He already had a fair idea who it would be. And even as he spoke, his guess was confirmed as a bay horse and a tall rider trotted out of the trees some hundred metres ahead of him to wait at the crossroads there. Tug snorted again, tossing his head.

‘All right. I can see them.’

Book Summary

Will is at the annual Ranger Gathering but Halt is investigating mysterious happenings in the west. When he does finally return, it’s with bad news. Hibernia is in turmoil. A religious cult calling themselves the Outsiders are sowing confusion and sedition, and five of the six Hibernian kingdoms have been undermined. Now the sixth, Clonmel, is in danger. Halt, Will and Horace set out to restore order. Can the secrets of Halt’s past help them in their mission?

Some Advice

When reading this book, I didn’t nearly understand it as well as I do today. Reading books multiple times is a good thing. You can restore the knowledge the book gives you. Expand on your reading. Don’t just take what it says in the text, and stick with it. Often there is a deeper meaning to what the author writes. After I finish this series, I will post some text that made me think very hard. I encourage you readers to write a few words after every book/series you read. It could be a sentence, or a page. When you do this, you could find a deeper meaning to the book or series itself. Have Fun! Here is an example.

Excerpt 1

‘He slipped back the cowl from his face, stepped out of the shadows and walked casually through the tent toward the large central tent. Noticing a bucket full of water standing outside one tent, he glanced around to see if anyone was observing him. Satisfied that he had aroused  no attention, he hastily grabbed the bucket, and continued on his way.

A few meters on, he passed three men. Seeing the bucket, they assumed he had gone to fetch water. Always seem to have a purpose, Halt taught Will years ago. If people think there’s a reason you’re in a place, odds are they won’t bother to challenge you. 

“Right again, Halt,” he muttered to himself, and continued to make his way farther into camp.

Excerpt 2

“Try to look diffident” Halt added to Horace. The tall warrior frowned at the word. “How do I do that?”

“Look as if you’re not certain you should be here,” Halt said, “As if you’re uncertain of yourself.”

“Well I’m not certain I should be here,” Horace said.

Halt sighed, “Then stop striding along so confidently. Look as if you think I’m going to whack you on the head any minute. That’ll do the trick.”

“Are you?” Horace asked, smiling. 

Halt shot a baleful glance at the younger man. But before he could speak . . . ‘

Excerpt 3

“Come on, we’d better look at livestock. Although, thank God, I’ve seen little in the way of good animals arrive so far. Otherwise, I might have to buy some.”

“We could always eat ’em,” Horace suggested cheerfully. Halt eyed him.

“It always gets back to eating with you doesn’t it?” he asked.

“I’m a growing boy, Halt,” the young warrior said. Halt snorted and led the way toward the market. They strolled among the stalls and live stock pens . . .

Halt stopped by a small pen that held three sheep. Their wool was coated and matted with mud. He nodded to the owner and stepped into the pen. He caught the nearest, held it between his knees and pried its jaws apart, peering at its teeth. The sheep struggled n protest at this treatment and eventually he released it, dusted his hand together and looked at the owner again, giving a small shake of the head. He stepped out of the pen and they moved on. 

“So, what was wrong with them?” Horace asked after a few moments.

Halt turned a curious gaze on him. “Wrong with what?” 

Horace jerked his thumb back toward the small sheep pen. “The sheep’s teeth. What was the problem?”

Halt shrugged. “Haven’t the faintest idea. What do I know about sheep?”

“But you–“

“I looked at his teeth. That’s what people seem to do when they look at animals. They look at their teeth. Then the usually shake their heads and walk off. So that’s what I did.” He paused then continued. “Did you want me to buy it?” Horace raised both hand in a defensive gesture. “Not at all. I just wondered.” 

“Good.” Halt smiled sardonically. “For a moment there I thought you might be feeling a bit peckish.”

Excerpt 4

“Any sign of them?” Halt asked.

Will shook his head. “Not so far,” he said. Then he added, “I thought you said a dawn attack would be too obvious and they probably won’t attack till midday?”

Halt picked up Will’s canteen and took a swig of cold water, before answering. 

“I did. But then they might decide to do the obvious thing after all,” he said.

“Oh, it’s a case of they think I’ll think that they’ll do A, so they’ll do B because they wouldn’t think they’d think of that but then because I might think I know what they are thinking they’ll do A after all because I wouldn’t think they’ll think that way,” Will said.

Halt looked at him for a long moment in silence. “You know I’m almost tempted to ask you to repeat that.”

Will grinned, “I’m not sure I could.”

Happy Reading!!!!

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Kings Of Clonmel

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2 thoughts on “Ranger’s Apprentice: Kings of Clonmel (Book 8) By: John Flannagan

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