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The Ruins of Gorlan

(Ranger's Apprentice #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  133,180 ratings  ·  7,980 reviews
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 Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly ...more
Paperback, 249 pages
Published June 8th 2006 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Anna {Follow me for reviews! (✿◡‿◡)} Literally this is the best series ever!! Are you kidding me?? I agree so much with Aysha and Nico Wood! Honestly I love love the characters...You shou…moreLiterally this is the best series ever!! Are you kidding me?? I agree so much with Aysha and Nico Wood! Honestly I love love the characters...You should definitely give it a try!(less)
Michele Hane My son started reading this just after he turned 8 and he finished all of them (and the Brotherband Chronicles and the Early Years prequel) in about 2…moreMy son started reading this just after he turned 8 and he finished all of them (and the Brotherband Chronicles and the Early Years prequel) in about 2 months. He finished all of the Harry Potter books last year at 7, so if they can handle Potter, they can handle this. He's now reading The Summoner Trilogy. We ask him about it and he tells us the plot and how each books relates to another. In search of his next series.(less)

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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  133,180 ratings  ·  7,980 reviews

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Rick Riordan
Nov 07, 2013 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
Nov 15, 2008 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
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
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
Lois Bujold
Jul 22, 2013 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,
Ahmad Sharabiani
The ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1), John Flanagan
The Ruins of Gorlan is the first novel in the Ranger's Apprentice series written by Australian author John Flanagan. Flanagan first conceived the world of the novel in a series of short stories he wrote for his son to incite his interest in reading. Ten years later, he decided to turn them into The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 2012 میلادی
عنوان: ویرانه ها
Jonathan Terrington
Sep 20, 2011 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
Rachel Reads Ravenously
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
Deborah O'Carroll
Review-ish-but-not-really thing I wrote.

Originally a blog post on my book blog, here:

On the surface, it’s just a fun, YA fantasy book about fifteen-year-old Will and a sort of coming-of-age tale with swords and bows and rangers in a medieval-esque world, and a much more straightforward, less-convoluted story.

And it is all of that.

But beneath the surface there are other things going on (at least to this reader) which I’ll get to later.

It’s very funny, in
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it

Ruins of Gorlan was a book I read when I first started high school, which was in 2010, I think. I graduated last year so I refuse to acknowledge maths. It's a book I've hunted for a while now, and I'm so glad to have my hands on it that it's ridiculous.

I did have problems with this book during my re-read though. Maybe because it's a middle grade book, probably not. However, this book reads like an introductory novel. We barely get much action but are instead introduced to the world of the st
C.B. Cook
Re-read review:

Just as good the second time!!!! I've missed these characters so much.

This was soooo good. I was enjoying it plenty, and then PLOT TWIST. And then that ending. Four words, one sentence... I would have been happy crying if I hadn't been on the airplane. Needless to say, when I saw the sequel at HPB, I snatched it up. Halt was the best, Will was so... good? Amazing? He was a very good MC, to be sure. And then Horace... And Alyss and the other wards... Loved. It. So. Much.

Sarah Grace Grzy
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 13+ for mild language and some minor violence
I really enjoyed this book! I was hooked from the very start. The premise is very unique, and the story is awesome! I wasn't a huge fan of Flanagan's writing style; there was a bit too much description for me. And he totally did what my sister and her writing friends refer to as 'the backstory dump'. *shudders* My only other issue was the amount of language. I wasn't expecting there to be any, so it was rather disappointing. There wasn't a ton, thankfully, and they were all pretty mild. But enou ...more
Catherine Hawthorn
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
My sis and my spy have both been PESTERING me to read this series. I finally found the first book at the library....and now I completely understand why they love it so much. And why the books make everyone

I dearly love strong and silent hero types....and Halt fit that bill wonderfully. Will and Horace showed excellent character development. I really want to shadow a Ranger now...

RW Ratings:

Language: 4 stars. 5 instances of d*** and 1 instance of h***. All of which were very unnec
Elizabeth Dragina
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memorable
Ack!!! Such an amazing book!! I would give a review but I don't have a lot of time so I will say.... basically it's amazing and everyone who loves action, fighting, and growing characters needs to read this!!

I also will hate the covers as much as the next person because they could be so much better.
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a start to the series. Ranger's Apprentice can be compared to Brian Jacques's Redwall novels and Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but forges its own identity in an intriguing fantasy world. The Kingdom of Araluen has experienced trying times ever since Lord Morgarath's violent grab for power. The inscrutable Rangers thwarted his attempt to use mind control of animals called Wargals to attack the kingdom, and now Morgarath is exiled to the Mountains of Rain and Night, whe ...more
Feb 13, 2009 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:
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 31, 2009 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
Celine Lindeskov
This is how you ruin a good story with poor writing, obvious plot holes and weak characters. What a waste.
Odette Brethouwer
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
How that I'm working in a bookshop, I need to be familiar with books that we sell often, like this series. And my coworker and friend told me they were fun. And oh boy, she was right. I highly enjoyed this!

It is a fun series with adventure and a bit of a fantasy element, like LOTR junior but with a completely different setting and much more speed and events and adventures. It is 12+, but suitable and fun for any age. (Technically, my age of 27 is 12+, of course :P) very suitable for boys, but of
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
This book was different from the other books I had read so far and it was better than I thought. It was such a fun and exciting journey that I was glad to experience with this book and enjoyed it as much as possible. I liked the world building, plot and the idea of this book and I loved the writing style and characters development "specially how will got stronger and found his true self" throughout the story. ...more
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Many years ago (let's not talk about just how many years) after finishing school I spent a year as an au-pair in New Zealand. What do you do while the kids play and everything is already cleaned? You read! So the library became one of my most regular appointments. Since my English back then wasn't nearly as good as it is now I stuck mostly to YA literature. One of the first series I stumbled upon was the 'Ranger's Apprentice' Series by John Flanagan. I remember enjoying them a great deal even if ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-for-kids
Sometimes, when I'm looking for a break from the gratuitous aspects of adult life and literature, I like to give YA books a try. This one definitely worked as a little escape.
While there are 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 an imitation of The Lord of the Rings, but it isn't that. While a few things about Halt reminded me of Aragor
Jason Yee
Mar 08, 2010 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
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2011, reviewed
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
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
5th book of 2019.

This was such a wonderful tale of the apprentice, Will. The whole Ranger thing is very interesting.

Does not contain any magic, only monsters so far.

I will definitely continue with the series.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Flanagan is a well known author of several different genres, but probably some of his best known books are the Ranger’s Apprentice series. They have definitely caused millions of readers to sigh wistfully and wish themselves Rangers. I know I have, and I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to review The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the RA series.

Will is worried. Tomorrow is Choosing Day, the day when the wards at Redmont Castle were chosen by the Craftmasters as apprentices. He’s
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
C.G. Drews
The novel easily grabs your attention--and keeps it. It's written in an easy-to-read style, full of adventure, excitement, and a good dash of humour. I enjoyed it from beginning to end (with plenty of pauses for a good laugh.) As the series progresses, both the author's writing and his character development improves. The first book is typical -- bullies, evil villain ruling strange creations (wargals), and a life-changing choice. But even so, it's a fresh look on the common story-line.

While the
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Does Anyone Else Besides Me Love This Series? 12 78 Aug 04, 2020 07:08AM  
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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

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 of 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)

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143 likes · 56 comments
“ 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.” 329 likes
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