Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ruins of Gorlan” as Want to Read:
The Ruins of Gorlan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  61,490 ratings  ·  4,376 reviews
Full of adventure, storytelling, magic, and deep characterization, this debut fantasy introduces the magic-practicing Rangers, protectors of the kingdom, and Will, a 15-year-old villager who has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 29th 2010 by Puffin (first published January 1st 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ruins of Gorlan, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Amber The first book is usually to get the readers acquainted with the characters and their roles within the series. Don't give up on the series just yet…moreThe first book is usually to get the readers acquainted with the characters and their roles within the series. Don't give up on the series just yet and read a few more of the books and then you will really start to appreciate how the characters grow and the plot will also start to become more interesting as well. :) (less)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisSwitch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu by Karen  PrinceThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienHis Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Best Children's fantasy books for Adults
170th out of 252 books — 328 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingFortune Calling by Hunter S. JonesVampire Academy by Richelle Mead
272nd out of 385 books — 301 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
"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
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
Dec 04, 2013 Jonathan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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 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,
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
Alicia ǂLibraries, Action Cats, and Space Invadersǂ
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
Ademilson Moraes
I've never been one of those guys with lots of friends. Actually, I kind of always had to turn to book characters to cover my lack of real relationships. Thus, in the first year of college, when I discovered this series, I couldn't have been more glad for it.

The first reason is that I felt that I could relate to the protagonist after only a few pages. Will is, at first, a solitary little kid who doesn't know his place in the world. His situation only gets worse when the time for him to be chosen
One down eleven to go.

Book was not bad at all. The plot was average. Action was good. And especially no BS.

Epilogue was epic.
May 02, 2011 Yui rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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?'

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
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
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).
Not bad, but if the writing style doesn't improve somewhat within the next book or two I'll probably be putting the series down. There's an awful lot of telling-not-showing going on.

Also, I'm kind of squinting at how the Wargals are being handled so far--they're ugly, yes, and fearsome fighters, but they're still victims of Morgarath's mind control, and I'm not really comfortable with how the good guys are slaying them without any compunction whatsoever. I know it's self defense, and I'm not say
Athelas Hale
Before you read this, O friends who are fans of this, I apologize.

This was one of the books that awoke the raging Beast That Is The Inner Editor in me. Throughout the entire book, I was near-desperate to get a red pen. There were a few points in it that I enjoyed, but for the most part, the writing was not excellent, it lacked any originality, and the characters were disappointingly unrelatable. The author had a lot of perseverance to write so many of these, I'll grant that, but I cannot say th
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What to read next? 3 15 Feb 26, 2015 11:05AM  
Which would you choose? 30 113 Feb 02, 2015 02:46PM  
Who is your favorite character? 35 106 Jan 28, 2015 08:37AM  
Is this worth reading? 6 40 Jan 10, 2015 08:01AM  
Ranger's Apprenti...: I challenge you to get 100% of my quiz without cheating :P (Book 1) 42 85 Dec 16, 2014 02:56PM  
  • Dragon Games (The Books of Umber, #2)
  • Sands of Nezza (Adventurers Wanted, #4)
  • Airman
  • The Final Storm (The Door Within, #3)
  • From Darkness Won (Blood of Kings, #3)
  • The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms, #2)
  • Dragon Slippers (Dragon Slippers, #1)
  • Dragon and Thief (Dragonback, #1)
  • Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles, #1)
  • The Hound of Rowan (The Tapestry, #1)
  • The Merchant of Death (Pendragon, #1)
  • Chasing the Prophecy (Beyonders, #3)
  • The Wizard of Rondo (Rondo, #2)
  • The Floating Island (The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, #1)
  • Skybreaker (Matt Cruse, #2)
  • The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3)
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 13 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)
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, #5) The Siege of Macindaw (Ranger's Apprentice, #6)

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.” 233 likes
More quotes…