Friday, November 5, 2010

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1) by John Flanagan Review

Book: The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1) by John Flanagan
Release Date:  June 8, 2006

He had always wanted to be a warrior. The Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, made him nervous. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now fifteen year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't realize yet 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 . 

WOW! I was a bit doubtful about this book, but WOW. I jadored it! The idea for the ranger apprentice series isn't all that original and it's certainly not without its problems. Still it left me wanting more. More likely i think because it brought a sense of wistfulness back to me. Mainly because it reminded me of the Jedi Apprentice series by Jude Watson. In fact i'm quite curious if the JA series did inspired John a bit. I know he said he wrote this book for his son, but it so reminded me of Jude Watson's work. 

The story takes place in the kingdom of Aruluen. The make believe place is your typical action adventure kingdom with Knights, lords and ladies, and in addition "Rangers". Rangers are sort of like the Navy Seals/cost guard mixed with a bit of special forces/Jedi. So far it seems like they're a boys only club (No female has been mention as of late. Neither in the Knights or Rangers). Now Baron Arald, Lord of the Redmont Fief, has a special soft spot for orphans and takes them into his care. He then helps them get apprenticeships with the various tradesman, governmental offices, Knights, or sent to become farmers. Now Will has always been a bit "special" and after being tricked into committing a break in to see his skills he gets chosen as Ranger Halt's apprentice. So the story begins..... 

Now as i said earlier the book isn't without its failing. Most of the failings fall from the fact it should have been longer. John spent such a long time setting up the story and characters that the main plot felt rushed. Not that i'm complaining really since i love the setting up of characters and stories, but i really wished it could have been longer. In face i don't really understand the title at all. It really should have been called "The KalKara Beasts" since the ruins were barely present. All in all very solid writing with a very solid characters. Made me really really want to read more. ^^ 

Rating: 5 Bunnies. Brilliant. Well done characters, made me want to read more, and good series set up.