Title: The Ruins of Gorlan
Author: John Flanagan
Series: The Ranger’s Apprentice #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Easy reading, Medieval fantasy
Publisher: Random House Australia
5th sentence, 74th page: Even after a few days, the strict regime of the Battleschool was beginning to show results with Horace.
Will has always wanted to become a knight, but he is about to find more excitement and adventure than he could have dreamed of as an apprentice to the mysterious Rangers.
I have now managed to read this book four times. And it just keeps on delivering. John Flanagan is definitely one of my favourite Aussie authors.
This book takes the underdog (Will) and uses his talents to make him into an unlikely hero. Most medieval style books I have read focus on the knights as hero-supreme, but the idea of the Rangers as the hidden, secret force helping the kingdom is just brilliant.
As an archer, I can completely understand – and encourage Flanagan’s description of the sport. Even though the accuracy with which the arrows are shot is something that most people could only dream of, the descriptions of the equipment and the skill involved is spot on. As is everything in this book. It takes strands of reality and weaves them into this amazing fantasy world. The result? A beautiful mosaic of story that you can imagine happening in real life.
Will’s ability to triumph in spite of his perceived weakness was inspiring and definitely a book that I would encourage young children to read. The fact that Flanagan doesn’t have weak, female characters in constant need of rescue is just another tick in this book’s box.
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