Flanagan returns to the kingdom of Araluen for another adventure, reuniting readers with familiar characters and introducing them to a new generation of heroes and villains.
The passing of more than 15 years since the last adventure has ushered in many changes. Gilan has assumed the role of Ranger Corps Commandant. King Duncan’s illness has forced Cassandra and Horace into running the kingdom, a task made all the more difficult by the willfulness of their daughter, Maddie. And Will Treaty, devastated by the loss of his wife, Alyss, has been left broken and fixed on revenge. Halt, Will’s former mentor, suggests a solution to both problems: Maddie should be trained as the kingdom’s first female Ranger. Maddie’s initial enthusiasm at her newfound freedom is quickly harnessed by her rigorous training. She responds well to Will’s tutelage, but her mettle is tested when her first mission threatens both Will’s life and her own. Flanagan’s return to Araluen is a satisfying transition from one generation to the next. He manages once again to deliver humor, heartache and some important lessons while arrows fly, enhancing his suspenseful plots with characters kids can relate to.
An excellent addition to a favorite series; the short breather did Flanagan good. (Fantasy. 10-14)