Saturday 28 July 2018

The Royal Ranger - The Red Fox Clan

The Royal Ranger - The Red Fox Clan by John Flanagan (Random House Australia) PB RRP $18.99 ISBN: 9780143785903

Reviewed by Jeffery E Doherty

Maddie is a secret Ranger's Apprentice under the guidance of the legendary Will Treaty. However, for one month each year she must return home and resume her identity as Princess Madelyn. At the best of times Maddie finds castle life dull but to make matters worse, she will be stuck there while her father, Horace, and Gilan, the Commandant of the Ranger Corps, are taking half the garrison of Castle Araluen to put a stop to a group called the Red Fox Clan, which wants to restore the old law of male rulers for the kingdom.

This year's visit to the castle is anything but dull. Maddie uncovers long-kept secrets and a devastating plot against the crown. She must discover the identity of the man in the red fox mask or the peace her family have worked for could be in terrible danger.

Having read John Flanagan's original Ranger's Apprentice books some years ago, I found returning to the world of Araluen comfortable and familiar. It is good to see a new generation of Rangers’ books appearing to entertain a new generation of readers.

Maddie is confident, yet still has moments of vulnerability and self-doubt that make her character more likable. The book is full of adventure, treachery and action. It has a wonderful cast of interesting characters and the pace of the action and easy flow of the writing keep the reader turning the pages. I did find some parts of the book a little predictable. It may have been a lucky guess, but I picked the leader of the Red Fox Clan as soon as he was introduced into the story. The book was a thoroughly enjoyably read with a satisfying ending and leaves the way open for book three in the series which is coming later in 2018.

The Royal Ranger - The Red Fox Clan is the second book in the Royal Ranger series of middle grade fiction. It would suit readers 8-12 years old or readers who enjoy stories of fantasy and adventure with a confident young female hero. If you haven't already, readers are encouraged to read The Royal Ranger (Book 1) although this book can be read as a stand-alone story.

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