Jennifer's Reviews > The Ruins of Gorlan

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
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Jul 19, 2012

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bookshelves: read-2012, read-young-adult, bad-ass-bookclub
Recommended to Jennifer by: Rita
Recommended for: young boys who are reluctant readers
Read from July 16 to 18, 2012

I enjoyed this first book in what is apparently a really big (as in number of books) series. It's not anything I hadn't read before (medieval type setting, boy with unknown father, etc.) and there isn't much to surprise here, but Flannagan puts it together in an appealing way--even though he sometimes gets a little too expository.

The novel mainly follows the story of Will, who was abandoned at the castle gates as a baby, and taken in by the Baron Arald. Will has been raised with a small group of wards, all orphans whose parents died in the service of the fief, and when they turn fifteen, they may be chosen to be apprenticed to one of the crafts (battle school, the kitchen, etc.) Will wants to go to battle school but he's small for his age and worries that will disqualify. It doesn't make it any easier that his rival in the group, Horace, is a natural fit for a solider--strong, athletic, and tall. On Choosing Day, Will is not picked by the Battlemaster . . . but the person who chooses him as an apprentice will change the course of his life.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jess I've read the entire series... they get so much better. I wasn't particularly impressed by the first one, but I pushed on, and by the last book I was so hopelessly in love with the world and the characters that I couldn't bring myself to read Flanagan's other series (The Brotherband Chronicles) because I was afraid I'd love those characters more than I did Will and Halt!


Jennifer Thanks Jess. I'll keep reading.


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