Published: June 2006
I have looked at The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the Rangers Apprentice series, so many times - each time thinking that I must try it. Finally I took it home last week and read it and enjoyed every minute of it. I don't know why I waited so long. Actually I think the reason was because at my library it is housed in the junior section, and now, after finishing it, I think it should be in the YA.
Will is a 15 yr old orphan who has the opportunity to apprentice as a Ranger. This is a tough and somewhat mysterious profession, but Will seems suited for the job. His is a small, slight young man, but very agile and quick-witted. He is also extremely honest - always owning up to his mistakes and transgressions. I loved that about him. His eventual friendship with another orphan, Horace, is a delight to read about. They couldn't be more different. Horace is apprenticed at battleschool and is the physical opposite of Will. The development of both these characters is well thought out and very believable. There are some great adult characters as well with the Baron and Halt being my favourites.
The Ruins of Gorlan is a wonderful adventure story, with nasty ogre-like creatures and fierce battles, where the outcome is uncertain and the excitement never ends. Its a perfect story for reluctant male readers, but girls, dont' pass it by - it's just a great story. Everything wraps up neatly in this volume, but you just know there is more to come. Nine more volumes in fact. I've already put #2 on hold and it should be waiting for me next week. I can't wait. Very highly recommended.