The Ruins of Gorlan
By: John Flanagan
Do you like books that are full of adventure? This book is the first book in the Rangers Apprentice series. It is a book filled with humor and adventures! This book is very good because it has a good plot, is a very captivating read, and has relatable, well developed characters.
This story is centered around Will, a 15 year old orphan. He is about to have to choose what profession he wants for the rest of his life. That is when he meets Halt, a mysterious Ranger. The Rangers are special people that patrol each of the kingdoms fiefs, trying to keep it safe. They are very private about what they do, leading many people to believe that they are involved in witchcraft and magic. Halt decides to give Will the opportunity to become his apprentice. Will is wary of the offer but his only other choice to become a farmer or farmhand. He decides to become Halt’s apprentice. Will dives into a world full of weapons, horses, and spying. Will quickly learns what it truly means to be a Ranger and he does not ever regret his decision. But while Will is learning how to be a Ranger, an evil force is rising to power in the outskirts of the kingdom. Morgarath, an exiled baron, wants revenge on everyone in the kingdom, especially Halt. Will and Halt must find a way to stop him and save the kingdom. The book ends with an exciting cliffhanger, that leaves you waiting until you read the next book in the series.
I liked this book very much. One of the only criticisms I have is that the books are targeted towards boys and have a lack of female characters. Thankfully, this problem is resolved later in the series, when more female characters are introduced. I loved that the book gave a lot of information regarding the weapons that were being used, by telling us how the characters use them and why. It made me feel as if I was training to be a Ranger, right beside Will. The plot was never boring and after I read the first one, I rushed to read all the other ones as well. I think boys would enjoy these books. I recommended them to my younger brother and he loves them. But even though the target audience was young boys, I think girls would also like these books, including myself.
The characters in this book, were one of the best parts of the story. Will was young, had a good sense of humor, and was eager to learn about everything. We saw Halt turn from a grizzly, old, and reclusive man, to happy one when he spent more time with Will. He became one of my favorite characters because of his sarcastic sense of humor. We also met Horace, a new apprentice at the local knight school.Even though at the beginning of the book, Will and Horace do not like each other very much, they go through so many adventures together and become closer than brothers. Throughout the series, Will grows from a young boy to a man. I think the author wrote his aging very well and developed the story to fit his age.
I enjoyed reading this book, and the rest of the series, very much. Because of the interesting story, entertaining characters, and the massive cliffhangers, this is one of my favorite books. I would recommend it to all my friends. I hope that everyone that reads it enjoys it as much as I did!