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

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  53,857 ratings  ·  4,051 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...more
Paperback, 249 pages
Published June 8th 2006 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Ashley
"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...more
Stephen
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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...more
Rick Riordan
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
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...more
Jonathan
Dec 04, 2013 Jonathan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Lois Bujold
Jul 22, 2013 Lois Bujold rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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,...more
Becky
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...more
Jason Yee
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
Callista
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...more
Mike (the Paladin)
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...more
Arminzerella
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
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...more
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
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...more
Argona
I read many positive reviews before picking up this book and I was afraid that I might be too old for actually enjoying it. I was wrong.This book was a pleasant surprise and deserves those positive reviews!

The beginning of the book isn't 100% original but that changes very quickly.This is the story of Will, an orphaned boy with his own dreams and insecurities who struggles with who he is and who he wants to be and it tells the tale of his growth into a young man and a Ranger.Other characters are...more
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.
Tapestrymlp
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
Chandler
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.
Wealhtheow
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: http://www.scribd.com/doc/10330799/Ra...
Yui
May 02, 2011 Yui rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: for the whole family
This review is for the whole series

It was a surprise when this book came to mind when someone asked me what is the best book I've read last year because (a.) It didn't occur to me to put this in my 'favorite books' shelf and (b.) I only read each book in the series once. For some reason (which I hope I can tell in this review) however it stuck to me and even though I am usually a romance reader I couldn't pick another book to change my answer in 'What is the best book you've read last year?'

Wi...more
Shehreyar Khan
The story follows Will (a fifteen-year-old) who’s always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a knight. He feels that he owes it to his dead father. Almost as soon as the story begins, we see his dream ruined when the head of the battle school (some knight whose name I forgot) picks Will’s best friend instead of him. Will is short (a late bloomer) and clearly unsuited to becoming a knight.

But, by a stroke of luck, Will is taken as an apprentice to a grim veteran and legendary Ra...more
Smaileh
The characters are what makes this series so enjoyable. Will, the apprentice of the series title, is instantly likeable, but I really liked the treatment of Horace. Instead of making him a rival and a thorn in Will's side for the entire series, he develops from a braggart and a bully to Will's true friend before the novel is half over. I also liked the adult characters. Halt, the ranger who takes Will in, is a bit of an Aragorn figure, outwardly stern but inwardly caring. Baron Arald, the man wh...more
Kat
Part of my reason to read these books are my own enjoyment, but it mainly is to bond with my brother, who is reading them. He is eleven years old and this book is definitely awesome for a kid his age who enjoys a good adventure.

(And those of us who are older, but still appreciate an afternoon snack. It's an easy read).
Jianne
I haven't read a fantasy book, let alone a series for quite a while. I guess I was looking for something captivating and different given the many fantasy books that I've read. Thankfully, The Ranger's Apprentice is a promising series and The Ruins of Gorlan prove to be a great start to this series.

It's unique and refreshing. Rangers are like the western version of ninjas. And ninjas I love. So I was really intrigued to read about Rangers and they do not disappoint.

The world Flanagan created is v...more
Clare Cannon
Oct 06, 2010 Clare Cannon rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 10-16 years
Shelves: 08-12yrs, 13-15yrs
Will is small for his age, but fast and quick-witted. All his life, he has dreamed of becoming a great knight like the father he never knew, so he is devastated when he is rejected by Castle Redmont’s Battleschool.

Instead he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger. Reluctantly, Will learns to use a Ranger’s secret weapons: a bow and arrow, a mottled cloak and a stubborn little pony... weapons that soon prove not so useless after all...

Soon to be made into a movie, this relatively new serie...more
Chris
Oct 26, 2011 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: i-own
This is the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series and it has left me wanting more. The book is geared towards younger, presumably middle-grade readers. There are now 10 books in the series and from what I hear, the adventures just continue to be a lot of fun.

The concept of the books is a somewhat standard trope for the ~medieval-fantasy-adventure genre. Our main character is Will, a young boy orphaned after a great battle and taken in by the local Lord. Over the years, he makes plenty of...more
Josh Walbridge
The Ranger’s Apprentice, Ruins of Gorlan focuses on a fifteen year old boy named Will. He is an Orphan who has taken into a Baron’s castle for a chance at becoming a ‘somebody‘ instead of just an orphan. At the age of 15, the orphans at the Baron’s castle are given a job. Will had great hopes of being a warrior, but was instead chosen as a ranger, a secretive group for the King in the land of Araluen. In the end, he becomes a successful ranger's apprentice. The book was so action packed that any...more
Deanna
For the last little while Luke, my 9 year old, has been drooling over this book at Barnes and Noble. I told him I would read it first and see if it meet our standards. He hoovered over me every time I read to see if it met muster. The result was yes! So I read this with my 9 year old in mind, and not myself as an adult reading it. These are some of the reasons I loved it:

1). Good and bad are clearly portrayed.
2). Core values, and the cause and effect of them, that I want instilled are laid out....more
Julius
This is a simple read with good story pacing and level telling. However, I couldn't help but notice that its main theme (the Rangers) seems almost right out of the pages of Lord of the Rings. There is a very similar (dare I say almost identical) story element in the Lord of the Rings referred to as, one almost wouldn't believe it, the Rangers. They do much the same thing as the Rangers in this book, what with going round about the kingdom for to make sure evil does not take over, bearing appeara...more
Kristine
I don't know what happened to make me such a fantasy fan - but it happened. I'm hooked! I have had several friends read through this whole series in the last 6 months and rate it pretty highly. So I was looking forward to some fun

Will is one of the 'wards' (orphans that are taken care of by the local baron). There are 5 in his group who have reached the age of 15 where their are apprenticed out among the village's craftsmen. At first it seems like he is the only one of the wardmates who doesn't...more
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Which would you choose? 11 40 Oct 18, 2014 02:26PM  
Has this series finished? 3 60 Sep 01, 2014 04:11AM  
I love this book 1 15 Aug 31, 2014 08:09PM  
Ranger`s Apprentice 122 80 Aug 17, 2014 07:55PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan --> Starting 12th July 2014 12 13 Jul 14, 2014 03:28AM  
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  • Shadowgate (Dragons of Deltora, #2)
  • The Final Storm (The Door Within, #3)
  • The Monsters of Otherness (Erec Rex, #2)
  • A World Without Heroes (Beyonders, #1)
  • Night of the Soul Stealer (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #3)
  • Happenstance Found (The Books of Umber, #1)
  • The Dragon Heir (The Heir Chronicles, #3)
  • The Fiend and the Forge (The Tapestry, #3)
  • The Way of the Sword (Young Samurai, #2)
  • Skybreaker (Matt Cruse, #2)
  • DragonLight (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #5)
  • Rise of the Wolf (Wereworld, #1)
  • The Last Knight (Knight and Rogue, #1)
34049
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
More about John Flanagan...
The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, #2) The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4) The Icebound Land (Ranger's Apprentice, #3) The Sorcerer in the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #6) The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #7)

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“...at 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.”
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“People will think what they want to," he said quietly. Never take too much notice of it.” 215 likes
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