Monday, 7 June 2010

John Flanagan - Ranger's Apprentice - The Ruins Of Gorlan - Bk 1


After the book review I wrote for Isobelle Carmody's book 'Obernewtyn', I realised it was time to catch up with other books that had recently passed me by. Keeping with the same theme, I found by chance, a U.S first edition of the very first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series. This is by the well-known John Flanagan, another legend from Australia.


The book lived up to the expectation of its many reviews. John has developed a captivating fantasy world for both the young and old, although from an adult perspective, it may be a little short in length. However this is made up for by the fantastically imaginative and well-structured plot. This book is a fast page turner, with great character development, and lots of timely action segments. Its dark and broody atmosphere develops throughout the story, giving it an edge to most other conventional reads within this genre. The writing has a special quality about it - in the way that it  leaves you thinking about the outcome of events, a long time even after the event has happened.


The books were actually written for John's son, who was a reluctant reader, but he's gone onto entice many other reluctant readers into his fantasy worlds too. The fascinating way he has actually done this, for me, is through the detail he weaves into the story. The historical events that have been spun into the writing, blend through the story, giving it greater depth. Every feature such as weapons, training, knowledge is departed down to the reader with ease.


Another great aspect of this book involves the characters through the way they bond with each other. They are warm and engaging, but moral aspects are also touched upon such as bullying - these particularly stand out as reality and fantasy merge together. There are also some humorous elements to be found within the story too.


I now have to get through the other books in the series, seven in total, as book nine will be out in October. This is being released in the U.S and will be entitled 'Halt's Peril'. There are also a number of films to track down and watch - so much more for me to enjoy. . . . . !


About the book
Will is small for his age, but fast and quick-witted. All his life, he has dreamed of becoming a great knight like the father he never knew, so he is devastated when he is rejected by Castle Redmont's Battleschool. Instead he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger whose uncanny ability to move unseen is thought to be the result of black magic. Reluctantly, Will learns to use a Ranger's secret weapons: a bow and arrow, a mottled cloak and a stubborn little pony. It may not be the sword and battlehorse he longs for, but when Will and Halt set out on a desperate mission to prevent the assassination of the King, Will finds that a Ranger's weapons are not so useless after all ..
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