This is yet another (the eleventh in fact) addition to a wonderful series of YA books. I love them for their characterisation, for the rich world, for the fact that both men and women are heroes in this world, for the fact that it is set in a more pure older time with a clear distinction between good and evil and just because it's great entertainment as a series. And like all great book series both the target audience of 12-16 year olds and adult readers can enjoy them. I know this to be true because my mother loves them just as much as I do.
Obviously my world views are going to be different from other readers and so while I like the clarity of morality in these novels others may not. Although I choose to believe that that indicates more about a reader and their beliefs than about any novel itself. Still I feel that while some may hate the apparently cliche nature of these books they should not be judged for that. There are so many good things to enjoy such as rich writing (for a YA novel the vocabulary used is quite excellent), the down-to-earth humour and verbal jousting between characters and the enjoyable plotting. Only one thing really frustrates me across the series and that is John Flanagan's need to remind the reader later in the books about things he mentioned earlier in the same tale.
This book is no different to the others in quality despite the fact that it is made up of short stories rather than full tales. Yet each story is a brilliant gem of its own and for any fan of the series is well worth a read as a stand alone short story. Yet putting them all together equated to a brilliant novel all in all.
I for one cannot wait for the next John Flanagan book whether I'm 18 or 19 at the time I read it. Because these books are good stories on the whole and fully worth reading. So go read this book and enjoy it as it is.