Title: The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice #1)
Author: John Flanagan
Rating: ★★★★★★ (6 of 5)*
Summary: They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaksand shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied…
My Review: When 15-year-old Will is turned down as an apprentice for the Battleschool, he is heartbroken. Then mysterious and grim Ranger, Halt, chooses him as a Ranger’s apprentice. Soon Will is being trained in unseen movement, wicked-fast archery, and much more. Just as Will’s getting adjusted to his life as a Ranger’s apprentice, he gets thrown into the middle of a large battle. Could Will, just a Ranger-in-training, change the course of the battle and save his friends? If not, it could prove catastrophic to the fate of Araluen…
I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite some time, but nothing about it ‘spoke’ to me…so, it just sat there. Finally, late one night, my stack was gone. All that was left was The Ruins of Gorlan. So, I picked up, I was desperate.
Where do I even start with this book? The characters. Probably the reason this book drew me in as quickly and easily as it did. Flanagan is masterful with his creation and writing of his characters, they were incredibly well-written, and had so much depth, it was hard to believe they weren’t real! Especially Halt. Halt was my favorite. He was so hilarious, but so serious, and, well, grim. I absolutely adored Flanagan’s characters, they really were amazing.
The whole writing style of this book, the dialogue especially, was beautiful. I loved the plot, it kept you excited and tense, it was constantly changing, and you could never predict the outcome of anything! Along with the high-speed battles and fighting, there was also a huge moral aspect to it as Will learns more about friendship, and what it means to be Ranger of Araluen.
To Sum it up: This book was incredible. Really a great story, with amazing characters, plot, and setting; however, this book may be kind of scary to young children, there are some pretty intense battle scenes (not bloody or gory, just intense) and big bear-like monsters. I would recommend it to about 9 +
*A 6 out of 5 review? Yes I realize that doesn’t add up. Check out the My Rating System page for more information. :)