Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice Series #9)

( 742 )

Overview

The international bestselling series with over 5 million copies sold in the U.S. alone!
The renegade outlaw group known as the Outsiders has journeyed from kingdom to kingdom, conning the innocent out of their few valuables. Will and Halt, his mentor, are ambushed by the cult's deadly assassins when Halt is pierced by a poisoned arrow. Now Will must travel day and night in search of the one person with the power to cure Halt: Malkallam the ...

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Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice Series #9)

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Overview

The international bestselling series with over 5 million copies sold in the U.S. alone!
The renegade outlaw group known as the Outsiders has journeyed from kingdom to kingdom, conning the innocent out of their few valuables. Will and Halt, his mentor, are ambushed by the cult's deadly assassins when Halt is pierced by a poisoned arrow. Now Will must travel day and night in search of the one person with the power to cure Halt: Malkallam the Sorcerer.

Perfect for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, T.H. White’s The Sword in the Stone, Christopher Paolini’s Eragon series, and George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire series.

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  • John Flanagan - Halt's Peril
    John Flanagan - Halt's Peril  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Rangers Halt and Will are in hot pursuit of the Outsiders, the cruel renegades who killed Halt's only brother. The motivation of the Rangers could not be more personal, but the Outsiders hold strategic advantages that can threaten the very lives of these brave warriors. A well-armed addition to the acclaimed Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan.

Children's Literature - Amanda Ledbetter
Tennyson and his cult of Outsiders are on the run, but rangers Halt and Will, along with warrior Horace, have picked up their trail. Their mission is to bring the criminals to justice for their evil deeds, including the murder of Halt's twin brother, King Ferris. The three heroes use their excellent tracking skills to follow the villains, beginning to close the distance between the two groups. Alerted to their presence, Tennyson sends his two paid assassins to put an end to the trouble. Halt and Will are able to take out one of the assassins, but in the process, a crossbow bolt strikes Halt, a minor injury made lethal by the poison on the tip. Now Will chooses to put the chase on hold, valuing his best friend and former mentor's life above the pursuit of Tennyson's gang. He rides day and night as he seeks out the famous healer Malcolm, hoping to bring him back to camp before the poison can claim Halt's life. The ninth book in the "Ranger's Apprentice" series, this tale provides great visualization and description as the characters navigate their way through the forest landscape. Its action is slow to develop, but the pace quickens as readers await the outcome of Halt's battle for his life. The story also provides a great springboard for ethical discussions, specifically in how far one would go to save a friends' life. With few female characters and a fictional setting reminiscent of medieval Europe, this book is likely to draw in male readers—both old fans of the series and newcomers alike. Reviewer: Amanda Ledbetter
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399252075
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Series: Ranger's Apprentice Series , #9
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 125,426
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.48 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Read an Excerpt

1.

There was a raw wind blowing off the small harbor. It carried the salt of the sea with it, and the smell of imminent rain. The lone rider shrugged. Even though it was late summer, it seemed to have been raining constantly over the past week. Perhaps in this country it rained all the time, no matter what the season.

“Summer and winter, nothing but rain,” he said quietly to his horse. Not surprisingly, the horse said nothing.

“Except, of course, when it snows,” the rider continued. “Presumably, that’s so you can tell it’s winter.” This time, the horse shook its shaggy mane and vibrated its ears, the way horses do. The rider smiled at it. They were old friends.

“You’re a horse of few words, Tug,” Will said. Then, on reflection, he decided that most horses probably were. There had been a time, quite recently, when he had wondered about this habit of his—talking to his horse. Then, mentioning it to Halt over the campfire one night, he’d discovered it was a common trait among Rangers.

“Of course we talk to them,” the grizzled Ranger had told him. “Our horses show a lot more common sense than most people. And besides,” he’d added, a note of seriousness creeping into his voice, “we rely on our horses. We trust them and they trust us. Talking to them strengthens the special bond between us.”

Will sniffed the air again. There were other smells apparent now, underlying the salt and the rain: Tar. New rope. Dried seaweed. But strangely, there was one scent missing—one he would have expected in any seaport along the eastern coast of Hibernia.

There was no smell of fish. No smell of drying nets.

“So what do they do here if they don’t fish?” he mused. Aside from the slow clop of his hooves on the uneven cobbles, echoing from the buildings that lined the narrow street, the horse made no answer. But Will thought he already knew. It was why he was here, after all. Port Cael was a smugglers’ town.

The streets down by the docks were narrow and winding, in contrast to the wide, well-laid-out streets of the rest of the town. There was only an occasional lantern outside a building to light the way. The buildings themselves were mostly two-storied, with loading doors set on the second floors, and lifting gantries so that bales and barrels could be brought up from carts below. Warehouses, Will guessed, with storage room for the goods that shipowners smuggled in and out of the port.

He was nearly down to the docks themselves now, and in the gap that marked the end of the street he could see the outlines of several small ships, moored to the dock and bobbing nervously on the dying efforts of the choppy waves that managed to force their way in through the harbor mouth.

“Should be around here somewhere,” he said, and then he saw it: a single-story building at the end of the street, with a low-lying thatched roof sweeping down to just above head height. The walls may have been whitewashed at one time, but now they were a dirty, smudged gray. A fitful yellow light shone through the small windows along the street-side wall, and a sign creaked in the wind over the low doorway. A seabird of some kind, crudely rendered.

“Could be a heron,” he said. He looked around curiously. The other buildings were all dark and anonymous. Their business was done for the day, whereas in a tavern like the Heron, it was just getting under way.

He dismounted outside the building, absentmindedly patting Tug’s neck as he stood there. The little horse regarded the meanlooking tavern and then rolled an eye at his master.

Are you sure you want to go in there?

For a horse of few words, there were times when Tug could express himself with crystal clarity. Will smiled reassuringly at him.

“I’ll be fine. I’m a big boy now, you know.”

Tug snorted scornfully. He’d seen the small stable yard beside the inn and knew he’d be left there. He was always ill at ease when he wasn’t on hand to keep his master out of trouble. Will led him through the sagging gate into the stable yard. Another horse and a tired old mule were tethered there. Will didn’t bother to tether Tug. He knew his horse would stay there until he returned.

“Wait over there. You’ll be out of the wind,” he said, gesturing toward the far wall. Tug looked at him again, shook his head and ambled to the spot Will had indicated.

Just yell if you need me. I’ll come running.

For a moment, Will wondered if he were being too fanciful in attributing that thought to his horse. Then he decided not. For a second or two, he entertained an image of Tug bursting through the narrow door into the tavern, shouldering drinkers aside to come to his master’s aid. He grinned at the thought and closed the stableyard gate, lifting it so that it didn’t drag on the rough cobblestones. Then he moved to the tavern entrance.

Will was by no means a tall person, but even he felt it necessary to stoop a little under the low doorway. As he opened the door, he was hit by a wall of sensations. Heat. The smell of sweat. Smoke. Spilled, stale ale.

As the wind rushed in through the open door, the lanterns flickered and the peat fire in the grate on the far wall suddenly flared with renewed life. He hesitated getting his bearings. The smoke and the flickering light from the fi re made it even harder to see inside than it had been outside on the dark street.

“Close the door, fool!” a rough voice bellowed, and he stepped inside, allowing the door to shut behind him. Immediately, the fire and the lantern light steadied. There was a thick pall of smoke from the fire and dozens of pipes. It sat just above head height, trapped by the low thatched roof. Will wondered if it ever had a chance to disperse or whether it just hung there from one day to the next, growing in intensity with each passing evening. Most of the tavern’s patrons ignored him, but a few unfriendly faces turned toward him, assessing the newcomer.

They saw a slim, slightly built figure, wrapped in a dull gray and green cloak, face concealed beneath a large hood. As they watched, he pushed the hood back and they saw that his face was surprisingly youthful. Little more than a boy. Then they took stock of the heavy saxe knife at his belt, with a smaller knife mounted above it, and the massive longbow in his left hand. Over his shoulder, they saw the feathered ends of more than a dozen arrows protruding from the quiver at his back.

The stranger might look like a boy, but he carried a man’s weapons. And he did so without any self-consciousness or show, as if he was completely familiar with them.

He looked around the room, nodding to those who had turned to study him. But his gaze passed over them quickly, and it was apparent that he posed no risk—and these were men who were well used to gauging potential threats from newcomers. The slight air of tension that had gripped the tavern eased and people went back to their drinking. Will, after a quick inspection of the room, saw no danger to himself and crossed to the rough bar—three heavy, roughsawn planks laid across two massive casks.

The tavern keeper, a wiry man with a sharp-nosed face, round, prominent ears and a receding hairline that combined to give him a rodentlike look, glanced at him, absentmindedly wiping a tankard with a grubby cloth. Will raised an eyebrow as he looked at it. He’d be willing to bet the cloth was transferring more dirt to the tankard than it was removing.

“Drink?” the tavern keeper asked. He set the tankard down on the bar, as if in preparation for fi lling it with whatever the stranger might order.

“Not out of that,” Will said evenly, jerking a thumb at the tankard. Ratface shrugged, shoved it aside and produced another from a rack above the bar.

“Suit yourself. Ale or ouisgeah?”

Ouisgeah, Will knew, was the strong malt spirit they distilled and drank in Hibernia. In a tavern like this, it might be more suitable for stripping rust than drinking.

“I’d like coffee,” he said, noticing the battered pot by the fire at one end of the bar.

“I’ve got ale or ouisgeah. Take your pick.” Ratface was becoming more peremptory. Will gestured toward the coffeepot. The tavern keeper shook his head.

“None made,” he said. “I’m not making a new pot just for you.”

“But he’s drinking coffee,” Will said, nodding to one side.

Inevitably the tavern keeper glanced that way, to see whom he was talking about. The moment his eyes left Will, an iron grip seized the front of his shirt collar, twisting it into a knot that choked him and at the same time dragged him forward, off balance, over the bar. The stranger’s eyes were suddenly very close. He no longer looked boyish. The eyes were dark brown, almost black in this dim light, and the tavern keeper read danger there. A lot of danger. He heard a soft whisper of steel, and glancing down past the fist that held him so tightly, he glimpsed the heavy, gleaming blade of the saxe knife as the stranger laid it on the bar between them.

He looked around for possible help. But there was nobody else at the bar, and none of the customers at the tables had noticed what was going on.

“Aach . . . mach co’hee,” he choked. The tension on his collar eased and the stranger said softly, “What was that?”

“I’ll . . . make . . . coffee,” he repeated, gasping for breath.

The stranger smiled. It was a pleasant smile, but the tavern keeper noticed that it never reached those dark eyes.

“That’s wonderful. I’ll wait here.” Will released his grip on the tavern keeper’s shirtfront, allowing him to slide back over the bar and regain his balance. He tapped the hilt of the saxe knife. “Don’t change your mind, will you?”

There was a large kettle by the fire grate, supported on a swiveling iron arm that moved it in and out of the flames. The tavern keeper busied himself with the coffeepot, measuring grounds into it then pouring the now boiling water over them. The rich smell of coffee filled the air, for a moment supplanting the less pleasant odors that Will had noticed when he entered.

The tavern keeper placed the pot in front of Will, then produced a mug from behind the bar. He swiped at it with his ever-present cloth. Will frowned, wiped it carefully with a corner of his cloak and poured the coffee. 

“I’ll have sugar if you’ve got it,” he said. “Honey if not.”

“I’ve got sugar.” The tavern keeper turned away to get the bowl and a brass spoon. When he turned back to the stranger, he started. There was a heavy gold coin gleaming on the bar between them. It represented more than he would make in an evening’s trading, and he hesitated to reach for it. After all, that saxe knife was still on the bar close to the stranger’s hand.

“Two penn’orth for the coffee is all,” he said carefully.

Will nodded and reached into his purse, selecting two copper coins and dropping them onto the bar. “That’s more than fair. You make good coffee,” he added inconsequentially.

The tavern keeper nodded and swallowed, still unsure. Cautiously, he swept the two copper coins off the bar, watching carefully for any sign of dissent from the enigmatic stranger. For a moment, he felt vaguely ashamed that he had been overborne by someone so young. But another look at those eyes and the youth’s weapons and he dismissed the thought. He was a tavern keeper. His notion of violence amounted to no more than using a cudgel on the heads of customers so affected by alcohol they could barely stand—and that was usually from behind.

He pocketed the coins and glanced hesitantly at the large gold coin, still winking at him in the lantern light. He coughed. The stranger raised an eyebrow.

“Was there something? . . .” Withdrawing his hands behind his back so that there could be no misunderstanding, no thought that he was trying to appropriate the gold piece, the tavern keeper inclined his head toward it several times.

“The . . . gold. I’m wondering . . . is it . . . for anything at all now?”

The stranger smiled. Again, the smile never reached his eyes.

“Well, yes it is, as a matter of fact. It’s for information.”

And now the tight feeling in the tavern keeper’s stomach seemed to ease right out of him. This was something he understood, particularly in this neighborhood. People often paid for information in Port Cael. And usually, they didn’t harm the people who gave it to them.

“Information, is it?” he asked, allowing himself a smile. “Well, this is the place to ask and I’m your man to be asking. What is it you want to know, your honor?”

“I want to know whether the Black O’Malley has been in this evening,” the young man said.

And suddenly, that tight feeling was back.

 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 742 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(605)

4 Star

(85)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(17)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 753 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Cannot Wait!

    I love the Ranger's Apprentice series. It's hooked me since the first page of book one, with great characters, interesting plotlines, and just wonderful writing. It's a true hero's story about a young orphan, Will, and the way his life changes when a mysterious Ranger, Halt, takes him as an apprentice. But the story also has a theme of friendship and trust, which I just loved. The story is put together throughout books one through eight, in a different, but effective way. (Books one through four are Will as an apprentice, books five, six, and eight are when he is full Ranger, and seven is in the middle of the two groups.) Book nine looks both exciting and great. Halt is, by far, my favorite character, and "Halt's Peril" might mean some bad news for him. (Apparently there is a funeral at the end. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!) Anyhow, the Ranger's Apprentice series is great , and more than worth reading. I'm positive that this beautifully writing fantasy will not let you down for a moment. I can't wait!

    20 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Great book!!!!!!!!! And i am ashamed of some of you reviewers!!!!!!!!!

    This was my favorite book yet. I loved the whole series since the beginning and my favorite character has always been Halt. Halt always makes me laugh with his humor. I was at the saddest part in the book when i was in class reading after taking a test and i almost started crying right in the middle of class! This is my favorite series. Now one of my friends is reading the series. RANGER'S APPRENTICE RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now on to the part of why i am ashamed of some of you "reviewers". You guys use these review boards as your own hang out!!!!!! It is supposed to be a place where people who have read the book can tell others how the book was,but you people use it so you can play pretend. Its annoying for people who want to know if the book is good to have to scroll by all your posts talking to each other and playing. I am done with having to practically search for actual reviews so i am gonna report everyone of you because you deserve to have your post taken down and you should be banned. You guys just do it everywhere and its annoying having to read, "This is our clans place only we can post here! Go find your own place to post!!!!!" You all know who you are and you guys dont care about anyone but yourselves. You also swear and that is not good if kids see it. Please give me your feedback, like if you agree or disaggree with my ending. Thank You!

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2010

    The story continues...and gets better with every book!

    Halt may be the character featured on this book's cover and title, but never have we seen so much action from Will and Horace they work with Halt to chase after the Outsider's run for their lives. With each book in this series, we find out more and more how deep the relationship is between the two rangers and the young knight. Each member of this close knit team is incredible in their own right - but is a force to be reckoned with when working together. Tears will come to your eyes at the conclusion of this book as we find that the love between Will and his adopted family will never cease.

    I can't wait until The Emperor of Nihon-ja is released in April 2011!

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Great book Great book

    I was so into this book i could not put it down i was a nervous wreck when read it great tension i am gld halt did not die READ THIS BOOK

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    MMMMMUUUUUUSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTT RRRRRREEEEEEAAAAAAAADDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i love this series!!!!!!! once you start reading the first book you getted hooked with the series. when i found out thet the ninth book wasnt ou tyet and i finished reading the eighth book i was sad. my favorite carecters are halt and will. halt because he had the courage to ask pauline to marry his event hough she knows that he will have to leave at random times to save the kingdom.will because he also has romantic times with alyse and its verry cute how he puts it. will does most of the action but when halt gets into the action it an unbelievable turnout.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    The best series ever!

    I am a teen girl and I love the series. I really don't care what anyone else says, Ranger's Apprentice rocks! This book is really good and HILARIOUS! I was laughing a ton. A must-read for fantasy and adventure lovers, boys and girls alike.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Hi

    I love the rangers apprentice series!! But in this book halt should have died. As he said himself, he is getting too old for that

    3 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    OMG

    i am so worried for halt i love him i have allways been tottaly obsessed with this amazing series and i will allways be ya know this series might be a movie oh i hope so you would be stupid to hate this series

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    Anonymous

    Want some icecream!? Fresh from the icecream maker. So sweet, delicious, and soooooo delicate, it would get a 1000/10 and get 10stars, just like this book and series. If you agree, please click yes. Remember, do you also agree that icecream is delicious, also click yes.:}) (} - - go icecream and this book! [} - -

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    Amazing

    Highly recomended! But you need to read the first eight!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Truly the best so far ive read. It is incredible. Thatsvthe only way to put it. Simply incredible.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    Good book

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    highly recommend

    whole series is great

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    Goodd book

    This book is amazing

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    I enjoyed the whole series.

    I loved this series and hopee that flannagan writes more similar stories. One of my personal favorite series.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Great book

    When i first read the title i was like nooooooo! Halt cant die! Hes halt! Little did i know, i was repeating horaces line word for word. Anyways i asked my friend whether halt dies or not but he wouldnt answer me. I now thank him for that.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Reveiwer

    This action packed book has thril on every page. READ IT.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    NOOK problems

    The book was great, like all of the others in this series. However, the NOOK ebook is terrible. I would be reading and try to flip the page and it would flip backwards several pages without seeming to. It would get caught in a perpetual loop between about 2 to 5 pages. Had to manually enter a page number FARTHER into the book than my previous one and then flip backwards to get to the correct page. Extremely irritating.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2011

    Ranger's Apprentice... In a way (Spoilers, If You Don't Read the Cover)

    Will, Halt and Horace are on the pursuit of The Outsiders after them having poisoned and killing Halt's Brother. Starting in the beginning of the book, Will faces hardships when negotiating with the pirate O'Malley, and becomes all but surprised when Halt shows how he can do it so easily. The book progresses on, as such, for it is a Ranger's Apprentice novel, and Will is the apprentice to the master, Halt, however, tables get turned when Halt is poisoned by an assassin and Will has to take over. Then, to save Halt's life, Will has to go to the forest wizard Malkallam to save Halt's life by getting an antidote. Things I liked about the novel were: It is still refreshing to read a Ranger's Apprentice, and ever since the first one, I have never grown tired of the common theme of the book, and seeing how Will becomes more and more competent each story makes it like I am in the story itself. Things I didn't like, however, were the parts of the book that just made it seem like the skills of Halt and Will surpassed that of the abilities of the average ranger (tracking and such) and just the idea that EVERY idea that Halt had in this book was spot on, and there wasn't one wrong move, which made it seem too easy. Themes and messages I got from the book were that if you try you will almost never fail and you can never be too careful, even if the going doesn't seem at all tough. Another thing I like about the book is that I can relate to Will, who, when he seemed like an outcast, he was accepted by that one person who made everything better, and he was able to return that favor 100 times over, especially in this novel, and that same thing happened to me, although I have yet to pay that person back too much, so I will get on that.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2011

    Recommended

    I started this series to check it out for my son. I fell in love with the characters along the way. Gosh I want to say more but I am afraid I will ruin the story. I loved the ending. It made me cry and want a little more.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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