Customer Reviews: Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice, Book 9)
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Halt has been in countless perilous situations in his life, but he's always come out unscathed. But his winning streak may have come to a permanent end in "Halt's Peril," the ninth book of the Ranger's Apprentice series. John Flanagan's writing drags somewhat in the first half, but the introduction of a deadly threat speeds up the story.

Horace, Halt and Will are still pursuing the evil cult leader Tennyson, who is currently en route to Araluen -- they have to stop him before he gets there, or the Outsider cult might spring up again in their own homeland. Along the way, they have to deal with malevolent pirates, stormy seas, Scotti raiding parties, burned farms, and the Genovesan assassins that Tennyson is traveling with.

But during a battle in a dead forest, Halt is grazed by a crossbow bolt, and within a day he's near-comatose from poison. Now Will must make a desperate journey to fetch an old friend who might be able to save Halt's life -- but the remaining Genovesan is still out hunting for them, and Halt may have only hours to live.

"Halt's Peril" is the darkest Ranger's Apprentice book thus far, mainly because it really does look like Halt is going to die -- and any fantasy fan knows what eventually happens to most mentors once the apprentice has gotten trained. But it's also pretty harrowing to see the young knight and ranger struggling to save him, and doing some pretty desperate stuff along the way.

Biggest problem: the first half of the book goes at a very slow pace. I mean, two whole chapters are devoted to Will hanging around in a tavern and LOOKING for a certain criminal, and it takes another FOUR for the trio to wrangle an answer out of the guy. But Flanagan's prose is still strong enough to compensate, with lots of action, nerve-twisting suspense and bloody fight scenes, as well as some literally haunting scenes tinged with the supernatural (Will sleeping in a haunted barrow-ground).

It's been hinted that Halt is beginning to get a little old for the rough'n'tumble life of a Ranger, but this is the first time we've seen him truly facing death. And though they're a full-fledged knight and ranger, Will and Horace have to take another step forward in their independence -- they not only have to deal with the rotten situation without Halt's help or advice, but they are faced with the possibility of losing him for good.

"Ranger's Apprentice: Halt's Peril" is another solid entry in John Flanagan's action-packed fantasy series -- the first half drags, but things pick up once the assassins come back into the picture.
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on December 13, 2009
Will, Halt, and Horace are tracking Tennyson and his followers, but the Genovesans laid a trap to stop them. Will Halt survive? I think this is the best book in the Ranger's Apprentice series, and I think Ranger's Apprentice is the best series on earth! This book is very exciting and nerve-wracking. I'm 10 years old, and my whole family is reading this series because of me. I think you'll love this book, too.
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on November 1, 2010
Will, Halt and Horace have successfully run Tennyson and his religious cult, The Outsiders, out of the southern kingdom of Clonmel --- but that doesn't mean the threat is over. Like all fanatical leaders, Tennyson has simply packed up and moved on to locate a new place to begin his swindling: Will's home kingdom of Araluen. Before they can even dream of catching up with Tennyson, Will, Halt and Horace first have to secure passage across the dangerous waters surrounding Palisade Reef and escape a band of smugglers who are hot on their trail.

Expert shots with a bow and arrow are difficult enough, but imagine shooting on a rocking boat with wind, rain and the impending threat of running into a dangerous reef. For Will and Halt, it's just another day as a Ranger. They have bigger issues to deal with anyway, as Tennyson and the Outsiders have already started rounding up new followers and are slowly starting to infiltrate Araluen. Tennyson also knows that Will, Halt and Horace are right behind him, so he dispatches two deadly Genovesan assassins to rid himself of the Rangers.

Before the Genovesan assassins can fulfill their mission, though, Will and Halt immediately recognize the danger, and a deadly cat-and-mouse game ensues. Deep within a petrified forest, Halt decides on a risky plan that could kill him. With Will lurking in the shadows behind, Halt will be the scapegoat and the live target for the Genovesans. At first, Halt's plan is executed brilliantly. Will manages to sneak up on the assassins while Halt draws their attention. Only after the Rangers fire their arrows do they realize their mistake. Both Will and Halt shoot the same Genovesan, leaving the other assassin the opportunity to fire his weapon --- at Halt.

After the initial scare of being shot, Halt discovers that the Genovesan's arrow barely nicked him, leaving a small flesh wound. Will and Horace are grateful that he is still alive after coming so close to losing their great mentor and leader. Halt is business as usual as the three friends continue their search for Tennyson, but something isn't right. He begins to issue orders that don't make sense, starts calling Will and Horace by different names, and eventually collapses into unconsciousness. To their horror, Will and Horace discover that the arrow was poisoned, and he is slowly dying.

With time running out, Will and Horace are left with few options. Will immediately leaves to find his old friend Malkallam the Sorcerer for a cure. Malkallam is three days away, though, and Halt could be dead by then. Horace is left to care for Halt, but the remaining Genovesan assassin lurks in the distance, and Horace waits for the end to come at any moment.

John Flanagan has always held the Rangers in such high esteem, both in skill and wisdom, it often seems that nothing can ever go wrong. Sure, the Rangers often go to plan B, but they always appear a step ahead of their enemy. Not this time! For the first time, Flanagan really shows the humanity of the Rangers and the brutal reality of the danger they experience on a daily basis. In such instances, you often learn what people are really made of. The strength of the Ranger's Apprentice series is in the strong bond among the characters and their devotion and loyalty to each other. The good news is that there is one final book in the series coming out early next year.

--- Reviewed by Benjamin Boche
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on August 19, 2011
"Halt's Peril" is Book 9 in the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan. I've read the previous 8 books and absolutely love this series. The characters are believable, the books are well written, and there are a lot of unexpected plot twists. While I enjoyed "Halt's Peril," it just wasn't as good as the previous books. The pace was just slower then the others. I won't ruin the plot, but this continues where Book 8 left off: Halt, Horace and Will are chasing Tennyson, the leader of the cult known as the "Outsiders." As the title suggests, something happens to Halt and the others must see to it that he is saved. A big part of this book involved camping and horse riding scenes. While still a good read, the action is less intense and it takes longer for things to develop. Overall I'd highly recommend the entire series to anyone, just don't expect this one to be as good as the others.
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on November 30, 2010
I'm a loyal Ranger's Apprentice fan. I devoured books 1-4, then waited for book 5 to come out. Oh, that wait! I ravenously finished book 5. After book 6, the wait time between books started getting shorter and shorter, which made me love the series even more.
But enough of my love! Let's get to the point.
For those unfamiliar to the series, Will is a King's Ranger in the medieval Kingdom of Araluen. Halt's also a Ranger, but he was Will's mentor. I say was not because he's dead, but Will's a Ranger now, not an apprentice (yes, I know the title says Ranger's Apprentice, but...) and he doesn't need Halt anymore. Or does he?
That question is asked when Halt is struck by a deadly poison arrow. Halt is desperately in need of an antidote, and Will journeys to find one.
I loved Book 8 a lot because Horace, the knight, joined Will and Halt's party. This RA book is funnier than the rest, in my opinion. Many chapters end with a joke. I loved how once again, Will tries to manage without Halt, like in Book 7. Plus, there are 2 story arcs to keep you entertained. And here's the part I loved most: one of my favorite characters from a previous book that I thought I would never see again returns!
So, with that said, why 4 stars and not 5?
Like a previous reviewer said, the first 150 pages drag a little. They're just tracking assassins, but it's handled well. I mean, who would think a little scrap of cloth could help you figure out so many things?
The ending is good. It doesn't leave you begging for more, but I found myself wanting to read the tenth and final book, THE EMPEROR OF NIHON-JA already.
I would like to give this a 4.5/5 stars, but I can't, so I'll have to give it a 4 since it doesn't deserve a 5. HALT'S PERIL is one of the best in the Ranger's Apprentice series yet.
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on January 16, 2016
I have 3 boys who have all enjoyed this series. It has been a few years since my older boys started this series and I am happy to add to our collection. When my oldest stopped reading the series ended at book 6. When my youngest finished the ones we had, I looked for more and found these. Full of action and adventure with strong male and female characters. Good for the reluctant reader or the hard to please reader.
My boys started reading them between ages 10 and 12, my youngest is now 13.
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on April 15, 2010
This book is amazing, it is exciting the whole way through, and definitely is the most fearful book. (Yet!)
Overall, great read.
I do recommend reading all the other books first though.

A 10 year old.
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on October 14, 2013
I love this series. I've been reading them to my now 9-year-old son for years now.
Last night he asked, "Mom, do we have to read the rest of this?"

I sighed. We're 60% of the way through, so I think we're going to tough it out.
Maybe we'll change our minds when we finish it, but so far I feel like the
author has gotten Long Fantasy Series Excessive Detail Disease (LFS-EDD).
There's less action in this book than in the ones that came before, and much
is described in tedious detail. My goodness, there's a complete recipe
for rabbit stew. And if you'd like to know exactly what a wound looked like
and how it was carefully cleaned with what kinds of cloth and how much water
and in how many steps, this is your book. On top of that, the character
development is non-existent, and the plot gets maudlin.

I'm surprised by the glowing reviews others have given this one. I rate it a yawn.
(I promise I'll come back to update the review when we're done reading.)
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on February 18, 2015
This whole series is great. Recommend for anyone over the age of 8 or 10, depending on how mature the reader, as some of them can get quite intense - parents beware if your child is reading well beyond their age, some of these books have addiction to drugs, death, beatings, all sorts of stuff. I suggest you read first, to make sure your child is up to it. Any one over the age of 12 will love them. (I'm 26)
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on July 10, 2015
This book doesn't move as "fast" as some of the other books, but it's still a great book in the series. This book shows some of the emotional ties that the main characters have to each other, and if you've read the series all the way up until this book, you will feel the emotions that they feel.
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