The Ruins of Gorlan

by John Flanagan Book 1 of the Ranger's Apprentice Series

On Choosing Day, Will and the other castle wards will request apprenticeship to the... read more

On Choosing Day, Will and the other castle wards will request apprenticeship to the craft of their choice. If the Craftmasters agree to their appeal, the teens start immediately on the path to their adult professions. Will is desperate to attend Battleschool, but he worries that his small size will keep him from his dream. His fears prove true when the Battlemaster turns him down. Unexpectedly, Halt, one of the mysterious Rangers, requests him as an apprentice, propelling Will into the hidden ranks of the kingdom’s intelligence corp. At first wary, Will discovers that he’s naturally gifted at many of the skills required of a Ranger. He absorbs Halt’s training quickly, and soon finds himself in battle against fantastical creatures of evil who threaten the kingdom. Will performs heroically and at the story’s end is publicly honored for his feat. Descriptions of Will and his peers’ training in their respective crafts is captivating, and readers will appreciate seeing the group of friends leave childhood behind on separate paths and then reconnect as their jobs bring them together. This promising introduction to a new series is grounded with sympathetic characters, thoughtful details, vivid settings, and restrained injections of fantasy. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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