is a typical John Flanagan adventure: mature children's fiction with a light-hearted nature, interesting characters, well handled plots, educational information and most of all a rollicking good time. Those familiar with The Rangers Apprentice series may know that Flanagan wrote this series (so far a trilogy) as a spin-off set in the world of Will, Horace and Halt. And yet, despite being a spin-off title, it is no less appealing. The Hunters
is the conclusion to the tale of the young band of vikingesque Skandian warriors led by Hal who set out in book one, The Outcasts, to rescue a Skandian treasure. One of the excellent things about this series, like Rangers Apprentice, is the ability John Flanagan has to create honest character development. He may not be a skilled aesthetic writer but he has a great skill (like Michael Sullivan in [b:Theft of Swords|10790290|Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2)|Michael J. Sullivan|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1307959785s/10790290.jpg|15702572]) of being able to create a taut plot with likeable characters. In other words he has incredible storytelling power and it is this power that makes these novels readable for both the young and the old.
As a conclusion to a plot arc The Hunters
was both satisfying and intriguing. Though some plot twists could be identified - and being a juvenile targeted novel there were moments of melodramatic silliness - it was on the whole a well executed novel. A novel that leaves the reader desiring more in the series, if only to see the characters develop further. It also is a novel that leaves one wishing that more storytellers could learn to develop characters in such a fashion, in a way that is not forcefully built around a love triangle or what the reader or author wants, but in a way that suits the story. That is what narrative writing is essentially about - not flashy gimmicks, not beautiful prose, but honesty in a way that is beautiful in its essence.