emmejo, July 29, 2009 (view all comments by emmejo)
First off, this book is *very* LOTR derivative! Which you probably guessed from the title. However after I got past the blatant copying of names and places, I found a good story underneath.
Will is an orphan, he is small and wiry. He desperately wanted to get into battleschool, but was rejected because he was too small. Instead he ends up apprenticed to the mysterious Halt, a ranger who speaks little and does a lot. At first Will is disappointed with this arrangement, but in time he realizes that being a ranger is quite interesting.
My really huge problem with this book is not the writing (which is good) or the main character (who is interesting), but the villain. Named Morgarath (only a couple letters different from Tolkin's big bad) I found him an implausible character. If he was feared and evil to the extent claimed it would seem highly unlikely that he would be heard of only in children's tales after barely 15 years of exile. These facts bothered me so much it rather took away from the story.
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rockerbabyred, November 11, 2006 (view all comments by rockerbabyred)
This book kept me up turning the pages rapidly. The characters, the story, everything about this book is thrilling. The second one in the series is even better!!!! I Love Halt!!!!!
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Bestial villains, noble knights and deposed despots prepare their forces for impending battle in the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series by Australian author Flanagan. Fifteen-year-old Will, orphaned as a child, and his close friends anxiously await Choosing Day, when each will be chosen-or not-for apprenticeship in one of several schools. Those not chosen wind up as farm labor to help feed the castledwellers. 'It was a fate Will feared more than anything.' He entertains notions of entering Battleschool like his classmate-and sometime adversary-Horace. But because of Will's diminutive stature, and a knack for climbing, hiding and all things clandestine, he is instead chosen to be a Ranger, under the tutelage of Halt, who years earlier exiled the evil Morgarath to the land of the Mountains of Rain and Night. As Will learns archery and stealth techniques, he makes peace with Horace (who is being tormented by older classmates at Battleschool), and the two must then travel with a contingent of Rangers and warriors to fight invading, 'almost invincible' Kalkara-bearlike assassins sent by Morgarath to kill Halt. On the whole, the story owes much to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Flanagan's Rangers more than recall Tolkien's, and the deposed Morgarath and his inhuman Wargals parallel Saruman and the Orcs a bit too closely. Still, for the uninitiated, this is an exciting tale of battle and honor. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Will's world is a colorful place, threatened by an evil warlord and his fierce minions, but it's the details of everyday living and the true-to-life emotions of the people that are memorable. Children will definitely look forward to the next adventure in the Ruins of Gorlan series."
by School Library Journal,
"[A] pleasing finish and should leave readers eager to share the future adventures of the Ranger's apprentice."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"[R]eaders with a taste for quickly paced adventure with tidy, predictable resolutions...won't be disappointed."
Full of adventure, storytelling, magic, and deep characterization, this debut fantasy introduces the magic-practicing Rangers, protectors of the kingdom, and Will, a 15-year-old villager who has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice.
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