The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1)

by John Flanagan

Paperback, 2006





Viking Books for Young Readers (2006), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages


When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

288 p.; 7.69 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member bell7
On Choosing Day, Will and the other orphaned wards of the Baron will become the apprentices of various Craftmasters of the fief. Will's dream is to go to Battleschool and become a great warrior like his hero father, but the head of the Battleschool deems him too small. His particular skills,
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however, may make him a perfect candidate to become a Ranger's apprentice.

This YA fantasy series has been exceptionally popular lately with my library patrons, so I decided I should learn a little about the series. I can see how young boys, especially, would like the fast-moving plot with some details about Will in the Ranger Halt's tutelage and some information about another ward, Horace, who went to Battleschool. Personally, I was underwhelmed. While the book reads fast, I was sometimes distracted by a slightly obtrusive narrator spelling out some things that could have been explained more subtly. I felt I could only know the characters on the surface level, though I liked the chapters that focused on Horace. The big baddies of the book are rather uncreatively referred to as "damn things" about three times in maybe 20 pages; in a story with relatively few swears, it came across as lazy description instead of inducing any kind of fear. Finally, since I know there are future books in the series, it's hard to get too worked up about any peril the major players find themselves in.
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LibraryThing member aarondesk
A young orphaned boy comes under the tutelage of a ranger as war is starting to foment.

This book was an enjoyable read. The characters seemed real and the descriptions were pleasant. Recommended.
LibraryThing member ewyatt
When I started the book, the first paragraph had me thinking oh no - it had names like Morgarath and creatures named Wargals. But those characters remained more in the background. The story focused on the story of Will, an orphan, and his apprenticeship to Halt, a Ranger. Will had a lot of talents
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and it was interesting to see his relationships develop with Halt and with Horace, another former castle ward. As impending war with Morgarath approaches, the Rangers step up to try to save the kingdom.
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LibraryThing member Spibrarian
Love this series, my son & I have both read the first 3 so far!
LibraryThing member stelle
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read and I had my nose it it at all times!
LibraryThing member MDLady
The next "BIG" thing. If you loved Harry Potter,(who didn't?), you will love this story. It has all the makings of a classic.
LibraryThing member litlb00k
I read this shortly after its publication on the strong recommendation of my mother - "I know you'll love this one!" She was right! Full of action and wonderful characters. I love how the characters change and grow over the course of the book and found myself excited for the sequel.
LibraryThing member Anduril85
This was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time while very short that is the only negative thing I could say about it, the story, the characters, everything fit and worked wonderfully, the action makes you feel as if your there knocking arrows to your own bow, and I loved all of
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Will's training with Halt, (SPOILER ALERT) I really liked how Horace and will become good friends I was very much expecting and dreading that he would be a Malfoy or anakin like character and turn to evil....blah, but thankfully that didn't happen. This is truly a very good book so if you have 8 bucks in your pocket go to your closest book store and buy it right now.
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LibraryThing member xicanti
Fifteen-year-old Will begins to learn the skills of a Ranger and helps protect his kingdom from a terrible threat.

I'd heard many good things about this Australian fantasy series here on LT, so I had fairly high expectations going in. I'm pleased to report that this book met them. This was a damned
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fun read! The prologue left me a little leery, ("oh no, not another one of these"), but the bulk of the book was great. Flanagan introduces the characters and their world smoothly and effectively, letting the reader really get to know them as the story develops. The pacing is good; something's always happening, be it a nicely choreographed fight scene, a training session or a quieter moment in which the characters reflect on things. There are some great character dynamics, and I appreciated that the characters triumph by their own hard-won skills.

Some readers may find the style a little off-putting. Remember, this is a children's book, and it definitely reads like one. There's no condescension in Flanagan's tone, (definitely a plus in any children's novel), but you still wouldn't mistake this for an adult novel. He also shifts perspective frequently, sometimes even in the middle of a sentence.

But overall, the pluses far outweigh these minor issues. This is a very good book and a promising start to the series. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member jerm
So I just finished the first book in The Rangers Apprentice series. Bunches of people have told me that it was good, and they were right. It has all the right stuff, and I'm looking forward to reading it, which I may go and do right now.

Will is a ward in the castle of Baron Arald, until choosing
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day, when he must make a decision about his career. Unfortunately noone wants to have him as their apprentice. Noone that is, except the Ranger. Now he must learn the ways of these mysterious sneaks and master their techniques before he faces death himself at the hands of the hideos Kalkara.
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LibraryThing member alisaburch
My 15 year-old son and I both really enjoy this series that focuses on the life of Will, a ranger's apprentice, and Horace, an apprentice knight. The series has just the right combination of adventure and fantasy. I am always searching for something for boys or guys to read. There seems to be a
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much greater selection for girls.
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LibraryThing member knielsen83
I really enjoyed this novel, a lot more than I thought I would. It came highly recommended from my fiance after he started the series, but I had been pudging along at actually reading the novel. It's your usual adventure and it was simply an action-packed, wonderful read that kept you interested
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and wanting more.
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LibraryThing member TylerF.
This is a book about a boy named Will and his adventures as an apprentice ranger. Will started out as a young, much shorter boy who lived in the ward of the Redmont Feif. He had no knowledge of who his parents were or what they did. The only bit he knew was that a note was left that said "This is
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Will. His mother died at birth, and his father died a hero."
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LibraryThing member pbamy
Action, adventure, monsters and battles ensures this will be popular book and series with students in grades 4 and up. Flanagan includes lots of detail which helps transport the reader to a different place and a different time. Recommended.
LibraryThing member TeenBookReviews
Choosing Day is a life-changing event for the wards of Fief Redmont and Will hopes to be chosen for Battleschool where warriors are trained. However, fate has a different plan. Instead of being selected for Battleschool, Will is made apprentice to Halt, Ranger of Redmont Fief. Rangers are the
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shadowy, secretive information gatherers and special messengers of the kingdom. Soon Will settles into his new life and new training. But life is takes an unexpected turn when an enemy of legend begins to move against the kingdom. Will must use all his new Ranger skills to help the kingdom prepare for the upcoming battle. A wonderful fantasy with nods to Tolkien’s Middle Earth and King Arthur legends. Will is realistically described and his character well developed. The reader is given interesting bits of insight into secondary characters and the world Flanagan creates is vivid and believable. Epic and enjoyable. I look forward to the rest of the series.
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LibraryThing member cmbohn
Will is an orphan, left to be raised by the Baron and then apprenticed to a skill when he turns 15. He hopes to become a warrior, but his small size means he is passed over. But the ranger Halt offers him an apprenticeship. Despite some doubts, Will accepts, and begins his training.

I think one of
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the reasons I bought this book is because I have a son named Will. But I also liked the idea of this sort of mysterious group working for the good of the kingdom, despite being misunderstood.

The book wasn't exactly what I had expected, but in some ways, it was better. I really liked Will and his fellow apprentices. That dynamic seems to be something that will be explored even more later in the series. I also liked Halt and the Baron. The setting is good, but could be better, but again, maybe that will develop more later in the series. I am excited to read book 2.
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LibraryThing member cranbrook
Like the other 15-year-old wards of Castle Redmont, Will is nervous about Choosing Day, when each of them will be assigned to a different master for training. Though his dearest wish is to enter the Battleschool, his small stature prevents it. Instead, Will is apprenticed to the grim-faced,
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mysterious Ranger. Soon Will learns that becoming a ranger is more difficult, dangerous, and worthwhile than he had imagined. He earns the respect of his elders and the friendship of a former foe, but all this is prelude to the great adventure that follows, when his skills wielding a knife and keeping a heightened awareness of his surroundings become vital to the survival of his mentor and the safety of the kingdom.
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LibraryThing member sirfurboy
This is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure for young adults.

Will has just turned 15 and must be apprenticed to one of the professions in this medieval fantasy land (which resembles medieval Europe in many respects). Too small to be the warrior he dreams of being, he is passed over for other
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professions - but then Halt the ranger agrees to take him on, recognising rare qualities in the boy.

Meanwhile there is an ongoing feud between Will and another boy, Horace. Unlike Will, Horace is accepted into battle school. Horace taunts Will and Will always responds, never quite biting back the last word uin an argument.

The plot moves at a pace, and there are many of the classic themes that make a good story in this tale, including the dry wit of Halt the ranger, which will have the reader grinning even if the ranger apparently never does.

I enjoyed this book, and I think the intended young adult audience will love it. It is much better than Eragon, for instance - and being a lighter read, it will engage young people in reading more easily.

As an adult reader I recognised many themes and plot ideas that have been used in other works. But they are used and re-used because they make for a good story - and the writer uses them deftly in this book.

So ultimately not the most original book I have read, but still a very good one for adult and young adult readers alike. A very good book to buy young people you cannot get reading longer works.
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LibraryThing member lilibrarian
Will is very disappointed when he is rejected for battle school, and apprehensive when the mysterious ranger Halt selects him as an apprentice. His natural talents and quick thinking save Halt and the kingdom.
LibraryThing member Bbec
nice and quick. good for reluctant readers.
LibraryThing member windlover26
This is a great coming-of-age story that I recommend to kids 12 and up!
LibraryThing member highvoltagegrrl
My son and I both read this book. It was a quick and easy read. It was a really cute story, especially for the kid who is loving tales about knights and mythology and so on.
LibraryThing member emhromp2
This is a great book for lovers of stories about knights and adventure. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it touched me as well. Thankfully I have the books in epub format, so I could continue with part two immediately.
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
Will is small for his age but he's determined to become a knight like his father. When he's apprenticed to the ranger Halt who appears to be able to disappear at will.

Will discovers that all is not as it appears and he is about to have a pivotal role in his world.

It's an interesting read, very
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much a srtory of coming to terms with skills and place in the world.
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LibraryThing member petrong
One of my students did a book talk on this one and I was hooked. I enjoyed the characters and the story of a boy stumbling through his apprenticeship. Great read for kids - not too dark or racy.






(1288 ratings; 4.1)
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