- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 and up
- Lexile Measure: 0920 (What's this?)
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (June 8, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0142406635
- ISBN-13: 978-0142406632
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,115 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1) Paperback – June 8, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8–A strong debut in a new fantasy series. Will hopes to become a knight; instead, he winds up as a Ranger's apprentice, joining the secretive corps that uses stealth, woodcraft, and courage to protect the kingdom. His aptitude and bravery gradually earn the respect of his gruff but good-hearted master. When the kingdom is attacked by evil magic forces, Will helps track down and defeat a couple of particularly nasty beasts. This closing episode sets the stage for a good-versus-evil war that will likely be at the heart of future volumes. In this opener, though, most of the story focuses on the learning process that Will goes through as an apprentice. Descriptions of Ranger craft are fascinating. Exciting confrontations with bullies and wild boars help to establish the boy's emerging character. Side stories involving a rival Battleschool apprentice and the identity of Will's father are woven in smoothly. The author occasionally spells things out more than is needed when actions demonstrate them clearly enough. However, the well-paced plot moves effortlessly toward the climax, letting readers get to know the world and the characters gradually as excitement builds. The public adoration Will gains at the end seems slightly overdone given the established distrust people feel for Rangers, but it's still a pleasing finish and should leave readers eager to share the future adventures of the Ranger's apprentice.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. 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, 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. The last few years have seen the publication of many fantasies, but few have the appeal of this original story. Rather than creating a host of strange creatures and magical powers, Flanagan concentrates on character, offering readers a young protagonist they will care about and relationships that develop believably over time. Will's world is a colorful place, threatened by an evil warlord and his fierce minions, but it's the details of everyday living and the true-to-life emotions of the people that are memorable. Children will definitely look forward to the next adventure in the Ruins of Gorlan series. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The author did a good job setting up the book for a long series, it answers just enough to keep you happy but leaves you wanting to find out what happens as the series continues. It wasn't as good as the Harry Potter series, but I wouldn't expect that since they are so much shorter. There isn't nearly as much time devoted to detail the world around the characters. Its definitely worth the time and price.
I'm actually going to be reading the next book in the series as well before I pass them on to my kid, it was a fun read.
It is a kid's book, so the issues the main character, Will, faces are wondering who his parents were, feeling the first mysterious moments of noticing the other sex, dealing with bullies, feeling the joy and strength of friendship, facing up to being caught causing problems in the adult arena, feeling the anxiety of attending adult, formal social gatherings, seeking approval from role models etc....
What makes this a traditional work in this genre is that the role models in the end always come through and are fair to the kids. The evil is always defeated, though sometimes rather more quickly than it should given the build up of how no one EVER faced down monster X before. The kids in the book focus on a host of anxieties any young reader can appreciate, but in the end everything works out.
The book is very positive in this sense. I hope today's young kids are not so jaded they can not read this and find some comfort and stability before they reach the craziness and harshness of adulthood. I just am not sure if with the internet and the harshness of video games and the exposure to sexuality and violence that are so much a part of our society today's kids in third through sixth grade can read something this positive without thinking it is unrealistic. I hope like heck I am wrong.
I thought it was a pleasant read, but when I was in third or fourth grade I would have devoured this eagerly and thought it was the greatest thing! There is no swearing or sex in the book, a good deal of light humor that I think kids will catch even if the kids in the story do not always catch it, and a fair amount of stereotypical scenes and characters.
Clearly more for young readers than adults, but a nicely done book.
I believe the narrative is set in third person omniscient and the story feels seamless and natural. It is an easy read that still offers the hard-core fantasy lover enough to wet the appetite.