Will, having grown up with no information known of his parents (and no last name), knows only that his father was a brave warrior who died in battle. Because of this, he wishes with all his heart to be accepted in the Battleschool.
But when Choosing Day is over, he’s been rejected by the Battleschool because of his small size and strangely offered a spot by the Rangers, who have always been considered odd and suspicious to the villagers with their nerve-wracking ways of appearing, seemingly, out of thin air.
Soon, though, Will realizes there is more to the Rangers than the ordinary inhabitant of the kingdom understands – and in the battle that is brewing for the near future, his newfound training may just make his father proud yet.
As a first in a series, this novel is excellent at introducing us to cast of characters that are interesting and easy to invest in. We follow more than just Will in his first months of apprenticeship. It is entertaining reading to tag along with Will in his training with the mysterious, likable (if grumpy) Halt. There is good character development offered up here by John Flanagan and a great amount of action, not to mention creative and original supernatural creatures that threaten the safety of the kingdom.
Was I jumping up and down as I read The Ruins of Gorlan? No. But it was a fast paced, appealing read that left me very intrigued about the next novel, The Burning Bridge. Will, Horace, Halt and the other castle ward’s make for engaging characters and I have a feeling the following novels might give way more easily to increased action and maybe even romantic subplots. I believe Ranger’s Apprentice is a book that would be as enjoyed by males as females.
I felt it was strong opening to a possibly even better series, but as I said – I’m not shouting about it.