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The Last of the High Kings (New Policeman, #2)
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The Last of the High Kings (New Policeman #2)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  388 ratings  ·  82 reviews
JJ has grown-up and has a family of his own: he's married to Aisling and has four children - Hazel, Jenny, Donal and little Aidan. All his children are special in their own way but Jenny has always lived by her own rules. She forgets to go to school a lot, doesn't like wearing shoes and spends a lot of time on the stone beacon on the mountainside, talking to the ghost who...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 7th 2007 by Bodley Head
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(Genre:Teen Fantasy) This is a sequel to Thompson's "The New Policeman" and follows the family of J.J. Liddy as they experience more Irish folklore adventures. There were elements that I really enjoyed in this book. The ghost that guards the hill (and what he guards and why) was a wonderful story element that would have earned 4 stars from me. I also enjoyed many of the characters, such as Jenny, the puka, Donal, and Mikey. I like Thompson's writing style and she is very good at meshing reality...more
Wow. So incredible! I found it impossible to put this book down, and I read it all in one sitting. The plot is so perfectly woven, and all those little mysteries come together so deliciously.

I adore every single character! I loved meeting our old friend J.J. grown up with a family of his own, the destructive and adorable two-year-old Aidan, the mysterious Jenny, the chilling puka, good old Mikey, and the dependable Donal. I usually don't like books with too many POVs, but the diffe...more
Miz Lizzie
This sequel to The New Policeman picks up the story with the next generation. J.J. Liddy still lives on the Liddy farm, now married to Aisling with four children. His daughter Jenny is a wild child who prefers to run barefoot through the farm and wild areas, spending time with her friends the puka and the ghost who guards the land from monsters. Though the story is nominally centered on Jenny, like many classic British fantasies the focus is really on the entire family, including (unlike in most...more
In this second book of The Last Policeman seriesk, JJ Liddy has grown up and married. He and Aisling are raising their three children, Jenny, Hazel and Donal. Things have gone awry since he and Aisling made their original life plans. JJ is now more popular than ever and is constantly on music tours, so he cannot devote time to making fiddles. Plus his deal with Aengus for chiming maple to make the best fiddles has not been fulfilled. Aisling, who wanted to study homeopathy, has been left alone t...more
Feb 24, 2008 Clay rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Clay by: Thank you, Karin, for sharing your stash
Three and one-half stars. I loved Thompson's "The New Policeman" and wanted to like this sequel more than I did.

J.J., the fifteen-year-old hero of TNP, is grown and married with four interesting children of his own: toddler Aiden, (havoc on two legs); nine-year-old budding musician, Donal; older teen Hazel, and especially eleven-year-old Jenny who who's the family misfit, distracted, indifferent to school, prone to wandering the Irish countryside and talking to a boy-ghost and a shape-shifting g...more
Karen Ball
Jenny is not like other children -- she is forgetful, loses track of time, and wanders out into the fields and woods barefoot most days instead of going to school. She can also see and talk to the ghost of a boy who has been guarding a pile of rocks for over 3,000 years, and a Púka (an Irish spirit) disguised as a white goat. The boy tells her one story, while the Púka tells her another -- which one is being truthful, or is the truth somewhere in between? Jenny's father traveled to the fairy wo...more
The Last of the High Kings is even better than The New Policeman, the first story about J.J. Liddy's family. In this story J.J., the grandson of Aengus Og, is grown and has children of his own, but their lives are still entangled with the fairy people of Tir na nOg.

An adult main character in a YA book is tricky to pull off, and Thompson does a great job. J.J.'s failings and missteps have real consequences, but they're also understandable, and he manages to step up and act like a grown-up when he...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Allison Fraclose for

The ghost of a young boy guards a pile of stones on the top of a mountain in the Irish countryside, and the only person who has spoken with him in the last three thousand years is Jenny. The daughter of J.J. Liddy, who traveled to the timeless world of T'ir na n'Og when he was a young man, Jenny feels dreadfully out of place in the human world, preferring to roam the rocky fields of the Burren barefoot and converse with the Púka than go to school....more
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Joanna Wood
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Emma (Miss Print)
The Last of the High Kings (2007) is Kate Thompson's sequel to her wonderful debut novel The New Policeman (2005). Some time has passed since J.J. was last seen visiting Tir na n’Og to discover where all the time was going. In fact, quite a bit of time has passed. J.J. is now grown with a wife and children of his own. At first, this time lapse was a jolt as was the changed tone between this book and its predecessor--there was something inherently Irish-sounding in the narrative of The New Police...more
The Last of the High Kings by Kate Thompson is a delightful Irish story that could be classified as a fairy tale. Perfect for teens of Jr. High School level to adults, all will find this can't put it down entertaining. I enjoyed this so much I finished it in less than 24 hours.

The story takes us on a journey with an Irish family living the country life and struggling to make ends meet. Between money being a problem and four difficult children, each with their own me, me, me attitude, the Liddy's...more
This book is a good sequel to the New Policeman. I love how Kate Thompson incorporates well-known folk/fairy tales with other less known legends. The music, and settings seemed to come alive with the rich setting portrayals and unique characters.
The only reason why this is getting 4 stars: the whole changeling thing was a good part, but it seemed very unrealistic to return a child you nurtured for a decade or more to get a baby you gave birth to, but don't know anything about. It seemed random,...more
And so The Last of the High Kings becomes my last book of 2008!

This is the sequel to The New Policeman. The main character of that book, J.J. Liddy, has grown and has a family of his own, including one special member.

The book brings back more interaction between the human and fantastical worlds of ghosts, fairies and pukas. There is an environmental message that was also present to a lesser extent in the previous book – that humans are destroying one of the most beautiful worlds in existence, an...more
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
What an incredible achievement...Thompson knows exactly how to turn her phrases so that everything seems so simple, so natural, and yet embedded within each sentence, there is a sense of slight eeriness, slight oddity, ample humor, and power of magic. I've been trying to figure out why or how or why her sentences work so well and so powerfully and still cannot quite put my fingers on it. Except that maybe there is a deliberate rhythm and pleases me and the choices of paradoxical tidbits delight...more
I really liked this book, bought it on a trip to Ireland and it really fits the country. Helps that I really like Irish mythology, even though there are many different functions.
But okay about the book.
Some of the parts were a bit predictable, but overall a very good story!
I was new and refreshing, I would recommend it.
This is book 2 of Kate Thomnpson's medley of young adult fiction with an Irish fantastical twist. I picked it up from the library; looked there for book 1 but couldn't find it that day. Believe me, I will keep trying until I find it. In fact, this duo will probably be purchased and put in my home library before long. I loved it! Given that I have a soft spot for Irish fantasy, with all its fairies and enchantments (perhaps I've been enchanted, myself--or as I prefer to suppose, I am actually a c...more
I enjoyed this sequel to The New Policeman, but for whatever reason it didn't have quite the same magic. It still had that entertaining blend of Irish mythology and fantasy with real world issues, and the characters were well-drawn, and it had a nice sense of humor in the tone. I was a little distracted by the fact that our main character, JJ, is now in his 40s with several children - I couldn't help but wonder if children would enjoy that as much as a story told primarily from a child's point o...more
Candy Wood
Although this is a sequel to The New Policeman, it doesn't have as much emphasis on music. JJ Liddy, the teen protagonist of the earlier book, is now in his 40s and the father of four children: Hazel, about the same age he was then, Jenny, 11 and different, Donal, 9, the responsible one, and Aidan, in the Terrible Twos. It's not clear what age group would appreciate it best. Ghosts, fairies, and a sinister talking goat blend with everyday concerns of getting meals, losing shoes, forgetting appoi...more
Eva Mitnick
In this sequel to The New Policeman, J.J. Liddy is now all grown up - or sort of, anyway. He may be in his 40's with several kids and an amazing musical career, but he is still rather feckless. Not only is he amazingly forgetful, but 11 years ago, he managed to convince his wife to exchange their new-born baby girl for a fairy baby in order to get some magical wood to make fiddles. That changeling, Jenny, is now 11 - and her relationship with a Puka bent on saving the earth by killing all its hu...more
I was fairly confused through the first half of the book, feeling like I had missed out on some basic information about the story. Well, it turns out that I had! Although no where on the cover, the end flaps, or anywhere in the book itself is it indicated, this is the second book in a series! Sigh. I hate reading series out of order. By the time I was halfway through, I had pieced together enough information to be able to make sense of it. But I didn't love it because it was a struggle getting t...more
Blake D
Was a great book it was slightly confusing in the begging but instantly hooked me after that. Jenny was a great character with a lot emotion later in the book. The part that helps the most when reading this book is to look at the back and see what all of the words mean. All of the creatures in this book are new creative and it seems that background in the story always affects what happens later in the book. I re-read this book in the beginning around page 75 then I went back to where I was and i...more
Didn't realise it was a sequel - might have filled in some of the blanks if I'd read the first
Feb 25, 2014 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Annie Reuter
Shelves: childrens, fantasy
This is the sequel to The New Policeman and I think I enjoyed as much, if not more.
Sheila Quealey
Yes, it is a children's book and I had to read it because I chose it for my kids book club. However I have to say I really enjoyed it. It was a page turner and all the way through it kept my interest with quite a complex plot. It has a generous amount of Irish mythology mixed together with more modern themes of deforestation, polution,and war. Thompson writes well and manages to get her point across without being preachy or condescending. I look forward to hearing what the girls in the book club...more
I really enjoyed this book.I thought that the writing style that the author used was very good & all the characters were very interesting.I read the book in about two days,but its one of those books that you don't forget about reading.At times I laughed so hard about how the "puca" was a goat.It seems silly to think so but I found it very funny & enjoyable.It was the first book I have read by Kate Thompson & I must say that I am very impressed.(I also like the fact that shes Irish si...more
Feb 08, 2009 Claire rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of The New Policemen
Recommended to Claire by: Valerie
Piking up JJ Liddy's story as an adult with 4 children, The Last of the High Kings is clever and engaging. Set in a tiny Gaelic village this is a story of a half-fairy family enmeshed in the supernatural, balancing Tir na n'Og, changlings, ancient Puka's, eco-disaster on a global scale, JJ's supernatural ability with the fiddle, human annihilation, the last High King, ghosts, Aengus' fickle promises, and fairies ability to adhere to the letter of a promise and still slip a trick from their sleev...more
Liz Yardley
I think this well-written book is best suited to readers of irish heritage.
The main character is quite distant to the reader (which she needs to be, for plot consistency) so one has to identify with her father. This made 'entering the story' problematic for me. I didn't like him at all.
However the cadence was perfect, I found. It's won lots of kudos, including a favorable review by a leading irish author. This was printed on the book, which surprised me. It seems to be a new publishing trend.
Brooke Shirts
I don't think I enjoyed it as much as its predecessor, The New Policeman, but it has much of the same charm: the lovely Irish dialect, the crazy-but-loving shabbiness of large family life; the light fantasy touch. I missed the focus on folk music that defined the first volume, and the bits about ecological conservation were a bit heavy with moralizing. However, it's perfect for fans of Irish folklore, or for anyone who enjoyed The Secret of Roan Innish.
I liked most of this book, but I was distressed by the way the parents behaved. I had liked the father when he was the main character of the previous book, but he didn't seem like a good dad to me in this one. In fact, I was rather horrified by some of the things he did. However, I did like the kids and the relationship with the elderly neighbor. You should start with the first one: The New Policeman. Follow it up with the 3rd if you want: The White Horse Trick.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Kate Thompson is an award-winning writer for children and adults.She has lived in Ireland, where many of her books are set, since 1981. She is the youngest child of the social historians and peace activists E. P. Thompson and Dorothy Towers. She worked with horses and travelled in India before settling in the w...more
More about Kate Thompson...
The New Policeman (New Policeman, #1) Switchers (Switchers, #1) Creature of the Night Midnight's Choice (Switchers, #2) Wild Blood (Switchers, #3)

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