Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan

In my years of paying others to coax my curls into straight hair, I've discovered the best way to read books that don't interest me: bring them to the salon.

The first Ranger's Apprentice book falls into that category. I have a hard time getting into stories with knights and mythical creatures, but this series is popular with my Pre-AP boys, so I figured I'd check it out. I'm glad I did (and they will be psyched).

Once I got through the prologue, I was engrossed in the story of Will, an orphan who is apprenticed to the Rangers, a group of mysterious spies who keep the kingdom safe. He and his orphan friends adjust to their new lives as apprentices, while a great war brews against the kingdom.

The best part of John Flanagan's novel are the characters. Will is endearing and his struggles with his new life are realistic. Best of all, though, is his mentor, Halt. It's best to imagine him as Viggo Mortensen in full Strider mode. Halt is wise, humble, and full of secrets. In fact, when I looked at the plot summary for Book 2, I saw that Will and a friend are separated from the others, with nary a mention of Halt. This dropped it down a few notches on my To Be Read list, but it is definitely still there, which I never thought I'd say.

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