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The Battle of Hackham Heath
Cover of The Battle of Hackham Heath
The Battle of Hackham Heath
Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years Series, Book 2
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John Flanagan, author of the bestselling Ranger's Apprentice fantasy adventure epic, delivers a second prequel to Ruins of Gorlan, the novel that started it all, with Halt and Crowley preparing for war...
John Flanagan, author of the bestselling Ranger's Apprentice fantasy adventure epic, delivers a second prequel to Ruins of Gorlan, the novel that started it all, with Halt and Crowley preparing for war...
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  • John Flanagan, author of the bestselling Ranger's Apprentice fantasy adventure epic, delivers a second prequel to Ruins of Gorlan, the novel that started it all, with Halt and Crowley preparing for war against a near-unstoppable enemy

    When the former Baron Morgarath escaped to avoid punishment for treason, an uneasy peace fell on Araluen. But Morgarath, now in hiding, is already planning his next move, recruiting an army of savage, overpowering beasts known as Wargals. Newly crowned King Duncan knows he must assemble his troops for battle.

    To find out the full extent of Morgarath's plan of attack, Halt prepares for a seemingly impossible task—climbing the deadly cliffs of the Mountains of Rain and Night and venturing deep into enemy territory to spy. After all, the winner of this war could be determined by one wrong move.

    At the Battle of Hackham Heath, the fate of a Kingdom will be decided. This origin story of how Halt came to be Araluen's most famous Ranger – and how war will decide the future of the next generation – will thrill Ranger's Apprentice fans and new readers alike.
    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter 1

    It was dark and clammy and damp in the tunnel.

    Even though Halt wasn't a tall man, he found he had to stoop as he made his way along, and his shoulders brushed the rough, unlined clay walls on either side. The flickering lamp held by the miner who was leading the way cast a dim yellow light, shot with grotesque shadows.

    "How far down are we?" Crowley asked from behind him. The thick, heavy air in the tunnel seemed to muffle his voice, although Halt could hear a note of nervousness in it. Crowley, like Halt, disliked cramped and confined spaces like this, preferring the clean open air of the forest and fields aboveground. How miners could work in these conditions was beyond Halt's understanding.

    The miner turned back to face them briefly. "About five meters," he said. "We've been slanting down since we entered the tunnel. Not far to go now."

    At his words, Halt felt the massive weight of earth and clay above them bearing down on him. His chest constricted and he had difficulty breathing. He felt his heart begin to race and paused, breathing slowly and deeply, allowing his tensed limbs and body to relax. The sooner they were out of here, the better it would suit him. Crowley, not noticing that Halt had stopped, bumped into him from behind and muttered an apology.

    "Mind this shoring," the miner said gruffly, indicating the timber frames that supported the walls and roof of the tunnel. "Knock one of these loose and you'll likely bring the whole thing down on us."

    The two Rangers started moving again, taking exaggerated care not to bump against the timber beams. In the distance, Halt fancied he could hear a faint clinking sound—metal on rock. For a moment he thought he might be imagining it, but the miner confirmed it for him.

    "That's the lads at work," he said. "Hear them? They're widening the gallery under the walls."

    He set off again and they followed, anxious not to be left out of the shallow pool of light cast by the lamp. The clinking grew louder. It didn't sound as if anyone were wielding their picks too vigorously and Halt remarked on the fact.

    The miner laughed grimly. "You don't go bashing away in earth like this," he said, "else you'll have a collapse on your hands. Slow and steady does it."

    Ahead, Halt could see a small circle of yellow light. As they proceeded, it became larger and brighter. Eventually, they arrived at a widened gallery, set at right angles to the tunnel. It was heavily braced with timber shoring and ran four or five meters to either side of the tunnel, forming a T-shaped intersection. The roof was higher here, at least a meter higher than Halt's head. He sighed with relief and stood upright, easing his cramped back and shoulder muscles. He heard Crowley do the same.

    "Are we under the walls?" the Ranger Commandant asked.

    The miner nodded, pointing to a massive piece of granite protruding through the clay roof of the tunnel to one side. The rock was squared off and had obviously been shaped by man's hand. Timber beams were set in place all around and under it, supporting it.

    "That's part of the foundation for the wall there," he told them. He held the lamp higher and they could see that the line of shaped rock continued along the gallery where they were standing. More timber shoring held it firmly in place.

    The clinking sound, which had become appreciably louder since they'd entered the gallery, stopped now and a stooped figure emerged from the shadows to their left. There was really no need to stoop here, Halt thought. There was plenty of headroom. But perhaps it was a habit borne of...

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2017

    Gr 6-10-In this companion to The Tournament at Gorlan, Flanagan continues his new prequel series. In the aftermath of an intense battle to restore King Duncan's kingdom, Halt and Crowley commit themselves to securing the realm's safety by ensuring that evil Morgarath never returns. Dividing their duties, Crowley escorts a pregnant Queen Rosalind to a safer location, while Halt goes on a scouting expedition to the Mountains of Rain and Night, where Morgarath is thought to be training an army of fanged and furry semihuman creatures called Wargals. Relying on mind control to direct the beasts, Morgarath seems unstoppable. A showdown and culminating clashes highlight the Rangers' ability to rely on unseasoned recruits, local terrain, and well-choreographed infantry and cavalry tactics to outplay the enemy. Despite some tragic losses, Duncan's depleted army lives to fight another day, leaving the door open for Morgarath to make another move in future episodes. Flanagan is a master of using context clues for challenging vocabulary, and his narrative is as delightfully descriptive and imaginative as ever. VERDICT This is not as page-turning or humorous as other "Ranger's Apprentice" titles, but Halt and Crowley still rule as beloved heroes with wide appeal.-Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • DOGO Books avatar1 - i loved it. one thing very cool about it was that the characters were very realistic and it was not boring at all

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The Battle of Hackham Heath
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Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years Series, Book 2
John Flanagan
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John Flanagan
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