Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: The Ruins of Gorlan

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan
Publication Date: June 8, 2006
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 249 


They have always scared him in the past—the Rangers, with their dark cloaksand 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 trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . .
I picked this book up at the end of March. So it's been sitting on my shelf for a couple months. It did take me some time to get to it but I'm glade I did.
It was ten minutes before they heard the screaming. It was an unearthly sound that twisted the stomach into knots of fear and turned the blood cold. 

So the book mainly focoused on the main character Will and his training as a Ranger. The thing is he wanted to go to battleschool, a place where they train to become knights. Obviously, he didn't get in. But his friend, Horace, does and that does come into play throughout the book.

I think Will is a okay character. He does have room to develop and grow which is good. But I don't know if he is strong enough character to be a main character. He never seemed like a hero or a person I would want to bet on. Maybe the author wanted to make him more of a underdog but I just didn't see it.
I liked Halt a lot more. He felt much more like his part. A great hero training someone to one day, hopefully, to be a hero, too. He was very methodical and smart and he never did anything without a reason. Horace seemed more like a hero. But then again, maybe that was the point.
The plot wasn't the most original but it works well. Especially considering it's the first of a series. I did think there would be more fighting and more violence then there was. Truthfully, I kinda hoped there was a little more. But, like before, it worked for this book. The pacing was pretty good. The book didn't feel really rushed. But there were a few times when a large amount of time would pass without you knowing. I mean, one chapter was about Will learning to ride a horse, then halfway through the next chapter it was three months later.
The book does have a few flaws, but overall it was a fun read. Am I eagerly waiting to pick up the next book? No. Am I completely hooked on the series? No. Would I be reading the next book? This one is a yes. The book is a solid 3.5 stars and I do recommend it.

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