By John Flanagan
Hal, his Brotherband crew, and the Ranger Gilan have freed the twelve Araluens sold into slavery. Returning to Araluen, Gilan is given a new mission by King Duncan: protect his daughter’s life. Princess Cassandra has survived one attempt on her life already, and now whispers of a second attempt have reached the kingdom. A deadly sect known as the Scorpion Cult is thought to be behind the assassination threat.
Not waiting to see if the knife will strike true, the Brotherband again team up with Gilan to track down the would-be killers.
Having loved the 4th Brotherband I was excited to delve into this latest installation, hoping against hope that there would be a cameo appearance from some of the other Rangers. Sadly, they were mentioned but not seen. It was, however, a fun romp as usual. I enjoyed especially Thorn’s parts in the story. I loved Halt in Ranger’s Apprentice, and now I find myself enjoying Thorn as a Skandian sort of version of the surly Ranger. What can I say about the story other than it’s chuck full of action, adventure, diabolical schemes to be foiled, friendship, honor, and some good old fashioned brawls? As per usual with John Flanagan, he’s delivered a top notch story that will have readers of all ages begging for more, which they already do! I’m glad Flanagan decided to give Gilan a spotlight in these books, as he wasn’t often in Rangers with a large part to play. Keep on reading they just keep getting better!
I give it a 3.75 out of 5