August 28, 2010

Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan - by John Flanagan

I love this series!  It reminded me of both Eragon and Lord of the Rings, but simpler and shorter.  You've got Will, a teen who is very honest and smart, and wants to be a warrior, but is just too small and scrawny.  Luckily, he has just been chosen as an apprentice to the mysterious Rangers, who are masters of surveillance and stealth, protecting the kingdom by seeking out and fighting enemies in their own special ways.  This interests Will, but he would much rather be a warrior with a large sword and fast horse than a Ranger, with a bow and arrows and two puny knives.  As danger threatens the kingdom and Will travels afar with two more experienced Rangers, the fate of his mentor and the kingdom itself is suddenly in Will's hands.  As he is pushed to the limits of his wits and skills, Will must decide if this is the life he wants, or if he will become a warrior and fulfill his lifelong dreams.

This series is action-packed, full of interesting weaponry and battle scenes but without the bloody violence of some warrior books.  As a reader you come to know and like the characters, and Will's journey becomes your own.  This book was hard to put down, and I can't wait to read and recommend the rest of the series to my students and Guys Read book clubs.


Momo said...

As I clicked on the link to read your comments on the first book in the Rangers Apprentice series I had my fingers and toes crossed - would the wonderful Mr K love these book as much as I do? And YES he does! Mr K did you know John Flanagan is Australian and guess what he only lives about 5 suburbs away from me. When he came to our school he even bought a huge cross bow to show the children it was amazing. Keep reading you will love the whole series.

I think there might even be a movie in the planning stages. The MP3 CD is great too!

Ms. Yingling said...

This is a really great series. I have to have four copies of each title just to keep up with demand!

Belgie said...

Ruins of Gorlan has everything a YA fantasy should have, a young orphan (why can't these hero types ever keep their parents around?), some tough decisions, an almost unspeakable evil bad guy whose name must inevitably begin with "m", etc. Will is a likable character. Purposefully not the hunky hero type (those can all be found in the chick lit section), Will is a small, agile, intelligent lad who finds his dream of being a knight crushed, and so settles for becoming a Ranger's Apprentice.