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The Tournament at Gorlan

(Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years #1)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  8,663 ratings  ·  571 reviews
When Halt and Crowley discover that the ambitious Morgarath has been infiltrating the Rangers in order to corrupt the Corps, the young Rangers travel north to find Prince Duncan, seeking a royal warrant to stop Morgarath before it is too late. By weakening the Rangers, the most powerful force in support of the King, Morgarath plans to steal the throne.

Yet when Halt and Cr
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Philomel Books (first published September 1st 2015)
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Tommeh Bell It would be different if the books weren't good. But they are so if he wants to keep writing great books then I say keep going!…moreIt would be different if the books weren't good. But they are so if he wants to keep writing great books then I say keep going!(less)
Daniel Matos I would read the main series and then read this one because I can combine the two series together like it is one whole series and then read this serie…moreI would read the main series and then read this one because I can combine the two series together like it is one whole series and then read this series which will get me to read the main series(less)
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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Tricia Mingerink
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
For once, a prequel that doesn't ruin the magic of the series or flop or be downright boring because the readers already know what's happening. More than that, this prequel managed a few surprises (Halt's first meeting with Pauline is absolutely epic!) instead of sounding like it was checking off the answers to a list of questions. ...more
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So many feels. SO. MANY. FEELS.
What do you mean, there's no release date yet for the second installment of the prequel duology? WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S NOT CERTAIN HOW LONG I'LL HAVE TO WAIT?!


Een recensie vol met mijn emoties vind je hier:
I can hazard a guess that if I were to ask every Ranger's Apprentice fan who their top five characters were, Halt would make at least 90% of the lists. He's definitely a well loved character, and when I heard about this prequel series that would be centred around him, I was quite excited.

I have to admit, this book wasn't really what I expected (this is what I get for not reading blurbs). I thought it'd be about how Halt and Crowley were trained and how they met each other and developed a great f
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
* * *
3 / 5

~mini review~

Ah, Ranger's Apprentice, one of my favourite childhood series. On the one hand this was very nostalgic: it features Halt and Crowley in their younger years, shooting arrows and being badass, which I liked quite a lot. There was also the fun extra additions of the Baron of Redmont and Lady Pauline. On the other hand, the plot was rather lacking in comparison to some of the other books and the cast was quite large, featuring about twelve rangers, making hard to connect with
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the ambitious Baron Morgarath plots to take the throne, he starts by discrediting and destroying the King's Ranger Corp. Halt and Crowley discover this plot and move to protect the King and the Prince. But the Baron's scheming is much farther along that either Ranger has imagined. The questions is, are the Rangers too late to save the crown?

I can't imagine how hard it must be to write a book about characters that you know are in no real danger because they are existing characters in a later
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good! Even if you were dissapointed by the Royal Ranger, you'll probably like this one!

I got a signed copy for Christmas! :D Feel free to be jealous
Ms. Yingling
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This takes place after one of The Lost Stories-- Halt and Crowley have been dismissed and are on the run, King Oswald has been captures, and Duncan is pillaging the country side. But of course, he's not; it's an imposter. With the help of Leander, the two start to round up other Rangers who have gotten the boot from the evil Morgarath and head to a tournament back in Araluen so they can set things right. Do they? Yes, but Morgarath escapes, so we are all set for book two in this prequel series t ...more
- ̗̀  jess  ̖́-
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
I love the Ranger's Apprentice books so much - at least, the first 10. After the Royal Ranger I made the decision to stop reading the series - as well as the Brotherband books - but this one had Halt, and Crowley, and, well. I had to. And I'm so glad I did. This doesn't have quite the charm of the original series, or the complexity and the humor. I miss young Will and Horace and old grumpy Halt (though young grumpy Halt isn't much different). But I have to accept that their time is up and their ...more
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was really awesome to go back to the good old days with Halt and Crowley and their constant sass and endless hilarity. The story was fun and didn't have any slow/boring parts, it flowed really well and kept me wanting to know what happened next the whole way through. I loved the way all the characters were written and developed and it was cool so see what Halt was like before he met Will. Pauline and Halt's first meeting was hilarious and there were many great moments. Excellent story, can't ...more
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A prequel to the Ranger's Apprentice series, starring Halt and Crowley. In this book, they seek out other Rangers. who have been summarily dismissed by the King, but in reality by the throne-seeking Morgarath. Morgarath has also kidnapped Prince Duncan and hired an impostor to raid nearby lands and discredit Duncan. Crowley, while young emerges as the future leader of the Rangers Corp, and along with Halt's help, bring matters to a head at the tournament with Baron Arald and Morgarath in an exci ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year, and definitely my favorite book by John Flanagan. Don't get me wrong, I love Brotherband, but returning to Ranger's Apprentice with some of my favorite characters now my age, facing the first villain was just awesome. Also this is his funniest book yet, and one of the funniest books I've ever read.

While most of his books are rather predictable, this had enough twists to keep me interested even though I knew the outcome of several major eve
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I haven't read any of John Flanagan's in quite a while and oh boy did I miss them. Although this is YA, he writes things in a way that can be fun for everyone without being dumbed down is fantastic.

I wouldn't rate this one as highly as some of the other ones in the series, but it definitely gets a solid 4, maybe even a 4.5 out of 5.

I highly recommend this to anyone that likes YA, fantasy, rangers, archery, and the like since this whole Ranger's Apprentice world is a ton of fun.
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

I was a little hesitant about reading this, to be honest. See, I love the Ranger's Apprentice series. It's one of my all time Top 10. But I was a bit less enamoured with the Brotherband stories, and I wasn't sure what kind of quality we would be getting here.

But I love Halt - I mean, who doesn't? - and I couldn't pass up the chance to read more about his earlier years.

And I'm glad I did.

Now, I will say, that in my heart-of-hearts, I'd probably say this 3.5 is more properly rounded down to 3 s
Karen ⊰✿
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to see this prequel series and it didn't disappoint. Although one of the charms of the Ranger Apprentice series was the relatonship between Holt and Will, in this series we get to see the same development between Holt and Crawley ; and also Holt and Duncan.

Although a prequel, I think this is still entirely readable if you haven't read the Ranger's Apprentice books first. There may be some nuances that you don't quite get why it is so humorous (like seeing Holt be introduced to h
C. S.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fiction
It's funny how this author has such an infallible instinct for setting up ships that I hate. Then again the ship in this one is basically the exact same as the one in Ruins of Gorlan just with the previous generation because THEY'RE ALL BASICALLY THE SAME PEOPLE.

Whatever, I've already queued up the next book.
Stef Rozitis
As far as prequels went, this book had some things going for it. Usually I find prequels somewhat depressing because it has to end up in a sticky situation where the first book starts and the inevitability of that is emotionally unrewarding and wearing. This one managed that pretty well all in all...we couldn't have the entirely happy ending but there was a positive feel to the book and a sense that even not entirely successful struggles now, set up later successes (which by now the reader knows ...more
Lynette ~ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time ~
Check out my full review HERE:
It’s John Flanagan. It’s Ranger’s Apprentice. IT’S HALT O’CARRICK. Need I say more? Of course I adored this book!!! Also, I went to a release party for this book. Check it out at the link above, me as Alyss, with the creator himself (He personally apologized to me for what he did to Alyss).

Halt and Crowley. Rogue Rangers. Prince Duncan. Araluen. Archery. Humor. Battle. Heroism. Laughter. Tears. THIS BOOK IS PERFECTION. Serio
Penguin First to Read ARC.

It was wonderful to hear from Halt, Crowley, Duncan, and Arald again!! Back in their hay day. I enjoyed this book. Crowley and Halt is just as good as Horace and Will! Can't wait to read more of the adventures of the past! I've read and enjoyed all of John Flanagan's books and there's no stopping that!
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars - A great book about Crowley and Halt... Lots of fun with a good story behind it... Loved Halt meeting Pauline for the first time... Ending was a little disappointing...(But maybe that was just me) - looking forward for more books in this series...
Haley S
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
rachel ☾
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing read, but not as good as the original series IMO.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a prequel to the popular Ranger's Apprentice series, focusing on the past of the rangers Halt and Crowley, mentors in the original series. It starts immediately after a short story, called The Hibernian, published in book eleven of the series, The Lost Stories. The short story was all that John Flanagan had intended to write, but he ended up writing an entire book on it, as well as a companion prequel book.
In Araluen, the country they are in at the time, it is a time of unrest. Th
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fans of Ranger's Apprentice will be happy to return to the world of Halt, Crowley, and Duncan in this prequel adventure. Halt and Crowley set about revitalizing the ranger corps and thwarting the plot of Morgarath.

This was a fun read. I enjoyed it. Nothing extra special but some good adventure and escapism.
Loretta Marchize
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
LOVED this! Great start to a series, looking forward to the rest! It's been hard to find time to read, but I'm going to go off hiatus soon and come back on, as I've got a study hall in school I hope to devote to writing/blogging/Goodreads. ...more
The Forest Clown
John Flanagan's books are so satisfying. They make you laugh. They make you sad. And this book was no less. It was remarkable how Flanagan took a story from one of his books and added to it, filling in holes and writing an epic tale. ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Not as well written as the rest of the series. It was difficult to move past the initial 20% of the work, but once past that the writing smoothed out and the book was interesting
Naofumi Iwatani (from The Rising of The Shield Hero) ☯ (ヅ) ꧁꧂✨ ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡   ✿◕ ‿ ◕✿
I had actually finished this book a while ago, I had just forgotten to update my progress, anywho, yeah, it was a pretty good book.
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like seeing more into how Crowley and Halt meet and bonded
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
It was fun to see the characters that we know in Ranger's Apprentice as their younger selves-Halt made me laugh so hard when he met Pauline for the first time. 😀 ...more
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure, ya-fantasy
In "The Tournament at Gorlan" John Flanagan sets the stage in the Kingdom of Araluen where Morgarath an influential and power-hungry baron has set a plan in motion to discredit Prince Duncan, hold his father King Oswald hostage, disband the Ranger Corps and to take the throne. When Crowley and Halt discover his nefarious scheme they enlist the aid of eleven displaced Rangers and set out to release Prince Duncan imprisoned in Wildriver Castle, and to catch Tiller who's impersonating the Prince an ...more
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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

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“Halt glared at his friend as the whistling continued.
'I had hoped that your new sense of responsibly would put an end to that painful shrieking noise you make between your lips' he said.
Crowley smiled. It was a beautiful day and he was feeling at peace with the world. And that meant he was more than ready to tease Halt 'It's a jaunty song'
'What's jaunty about it?' Halt asked, grim faced. Crowley made an uncertain gesture as he sought for an answer to that question.
'I suppose it's the subject matter' he said eventually. 'It's a very cheerful song. Would you like me to sing it for you?'
'N-' Halt began but he was too late, as Crowley began to sing. He had a pleasant tenor voice, in fact, and his rendering of the song was quite good. But to Halt it was as attractive as a rusty barn door squeaking.
'A blacksmith from Palladio, he met a lovely lady-o'
'Whoa! Whoa!' Halt said 'He met a lovely lady-o?' Halt repeated sarcastically 'What in the name of all that's holy is a lady-o?'
'It's a lady' Crowley told him patiently.
'Then why not sing 'he met a lovely lady'?' Halt wanted to know.
Crowley frowned as if the answer was blatantly obvious.
"Because he's from Palladio, as the song says. It's a city on the continent, in the southern part of Toscana.'
'And people there have lady-o's, instead of ladies?' Asked Halt
'No. They have ladies, like everyone else. But 'lady' doesn't rhyme with Palladio, does it? I could hardly sing, 'A blacksmith from Palladio, he met his lovely lady', could I?'
'It would make more sense if you did' Halt insisted
'But it wouldn't rhyme' Crowley told him.
'Would that be so bad?'
'Yes! A song has to rhyme or it isn't a proper song. It has to be lady-o. It's called poetic license.'
'It's poetic license to make up a word that doesn't exist and which, by the way, sound extremely silly?' Halt asked.
Crowley shook his head 'No. It's poetic license to make sure that the two lines rhyme with each other'
Halt thought for a few seconds, his eyes knitted close together. Then inspiration struck him.
'Well then couldn't you sing 'A blacksmith from Palladio, he met a lovely lady, so...'?'
'So what?' Crowley challenged
Halt made and uncertain gesture with his hands as he sought more inspiration. Then he replied. 'He met a lovely lady, so...he asked her for her hand and gave her a leg of lamb.'
'A leg of lamb? Why would she want a leg of lamb?' Crowley demanded
Halt shrugged 'Maybe she was hungry”
“A wise man once told me, don’t believe anything you hear until you’ve seen it with your own eyes,” Halt said. Crowley looked up at him. “Who said that? Pritchard?” It sounded like the sort of thing their old mentor might say. Halt affected to think for a few seconds, then gave a slight smile. “No. I think it was me, actually. I can be very wise at times.” 10 likes
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