For those of us that have been waiting with baited breath, the ninth instalment in John Flanagan’s popular Ranger’s Apprentice series, Halt’s Peril (PB $16.95), is finally here.
In this adventure, Ranger Halt, his apprentice Will and the young knight Horace follow Outsider cult leader Tennyson and his converts as they flee Clomnel for Araluen. Having escaped punishment for crimes committed in Clomnel, including the murder of Halt’s brother and king of Clomnel, Ferris, Tennyson needs to be stopped before he can cause any more damage. In order to prevent Tennyson deceiving any more unsuspecting villagers, Halt, Will and Horace must penetrate not only the band of thieves and thugs he employs to do his dirty work, but also the two remaining Genovesan assassins. The assassins provide a formidable opponent, a fact confirmed when the seemingly infallible Halt is injured in tense battle. As Halt’s life hangs in the balance, it’s up to Will and Horace to save him. Will rides for three days straight and manages to capture one of the frightening assassins but can he make it back before it’s too late?
John Flanagan started writing these books because he was concerned his teenage son wasn’t reading enough, so he wrote about knights, kings and battles and when his son came back asking for more, he thought perhaps he was onto something. I just happen to agree and have a deep affection for this series and as ever, this latest tale delivers great adventure with characters you can love.