Saturday, 5 July 2014

Book Review: The Rangers Apprentice, The Ruins of Gorlan Book 1

I was actually struggling to find a book to talk about for my very first review, which is near impossible for the amount of books I have but I then came across this. Maybe it's not the kind of book you would expect a 20 year old student to be reading but honestly it brought back some lovely memories when I did read it a couple of years ago that I just had to tell you all about it.

Author: John Flanagan

Title: The Rangers Apprentice the Ruins of Gorlan

Genre: fantasy, adventure fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5

The main character of the story is Will who starts the book as  an orphan that lives with fellow housemates. The time comes to the Choosing day for Will and his friends where they are all chosen for different paths to lead for work. Will always dreamed of joining the Knights, believing that his father had died a brave and heroic death of a knight himself, and wanted to make his Father proud. However, the Baron declined his plea and refused him of battle school for the Knights, instead he let him go to the Rangers. From then on you follow the journey of young Will getting trained under the wings of Halt, his master and eventually take on new exciting but dangerous adventures together as Rangers.

Will I believe is a really good main character and he grew on me as the book went on as he matures in the hands of Halt, the Ranger. You gradually see him progress from first being the broken-hearted, sulky boy for not getting his way and joining the battle school, to going through his day to day training and adventures as a professionally skilled ranger and becoming very confident in himself and his actions/decisions he makes.

Halt, Wills master is a very sharp, unemotional character at the start who teaches Will everything he needs to know to become a successful Ranger. He actually reminded me of Snape in the Harry Potter books where he shows very little emotions and is quite the dark horse and keeps you guessing throughout. His relationship with Will at the start is very awkward and non-existent really but again as you go through the book there is brilliant bond that is created between them both and the adventures they go to shows them really working together. It was lovely to see both characters warming up to each other gradually and did make me emotional at some stages but others do leave you smiling at what they get up to.

The book is most of Wills point of view throughout most of the book, however  there are parts that swap between Will and Horace. Horace especially at the start is seen to be Will's bully and bullies him wherever possible. Both Will and Horace wanted to get into battle school to join the knights but only Horace managed to get in, giving him even more to bully Will about. 

The only downside to the book I can think of is that it is written quite simply in some parts, I know that this book is for children and teens and I am a little old but again there are some parts that I feel are a little rushed as well. Also the chapters do seem to jump a lot from Will to Horace which I know is needed for the story but sometimes I had to back track to see who's point of view the chapter was in. All in all though I found it a lovely read when I read it a couple of years ago and its ram packed full of adventure, monsters and fighting which are always a plus for me! I think this is a great read for anyone but mainly for around 12+ ages  but all ages can enjoy it easily and I really do recommend to pick it up! 

This book was actually a lovely surprise for me, my Mom got me it for my Birthday and to be honest,  I really had no full expectations that this was going to be a brilliant book or have such a good story line but alas! Once I got started I couldn't put the book down, and for the first time ever I felt real strong emotions for the characters and was actually brought to tears at some points which never ever happen to me

Also I've had a lovely surprise to see that since I read it a couple of years ago, there are  now 7 more that have been published so I am out to go get them! 
You can find them all of John Flanagan's Rangers apprentice books here to view. 

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