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Ranger's Apprentice 1 & 2 Bind Up: The Ruins of Gorlan & The Burning Bridge Hardcover – 1 Sep 2011
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"A skilfully crafted fantasy tale with well-written and engaging characters" (Janet Sumner The School Librarian)
"Will's vivid world will entice fantasy readers who are drawn by the lure of high adventure carried out by believable, down-to-earth heroes" (Carolyn Phelan Booklist)
"A story which will have readers sitting on the edge of their seats" (Through the Looking Glass)
A special gift collection of the first two books in the internationally bestselling Ranger's Apprentice seriesSee all Product description
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John Flanagan does a decent job answering the question in the first two books of the Ranger's Apprentice series, compiled in "Ranger's Apprentice 1 & 2: The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge." It's a solid duo of fantasy books with plenty of weapons, monsters, a medieval backdrop with some very familiar cultures, and a teenage hero who risks it all for his land.
Hoping to be selected for Battleschool, Will is shocked when he's chosen as an apprentice for the Ranger, Halt. His new life is out in the woods, doing chores and learning unglamorous lessons, but slowly he realizes the importance of the Ranger's skills. And at the same time, his fellow orphan Horace is being tormented at Battleschool by a gang of bullies.
Unfortunately, the kingdom is in new trouble -- the evil baron Morgarath is starting to send his monstrous Wurgals out once more, and there are even rumors that the ghastly Kalkara are also abroad. When it seems that the king himself may be Morgarath's target, Will and Halt are sent on a mission to stop the Kalkara -- except that the target isn't who they expect.
"The Burning Bridge" takes Will, Gilan and Horace out into the land of Celtica, only to find that the Wargals are swarming all over the place, and the Celts are missing. Even worse, the boys stumble across a tunnel and bridge meant to allow Morgarath's army out into the open -- and a vast collection of mercenary Skandians who have been hired to help crush the king's army. And to stop them,. Will may end up in the hands of his worst enemies.
The world John Flanagan conjures up here is pretty recognizably a medieval England-that-never-was, with hints of similarly semi-familiar lands to explore (Gallica, Temujai, Celtica, Skandia) and some nicely familiar weapons Except he also adds in some fantasy monsters, a complex backhistory to Araluen, and the elite woodland-warriors known as the Rangers.
The first half of "The Ruins of Gorlan" is a fairly slow experience, mostly made up of Will and Horace finding out what their new lives are all about (knife study, ponies, stew and tracking exercises). But then the plot speeds up into a darker, bloodier affair -- and by "Burning Bridge" it's expanded into a true epic with sabotage, clashing armies and a climactic duel.
And Flanagan has a knack for fast-moving, detailed prose and lots of suspenseful moments (such as the cat-and-mouse game with the Kalkara, or the infiltration of Morgarath's fortress). But there's a twist at the end of "Burning Bridge" that not many fantasy stories have, which will leave readers frantically scrabbling for the third book. Talk about cliffhangers.
Will is also an excellent hero in the Lloyd Alexander mold -- he dreams of being a valiant knight, but as he matures, he begins to see that the Rangers have a special value to the kingdom. Halt is quite the reverse -- quirky, taciturn and incredibly tough and deadly. And over the course of these books, he forms a sort of father-son relationship with Will and Horace.
The first two books in the "Ranger's Apprentice Collection" start off slow, but rapidly blossom into a solid, epic fantasy series full of kidnappings, monstrous enemies, and all-too-human characters. Definitely a good read... but have the third on hand.
Bought for a friend for Christmas. Finished by the day after Boxing Day! She has now bought the third book and it's only halfway through January!
Perfect condition. Price faultless. Honestly so happy!
Thank you! Perfect present!
This series is up there with: The hunger games, Harry Potter, maze runner etc. Should be more recongnised! Both myself and friends opinion. 👌🏼
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I read every book in this series straight through. I figured the laundry and dust would wait, and I was right. L!
I won't rehash the synopsis. I will just say; if you love a really terrific coming of age/adventure story; get this book and dive right in! You'll be glad you did!