Ruins of Gorlan
by Flanagan, John






With Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, on the brink of attacking the kingdom, fifteen-year-old Will is chosen as the Ranger's new apprentice and must learn all the skills necessary to take part in the fierce battle ahead with their unique form of magic in the hopes of saving the villagers from pending annihilation. Reprint.





John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. John began writing Ranger’s Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series and its spinoff, Brotherband Chronicles. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.





/*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. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2005)) Copyright 2005 Booklist Reviews.





Sturdily competent fantasy from a veteran Australian screenwriter, this quartet opener introduces five teenaged orphans raised together in the medieval-like kingdom of Araluen, focusing on the apprenticeship of wiry, clever Will to a mysterious scout/spy, and on Will's changing relations with oversized, rival-later-friend Horace. Though Will's slight physique keeps him out of Battleschool, his first choice, it turns out to be just the ticket for Ranger work, which combines survival skills and keen powers of observation with the ability to move about unseen. As Will is learning these arts, Horace is finding Battleschool almost more than he can handle, thanks to a trio of particularly brutal bullies-and further afield, evil Lord Morgarath, being bent on conquest, has sent two kalkera, brutish bear/apes, out to assassinate Araluen's most prominent war leaders. Flanagan does nothing to boost his typecast characters, familiar themes or conventional, video-game plot above the general run, but readers with a taste for quickly paced adventure with tidy, predictable resolutions (kalkera and bullies vanquished, Will and Horace heroes and buddies) won't be disappointed. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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