Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review: The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan
Publisher: Philomel
Publication date: May 2010
ISBN: 9780399252068

Source: Library

The Kings of Clonmel: Book Eight (Ranger's Apprentice)

When Halt doesn't show up for the ranger's annual gathering because he's looking into some rumors in the west, Will knows something big is happening.  In Hybernia, their neighboring country, some religious fanatics are taking control and wreaking havoc among the people.  Can Will, Halt, and Horace manage to save the last kingdom from the same fate?  Especially when some of Halt's past might get in the way...

Things I Liked:
This edition of the Ranger's Apprentice series carries on the tradition of wry humor, adventure, and ranger fun.  The stories are always so fun to read - lots of twists and turns and action that makes you want to find out what happens next.  I also really enjoy the humor of the rangers, especially Halt.  It's nice to take a break from all that cheesy paranormal romance and enjoy some swashbuckling and arrow-slinging adventure.  

'Oh, it's a case of they think I'll think that they'll do A, so they'll do B because I wouldn't think they'd think of that but then because I might think I know what they're thinking they'll do A after all because I wouldn't think they'd think that way,' Will said.  
Halt looked at him for a moment in silence. 'You know, I'm almost tempted to ask you to repeat that.' p 225
Halt shook his head. 'You warriors don't do much geography in Battleschool do you?' 
Horace shrugged. 'We're not big on that sort of thing.  We wait for our leader to point to an enemy and say, "Go whack him."  We leave geography and such to Rangers.  We like you to feel superior.' p 302
Things I Didn't Like:
The stories from this series start to blend together a little after a while.  They are all so similar and the plots follow a very familiar arc.  I'm not sure what exactly happened and when.  Also, I got a bit tired of the repetitive reminders of the things rangers can do without thinking.  Yes, we know they can shoot things with a bow and arrow and sneak up on people very well.  Let's move on.  Definitely to be read one at a time with plenty of time between them.  Or by tween boys.  Whichever.

Start at the beginning of the Ranger's Apprentice Series

It's a little like Lord of the Rings and Percy Jackson 

s-factor: none
that I recall

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
lots of action and fighting 

Overall rating: ****

This reminds me of those rather formulaic series I adored as a child. There's obviously some value in them, right?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I have decided that once a series hits five books, I'm pretty much done. I did like this series, but I would prefer that Flanagan start something else.

  2. Ms. Yingling, that sounds like a pretty good theory about series - after five books, I think it might get a bit repetitive (though, Harry Potter managed 7 very well...)

  3. I think a series stays strong only as long as it was originally planned to be (at least most of the time - so Harry and it's 7 books work, but Ranger's and it's 9 (when it was originally going to be 4) don't). Once the original outline has come and gone the stories start to wonder.

    I love this series, but I really think it's run its course. He should have stuck with 4 (maybe 6) and not continued. That said, I do continue to read them :)

  4. KT, I didn't know it was originally 4. Yes, he probably should have stopped some time ago. And yet, I will read them too! :)


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