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The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1)

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  80,406 Ratings  ·  5,287 Reviews
Alternate cover edition for ISBN: 9780142406632

They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't yet realize is that the Ran
Paperback, 249 pages
Published June 8th 2006 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 20, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing
"No! Ashley! Put the book away!"
"But Mooooom! I'm at the part where he kills-"
"I don't care! It's two in the morning! Go to sleep!" She snatched the book one of Rangers Apprentice, The Ruins of Gorlan right out of my hands. She told me goodnight and slammed the door behind her.
Snap. That's the third time this week she took it from me. I was at the good part too! Well, it's all good. The action, the adventure, the surprises. My favorite part, especially, when the boys got in a fight. Will and Hor
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it really liked it
It’s been a while since I read a classic sword and sorcery fantasy novel, but I enjoyed this one a lot. In fact, it had no sorcery at all, which was kind of refreshing. It was a believable, well-grounded alternate medieval earth. In Flanagan’s world, young wards of the state have to choose professions, and Will is reluctantly recruited to become a ranger. The relationship between Will and his Battleschool rival is particularly well portrayed, and Will’s training as a ranger makes for great readi ...more

3.5 stars. Yippee…Hooray.....EXCELSIOR…. I found a quality YA fantasy story that I really liked. Before reading this, I had been in a bit of a slump with this sub-genre and had been considering a permanent separation. Thank goodness my literary guidance counselor asked me to give it one more try and recommended this book. I am very happy I stuck with it. I really liked this story and was surprised with how quickly and effortlessly, I go sucked into the narrative.

Now, granted, this book is incre
The Holy Terror
This book was a pleasant surprise for me; I really had no expectations going in and I didn't read anyone's reviews beforehand so I ended up being completely blindsided by this awesome story, which is definitely a good thing! I'll admit I wasn't expecting much, I figured I'd get a good time-waster and a fun story, but I never thought I'd be moved to tears by the honor, loyalty, and friendships forged within.

This is the story of Will, an orphan raised with fellow wardmates, and it tells the tale o
I wrote this review quite some time ago but I had to come back and improve it a little after reading several other books of this wonderful series. I am officially a big fan!

I read many positive reviews before picking up this book and I was afraid that I might be too old for actually enjoying this. I was WRONG! This book was such a pleasant surprise and definitely deserves all the positive reviews.

I didn't find the beginning of this story very original but my opinion changed very quickly as the s
Rachel Reads Ravenously (AKA The Wildcard Reader)
Aug 04, 2015 Rachel Reads Ravenously (AKA The Wildcard Reader) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel Reads Ravenously (AKA The Wildcard Reader) by: Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
3.5 stars rounded down

Will, a fifteen year old orphan, has been raised among other orphans his entire life. Will was found on a doorstep as a baby with nothing but a note with his first name and that his father was a hero. All of Will’s life he holds onto this fact and hopes one day to join the Battleschool in order to become a great warrior like his father.

On the day that all of the skilled masters choose their apprentices, Will applies for and is rejected by the Battleschool. But he passes
Dec 04, 2013 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers, history fans, fans of stories with real characters
As I've almost reached eighteen years of age I've tended to drift away from reading YA fiction. I read mostly classics or more adult fiction nowadays. And yet there are some series which are capable of bridging age gaps despite having been written for a younger audience. I believe the best stories can cover all age brackets making them accessible to a wide audience. This novel is one of those books in my opinion. Or at least the development of the series is.

I could spend time reviewing the entir
Lois Bujold
Jul 22, 2013 Lois Bujold rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young readers and those old enough to not give a damn
I kept picking up mentions of these books here and there, so finally got a copy from my library. Also, I have a soft spot for Rangers. Blame Professor T.

It was a bit cruel to this book to read it in the middle of a reread of Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief series, because the contrasts in quality rather jumped out at one. I was inclined to spot it a few points because it was its author's first book, till I reflected that so was The Thief. On the other hand, while Turner's book is classified YA,
Alicia O'Carrick
The boy Will has the potential to be trained as a Ranger. I will accept him as my apprentice.

Warning: Review contains a surplus of convulsions due to the fact that the reader is unable to control her ‘feels’. Viewer digression is advised.


I am on cloud nine right now, guys. This was not supposed to happen. Not because I doubted the author’s skills or anything like that, but because my brother loves this series. My brother. It is a scientific fact that my brother and I are polar opposites and wi
Ahmad Sharabiani
The ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1), John Flanagan
عنوان: ویرانه های گورلان - جنگاوران جوان کتاب اول؛ نویسنده: جان آنتونی فلانیگان (فلناگان)؛ مترجم: مسعود ملک یاری؛ تهران، افق، 1391؛ در 372 ص؛ مجموعه جنگاوران جوان کتاب 1؛ موضوع: رمان نوجوانان و داستانهای کودکان از نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 21 م
Will, an orphan, has always dreamed of attending Battle School, so that he can be a knight and warrior. His dreams are dashed when he is instead chosen to be an apprentice to the Ranger Halt. There are strange stories about rangers, and common people find their company vaguely unsettling. Will, too, thinks that there’s something supernatural about them. He soon discovers, however, that Halt is quite human, and that rangers’ skills are something that he, too, is quite capable of mastering. As his ...more
Jason Yee
Mar 16, 2010 Jason Yee rated it it was amazing
I was searching for a book that doesn't have any magic like in Eragon. So i began searching and came stumbling across this book. Hmm, rnager's apprentice. Catchy title. I began reading it. It was soooo good and exciting! All the emotions and action felt so real when you read it. I couldn't put down the book until either it was done or i was too sllepy to continue reading. SO far what happened was that Will (the main character) gets declined from being a warrior/knight because of his height. SO H ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Becky rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy, 2011
This book came with a very high recommendation from a friend of mine, and I can see why. I really enjoyed this one. There are aspects of the typical fantasy coming-of-age story, and details that reminded me of Lord of the Rings, but mostly, this book stood on its own two feet.

I really liked all of the characters in this one. I actually liked a secondary character, Horace, more than the main character, Will, but I think that's because I generally feel more for those placed in an underdog role. W
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 29, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Unabridged audio.

Will and all the other wards are waiting to be chosen for the apprenticeship that will shape their life, they have turned 15. All Will's friends are chosen for the apprenticeship they wanted...Will isn't.

That night Will basically risks his life to get into the baron's office and find out more about his past...he is an orphan after all. In doing this he passes the Ranger Halt's test and he is chosen as the Ranger's apprentice.

An excellent book I enjoyed it...I find there are a lo
Feb 13, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it did not like it
This was amazingly bad. The writing itself is basically readable, but every single detail, phrase, made-up-name and plot point is the most cliched cliche ever written. Oh no! The evil Morgarath is trying to take over the generically Medieval Europe! Only young Will, an orphaned apprentice to the mysterious Rangers, can possibly save the kingdom! Le sigh.

Can be freely read online here:
Hannah Rodes
Jun 22, 2016 Hannah Rodes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
GUYS! THIS BOOK!!!!!!! Review to come!!
Aug 12, 2012 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-for-kids
Sometimes, when I'm looking for a break from the intense complexity of adult life and literature, I like to give YA books a try. This one definitely worked as a little escape.
While there is definitely strife, violence, and tension in the story, I still want to call this a nice book--not in a negative or dismissive sense. Overall, its message is positive; but it isn't cloying. I expected a shameless rip-off of The Lord of the Rings, but it isn't that. While a few things about Halt reminded me of
Feb 10, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it
3.8 stars, rounded up for a promising start. Flanagan appeals to adults but is kid-safe, too. No sex or cursing. The plots are not terribly complex, and much of the action is telegraphed in advance, to some extent. Lots of good vocabulary / word choices.

This is the opening salvo of an ongoing adventure series set in a world of castles and fiefdoms, reminiscent of medieval England, Scotland, etc. It was probably written for teens, but I enjoyed it. Told in 3rd person omniscient, there are only 2
Karen Kaiser
I love this entire series. This is a reread for me, but I feel the need to rant about how much I love it.

One thing that pleases me is how detailed yet succinct Flanagan is in his descriptions of Araluen's history and politics and such. He gives you all the info you need, but doesn't overload you with unnecessary trivia.

Also, the writing is excellent. It never bored me, ever, even throughout all ten books, as far as I can remember. The characters are all distinct, and yet each maintains a level
Celine Lindeskov
This is how you ruin a good story with poor writing, obvious plot holes and weak characters. What a waste.
Tokio Myers
Mar 30, 2016 Tokio Myers rated it liked it
The Ruins of Gorlan is one of those stories that doesn't really bring anything new to the table. It follows almost every troupe that is related to the genre, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Its like when you re-watch Supernatural season 1 or watch the old Star Trek. You aren't there for anything new you're there to watch the Kirk's over acting and Bones being grumpy or Dean and Sam before the dark times. When they were happy and didn't have to worry about saving the world.

That's how the
Feb 11, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, kidlit
An excellent fantasy for middle readers. I can see why this gets rave reviews. The characters were instantly likable, the world was simple and well-built, and the action was exciting! I am actually interested in the rest of the series, which is unusual for me these days.
Lana Krumwiede
I'm not sure why it took me so long to get to this, but I'm glad I did. What a great book! Now I have to find the others.
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
After the fourth re-read I've noticed some hiccups and glitches that I hadn't noticed before, but I still thoroughly enjoy the characters, their interaction, and the wit and humor of the dialogue.


Oct. 13, 2008

A pseudo-medieval adventure, sort of along the lines of Robin Hood, but following the life of a young apprentice Ranger...

I admit, the thing that first attracted me to this series was because I love the concept of Rangers thanks for Stryder in LotR. (Note I say Stryder. I always thought
Aug 31, 2015 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vrlo zabavna knjižica lako pisana koja se brzo čita. Likovi su simpatični fino realizovani (niko se ne ponaša kao idiot i svi komuniciraju kao relativno prave osobe što je uvek plus) a i sam razvoj sveta prati devizu pokaži a ne samo pisati o njemu (nema previše ekspozicije).

Glavni problem nije u samoj knjizi nego u meni pošto sam jedno 15 godina preko limita onih za koje je ova knjiga napisana. Suviše je sve nekako čisto, bez prevelike zlobe i pokvarenosti. Naravno to može da bude zbog toga što
Apr 30, 2008 Tapestrymlp rated it it was ok
I got about a quarter through this book and then had to put the thing down. The story itself has some promise but the writing is too clunky for me. The point of view rockets between characters and much of the story is in passive voice, told to the reader rather than shown. It makes for a slower pace, long blocks of text and major, major info dump on almost every page. Rather annoying. I appreciate the author has put a lot of time and effort into his world building - I just don't want to read an ...more
Nov 30, 2008 Chandler rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-books
this was just o.k. It was definatley a book for a younger person. I thought a few times while I was reading it that Cody or Brigham would like this book. I won't read the others, just because I think it was too young for me. Sometimes these Young Adult books are pretty good, but this was not it for me.
Sep 30, 2015 Mason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Better than i remember it from when i first read it in middle school!
Feb 07, 2016 Dan rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable!
Jun 03, 2016 Kitvaria rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Ages 10+ / 4,5 stars

I enjoyed this one a lot. It was fast paced and fun to read.
I had quite a deja vu in the beginning, but a bit later the story went it's own way.
I really like the main character Will and also Halt, and was happy to follow them throughout the book.
I liked how the author manages to get the balance between describing battle school training, archery and so on in enough detail to make you "feel" it, but not so much as to feel like an info dump or non fiction text.

Lots of action, ca
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Book 2 7 Jun 18, 2016 10:34AM  
How many people read this book? If you don't u r missing out 4 23 Jun 14, 2016 01:41AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

For mysteries by this same author, see John A. Flanagan.

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. It wasn't until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed. It
More about John Flanagan...

Other Books in the Series

Ranger's Apprentice (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, #2)
  • The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, #3)
  • The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4)
  • The Sorcerer in the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5)
  • The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6)
  • Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7)
  • The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger's Apprentice, #8)
  • Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice, #9)
  • The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10)
  • The Lost Stories (Ranger's Apprentice, #11)

Share This Book

“ the time, King Herbert felt that to remain safe, the kingdom needed an effective intelligence force."

"An intelligent force?" said Will.

"Not intelligent. Intelligence. Although it does help if your intelligence force was also intelligent.”
“People will think what they want to," he said quietly. Never take too much notice of it.” 260 likes
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