“Ranger’s Apprentice book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan” – J. Flanagan

11 Nov

Ranger's apprentice

This is a review of “Ranger’s Apprentice book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan” by John Flanagan.

The Rangers have always scared Will in the past, with their weird cloaks and mysterious ways. There are even whispers of magic amongst the villagers, and Will wants nothing to do with them. He wants to become a knight like his father was. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. He is about to learn that Rangers aren’t just the scary stories told around the fireplace, they are so much more. At the same time 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…

When I first picked up this book I thought that it would be a stereotypical, bad mix between “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings”, and I have never been more glad to be proven so wrong. This is an excellent start to an excellent series and there is absolutely nothing stereotypical about this.

The characters are varied and excellent. Will is a good lead character, and he is believable. Horace develops into one of my favourites as the series continue, Halt is excellent and all the other characters around them are just as good. There is real character growth and development in even this first book which doesn’t always happen in a series.

The world they inhabit is beautiful and strange and yet familiar, with recognisable details from our own history. All the archery they talk about in the book is well written and you can see that the author has real knowledge and experience and passion in and for the subject rather than just having read up on it for the sake of the story, and it doesn’t stick to just archery either.

I highly recommend this series for everyone!

1 Comment

Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Books, Fantasy


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One response to ““Ranger’s Apprentice book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan” – J. Flanagan

  1. mthomaswhite

    September 14, 2014 at 09:42

    I shall only ask for you to put up with my dribble this last time, but I could not resist commenting. I, too, appreciated Horace’s development. I actually found myself surprised by it. Thanks to interactions between Horace and Will early on, I assumed Horace would be, at least, serve as the story’s anti-hero, if not the antagonist. In the end, I wound up enjoying his storyline more than Will’s! Strange, considering that the book series is Ranger’s Apprentice, not Knights’s Apprentice!


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