Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ranger’s Apprentice: Book Nine – Halt’s peril

Ranger’s Apprentice: Book Nine – Halt’s peril

John Flanagan
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Penguin, 2010   ISBN: 978-0399252075

When we last saw Will, his friend Horace, and his mentor Halt, they were on the trial of a cult leader called Tennyson who not only killed Halt’s brother, but who also makes a living by tricking gullible villagers and townsfolk. Tennyson manipulates people into giving him their valuables, telling them that he and the god he serves will protect them from the bandits who threatened their property and their lives. Of course, he does not tell them that the bandits in question are on his payroll.

Tennyson sails to Picta to get away from the two rangers and their friend, but he does not appreciate how determined they are to put a stop to his illegal activities once and for all. Will, Halt, and Horace follow Tennyson and his men, and finally catch up with them back in Araluen. Carefully they set about trying, at the very least, to injure the two assassins who are in Tennyson’s employ. They manage to bring one down, but the second injures Halt. The injury does not look serious, and the travelers continue to follow Tennyson. Then Will realizes that his beloved mentor and trainer is grievously ill. He determines that the arrow that struck Halt was poisoned. Though Will knows how to take care of normal battle wounds, he does not know how to treat Halt. When Halt’s condition deteriorates further, Will knows that he has no choice; he is going to have to get someone who can help Halt, and so he sets off for Grimsdell Wood, the home of Malcolm the healer.

Riding his horse Tug, and Halt’s horse Abelard alternately, Will races for Grimsdell Wood as fast as he can. Hopefully, Malcolm will be willing to help, and hopefully they will get back to Halt before the ranger dies.

In this ninth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series, the adventure began in book eight is concluded. Readers will find themselves sitting on the edge of their seats as they eagerly read on to find out what happens to Halt and his friends. Readers will be interested to see how the now famous Will Treaty faces this very personal and frightening challenge.