The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I tend to shy away from fantasy and science fiction, but I read The Ruins of Gorlan (the first in the Ranger's Apprentice series) for my book group. One of the members loves fantasy, and she chose this one as an accessible fantasy series. I had a difficult time getting into the book at first, but it didn't take too long. I get impatient with different (fictional) worlds, lands, and breeds...I'm not sure why. I'm also not particularly drawn into stories filled with constant battles.
My nephew Ryan loves these books and dressed up as the ranger's apprentice this year for Halloween. He was delighted to hear that I would be reading it, and I'm also reading it with Kieran. I decided to read ahead so I'd be prepared for my book group on Wednesday.
Young Will always wanted to be a warrior, but when he reaches the age to be apprenticed to a craftsperson, he is selected to train with a mysterious ranger. Soon he learns the important role of the rangers, or protectors of the kingdom. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. As typical in fantasy for young people, Will is soon called to apply the skills he has learned as a new apprentice and gets drawn into heroic conflict. The book reminded me a bit of The Lord of the Rings, but I found it to be much more accessible.
I know that Kieran is going to love this book and will want to read more of the series. I decided to give this book three stars because I enjoyed it but wouldn't necessarily read more without Kieran (unlike Harry Potter). Kieran tends to be gung ho about series until the end, when he loses steam. We are 3/4 of the way through the last Percy Jackson book, and now we've started this new book. We also made it nearly all the way through the Lemony Snicket series before he lost interest. We'll see how this one goes!