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on 23 April 2015
Very enjoyable. It is a teen book but as an oldie I liked it a lot and will probably go for the next one in the series. Well written with believable characters.
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on 13 July 2014
The Ranger's Apprentice books are in my view simply superb. I quickly became addicted to this series and believe that they are just as good as the Percy Jackson or Harry Potter books. The author, John Flanagan, has given us a series of books that captures the imagination.
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on 28 October 2013
The books are extremely well written. An exciting story which holds one's interest. The attention to detail and the atmosphere created by the author are excellent.
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on 29 January 2017
Fast delivery. Item, as described. Thank you!
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on 19 June 2017
Great series
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on 20 July 2014
This book was really good and I liked the adventurous nature and the great detailed scenes. You could almost see them
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on 17 March 2016
Book was in good condition. However, when purchased, thought it was the UK written version from the description. When received, inside the book said USA written version. Specifically wanted UK version.
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on 7 February 2009
This is an absolutely superb series of books primarily aimed at those aged between 10 to 15 but suitable for all ages. Amazon have not done a very good job in stating this, nor in making it clear that the books can go by different titles dependant on which country they are being published in, so this is a great way to prevent nailbiting between books and ensure you get the right set.

Without spoiling the series, it is a fantasy story about Will, a boy who wishes to be apprenticed as a knight but ends up with Halt, a Ranger from the Corps, the mysterious and feared group within Araluen. The books move smoothly along through Will and Halt's adventures with other characters being present from the start, such as Horace, and others met and befriended such as Evanlyn, Gilan and Erak. There are battles against such nasties as the Wargals and Morgarath, survival against the odds, honour, courage and plenty of humour. Halt, in particular, is a particularly well drawn character. All the books end with cliffhanger endings so buying the set to date is a good way of ensuring you don't have to wait too long before the next one. At time of writing I have nearly finished "The Oakleaf Bearers" with my son and know I have to wait until July for the next paperback version!

The language used is highly impressive for a book aimed primarily at this age group. Flanagan does not dumb it down for younger readers which means that, alongside an enjoyable story, there is also an opportunity for broadening one's vocabulary. As someone who finds that sort of thing important I would give the series five stars for that alone. I'm not sure how I can work "tatterdemalion" into a conversation but I'll give it a go! He uses them in an explanatory context which allows readers to grasp the meaning if they are unsure.

If you are looking for a Christmas/birthday present for this sort of age group this would fit the bill beautifully. It is not Harry Potter but for that I, personally, breathe a sigh of relief. I won't be at all upset if someone buys me the next one for my birthday!
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Imagine if the Rangers from "Lord of the Rings" took apprentices -- what kind of life would that be?

John Flanagan does a decent job answering the question in the first book of the Ranger's Apprentice series, "The Ruins of Gorlan." Besides setting up the medieval Anglo backdrop, Flanagan also spins up a solid fantasy story with plenty of monsters, weapons, a likable pair of teenage heroes, and a growing menace from a rarely-seen villain making a comeback.

On Choosing Day, Will hopes to be selected for Battleschool -- but he's rejected by all the people taking apprentices. The one exception is Halt, a Ranger.

And after Will inadvertently passes a test (climbing up a sheer wall into the Baron's study), Halt accepts him as an apprentice. At first, Will's new life seems to be all chores and unglamorous lessons, but he starts to realize 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 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). And he makes it more his own with elaborate fictional history, slightly too-Tolkienian flourishes (a villain named Morgarath?) and the first blossoming of a solid action/fantasy series.

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. Lots of knife study, ponies, stew and tracking exercises, as well as a fairly nasty boar-hunt. And Flanagan liberally strews the story with plenty of historical backstory, and interesting details about medieval stuff (boar-spears, throwing knives, etc).

But about halfway through, the story suddenly becomes much darker, faster and bloodier. While the mild humour is still there ("Halt, Halt!"), Flanagan's tale becomes a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a pair of assassin Sasquatches. And he definitely knows how to weave a sense of tension and foreboding around the clash between Kalkara and Rangers.

Will is also an excellent hero in the Lloyd Alexander mold -- he dreams of being a great knight, but doesn't seem to have much chance of it. And as he works with Halt, he gradually comes to realize that there are ways of serving that are just as important, though not as glorious. And Halt is a good foil for Will -- quirky, taciturn and incredibly tough and deadly.

"The Ruins of Gorlan" is an excellent start to a solid fantasy series, and serves as a pretty entertaining fantasy/adventure in its own right. An excellent story for all ages.
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Imagine if the Rangers from "Lord of the Rings" took apprentices -- what kind of life would that be?

John Flanagan does a decent job answering the question in the first book of the Ranger's Apprentice series, "The Ruins of Gorlan." Besides setting up the medieval Anglo backdrop, Flanagan also spins up a solid fantasy story with plenty of monsters, weapons, a likable pair of teenage heroes, and a growing menace from a rarely-seen villain making a comeback.

On Choosing Day, Will hopes to be selected for Battleschool -- but he's rejected by all the people taking apprentices. The one exception is Halt, a Ranger.

And after Will inadvertently passes a test (climbing up a sheer wall into the Baron's study), Halt accepts him as an apprentice. At first, Will's new life seems to be all chores and unglamorous lessons, but he starts to realize 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 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). And he makes it more his own with elaborate fictional history, slightly too-Tolkienian flourishes (a villain named Morgarath?) and the first blossoming of a solid action/fantasy series.

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. Lots of knife study, ponies, stew and tracking exercises, as well as a fairly nasty boar-hunt. And Flanagan liberally strews the story with plenty of historical backstory, and interesting details about medieval stuff (boar-spears, throwing knives, etc).

But about halfway through, the story suddenly becomes much darker, faster and bloodier. While the mild humour is still there ("Halt, Halt!"), Flanagan's tale becomes a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a pair of assassin Sasquatches. And he definitely knows how to weave a sense of tension and foreboding around the clash between Kalkara and Rangers.

Will is also an excellent hero in the Lloyd Alexander mold -- he dreams of being a great knight, but doesn't seem to have much chance of it. And as he works with Halt, he gradually comes to realize that there are ways of serving that are just as important, though not as glorious. And Halt is a good foil for Will -- quirky, taciturn and incredibly tough and deadly.

"The Ruins of Gorlan" is an excellent start to a solid fantasy series, and serves as a pretty entertaining fantasy/adventure in its own right. An excellent story for all ages.
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