Monday, April 21, 2008

The Ruins of Gorlan (book review)

The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan, is the start of the series Ranger's Apprentice. Fifteen-year-old Will, small for his age, is our main character.

On the Choosing, the day that all the castle orphans will choose their craft, Will decides to apply for Battleschool. He is determined to be a knight, like his dead father. But Will's size works against him. The Battlemaster tells Will that he is too small, and instead he is chosen to become a Ranger's apprentice.

The Rangers, mysterious men hidden in green-and-gray cloaks, have always made Will nervous. Rumors that they are black wizards circulate through the town. But they couldn't be farther from the truth.

The Rangers are the scouts and spies of the kingdom. They lead knights on hidden pathways and find information for the king. Their job is incredibly dangerous. And now Will is one of them.

He will have to train hard, because the exiled lord Morgarath is rising again, and he has one of his most deadly assassins on Will's friend's trail. The time has come for Will to be a hero.

This book was different and interesting. It was a fast read, and a good one. The setting and characters were fresh, new, and multi-dimensional, and the conflict felt real. In other words, I can't wait for the sequel!


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