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Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen, Anna Quindlen

The Kings of Clonmel

The Kings of Clonmel - John Flanagan Not really sure what's going on here... I feel like I walked in on a business meeting halfway through. I've missed some important info and the CEO isn't about to stop his speech to fill me in. That's okay. Quite understandable. But there's no sense in me wasting my time finishing this thing out if I'm going to remain at sea the rest of the time. I'm out!

The Kings of Clonmel seems to be about rangers and bandits and religion and storming castles...I think. I don't know.

Not realizing it was the eighth book in a long running series, I made the mistake of picking this up at the library on a whim. I figured why not? I like rangers. This sounded like it might be set in Scotland and that would be cool by me, even if it turned out to be fantasy or historical fiction. Sure, it looked to be a YA book and generally I've found that I'm getting too old for those, but hey, I thought I could at least bank on this being heavy on the adventure. Plus, I liked Harry Potter, so maybe this might fall into that realm. Some of my assumptions played out true. My other guesses fell flat or were never resolved before I gave up about a fifth of the way in.

I think giving a book a couple chapters to horse-collar you is fair enough. John Flanagan spent those chapters leading me nowhere. There was a brief flash of action, but mostly it was a slog through details that might later be relevant to getting the plot finally set-up. I suppose he assumes at this point that all of his readers are well versed in his world. It doesn't take much for a writer to make single volumes in a series self-contained, but it's his sandbox, he can create whatever he wants in it however he pleases. Then again, that approach might turn off potential future fans. Personally, this experience hasn't made me want to rush out and read book one. On the other hand, it hasn't dissuaded me from ever giving the series another shot.