril, Ranger’s Apprentice book 8 by John Flanagan, 2010
Will, Halt and Horace are back on the trail of Tennyson and his cult, the Outsiders. They have tracked the charlatan and his men back into the Rangers’ homeland of Araluen. Their journey is fairly eventless until they are ambushed by Tennyson’s hired assassins, the Genovesans. During the ambush Halt is nicked by what turns out to be a poisoned crossbow bolt. Their pursuit of Tennyson comes to an end as Will sets out to get help for his dying mentor. Can Halt survive long enough for help to arrive? How will Horace and Will face the Lady Pauline if he does not? And what will become of Tennyson and the Outsiders? You’ll have to read Halt’s Peril to find out!
I would hate to spoil the story for anyone, but I have to say that I think this was the most suspenseful and funniest volume yet. We meet some old friends (and enemies), Will and Horace both have to make difficult decisions, and the constant banter and teasing among the three friends is practically non-stop (except, of course, during the tragic parts…). The ninth volume is not short on action, adventure, or clever battle manuevers. I’ll even confess to getting a little teary-eyed at the end. Fans will not be disappointed (except for the fact that they are one book away from the final, for real end).
Readalikes: Cinda Williams Chima, Garth Nix, Michael Scott