Halt O'Carrick Spoiler Alert!

Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Kings of Clonmel.

The Kings of Clonmel is the eighth book in the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan.

Synopsis Edit

The surrounding kingdoms have fallen prey to a religious cult who are spreading confusion and rebellion.

The only kingdom that is uncorrupted is Clonmel and it is about to fall...

It is up to Will, Halt and Horace to rid the land of this dangerous enemy and restore order once again.

Could secrets from Halt's past hold the key to success?

Plot Edit

One year after the events of The Siege of Macindaw, Will and Gilan attend the Ranger Gathering, but the absence of their former master Halt is all too evident, and Crowley refuses to tell them where he is.

Halt is monitoring a small fishing village on the west Araluan coast, where a religious cult has appeared. Halt has met them before; they are the Outsiders. They arrive with promises of protection via their all-loving god Alseiass after bandits begin attacking the village; in fact these bandits were hired by the Outsiders themselves.

After preventing the bandits from burning several of the village's boats and outwitting them into chasing one of their own, he returns to the village and reveals the Outsiders' true motivation; gold, which they had been collecting from the villagers to build an altar to allegedly pray to Alseiass. He seizes their leader, who is bewildered by his appearance and asks, "What are you doing here?" Halt is sure he and the man have never met before.

Back at the Ranger Gathering, Crowley offers Will a position in the new Special Task Group, a group of Rangers who will deal with international Araluan affairs. This position stations him at the Redmont Fief where he grew up and where Halt lives. Will's girlfriend Alyss and Halt's wife Lady Pauline also live there; he accepts immediately.

Will rides to the fief, where he is greeted by a feast made by his childhood friend, Jenny, who now owns a restaurant in Wensley Village. Alyss, Crowley and Lady Pauline are also there, and Halt arrives shortly after, bringing word of the Outsiders.

The country of Hibernia to the west of Araluen is almost completely under the control of the Outsiders and their leader Tennyson. Five of the six kingdoms have already fallen, and the last, Clonmel, is on the brink.

Halt, Will and the knight Horace are chosen to travel to Hibernia to help them regain control of their country. Halt proposes that they enlist the help of Clonmel's king, Ferris, in order to repel the takeover. When asked why the king would listen to him, Halt reveals that Ferris is his brother.

Hibernia Edit

The next chapter picks up with Horace expressing his disbelief at Halt being royalty.  This exasperates the older ranger somewhat and amuses Will. Halt explains that he was the older brother and first in line to the throne, but Ferris' thirst for power lead to him attempting to kill Halt several times. After he tried to drown him, Halt left Hibernia for Araluen, leading to him becoming a Ranger.

They go around, investigating the Outsiders and Halt reflects on how much Clonmel has changed since he lived there.  People have become less friendly and wary of strangers; instead of stopping and chatting, they hurry past.

King Ferris Edit

They arrive at the capital of Clonmel and gain and audience with King Ferris.  Horace and Halt are greeted by Halt's nephew Sean, who doesn't recognize him. The two enter the throne room; Ferris recognizes his brother and is horrified.

After Halt's attempts to talk Ferris into cooperating fail, Horace feigns agreeing with him, and knocks him out. Halt masquerades as Ferris and emerges to confront Tennyson and the Outsiders, who have set up camp inside the capital and are planning to revolt against the king.

Halt gains the affection of the people after unveiling Horace as the mythical Sunrise Warrior who will bring peace and order to Clonmel. Horace is challenged to duel Tennyson's two hulking bodyguards, Killeen and Gerard; he accepts and they return to the castle.

Duel Edit

Will meanwhile, is investigating a camp, and he sees that Tennyson has recruited three Genovesan Assassins, known for their cunning and underhanded methods of killing their targets.

He relays this to his companions; Halt expects treachery from Tennyson. Horace fights a difficult duel against Killeen, who is wielding a mace and chain, but wins, beheading him. After a short break, Horace returns to fight Gerard, but finds his vision is deteriorating; the Genovesans have drugged his drink.

Will finds out hurries to the tent to retrieve the evidence that Horace was poisoned but discovers Luciano, one of the assassins, disposing of the drink. Will swiftly knocks the man unconscious and comes up with a plan to prove it was drugged.

He drags the man out into the field; shooting Gerard painfully in the right arm with his longbow just before he strikes Horace with a killing blow. He alleges Tennyson has cheated and drugged Horace, and claims to have a canteen filled his the drugged water with him. He tries to force Luciano to drink it, but he resists desperately, proving Will's point. In fact, it was normal water, but nobody calls his bluff and Tennyson's converts turn on him.

Will then challenges the assassin to a duel, his longbow against the Genovesan's crossbow. The crowd are delighted at this extra show of blood and the two men take up their positions.

The Genovesan fires first but misses by about a meter; Will instinctively aims his arrow slightly to the left, sensing Luciano will try to dodge at the last moment. Indeed he does and Will kills him with one shot.

Death of a King Edit

As the victory is celebrated, it is discovered that Ferris has been killed by the other two Genovesans while Will and Luciano were dueling. Tennyson has fled and is nowhere to be seen, along with several of his priests and the two surviving assassins.

Halt abdicates the throne to his nephew Sean, a warrior and worthy king, whilst Will goes on ahead to pick up the Outsiders' trail. Horace and Halt stay behind for a few days, Horace's vision recovering quickly as the drug wears off.

Halt and Horace visit Ferris' grave in a cemetery where all the kings of Clonmel are buried. Halt remarks that he wasn't much of a brother, but he was the only one he had. They then follow Will's trail, leading into the events of Halt's Peril.

Characters Edit

Galleries Edit

Book covers:

Books in the Ranger's Apprentice Series