Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In Case You Missed It - The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

Published: June 2006
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 240
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads

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. . . .

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.


  1. I know this has been very popular at our middle school, but now I'm considering it for the high school. Great thoughts. Thanks.

  2. I love this series! I finally grabbed it because I saw so many adults checking it out at the library, and while I'm slow getting through the books with my massive TBR list, I almost always seem to have one checked out (although I do need to grab book 4, since I don't have one now).

    A great read for boys, or for anyone who loved Narnia growing up. While it doesn't have magic, it has a great world built, with awesome creatures and characters I adore!