Book Review: Ranger’s Apprentice #1 – The Ruins of Gorlan

The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice, #1)The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found Ranger’s Apprentice when I was searching for books similar to Eragon. I just really felt like a high fantasy adventure. I wasn’t expecting too much when I started reading, but once I did, I couldn’t help myself from reading more. Flanagan has a great, natural writing style that is simple enough to be comfortable, but poetic enough to stay enticing.

As for the story, I think that Flanagan creates great complex, fleshed-out characters. He gives them complicated challenges and tests them to show what they are made of. Will is a very likable character, one that you sympathize for and root for throughout the book. His relationships with his friends and acquaintances are realistic and very telling of who they are. There is also some wonderful character development, especially within the relationship to one of his friends.

Another thing that kept me interested was the action interspersed throughout. There are some great high-intensity chapters that really kept me on the edge of my seat. Somehow Will always ends up right in the thick of things, and it makes for a very exciting adventure.

I kept going back and forth between three and four stars. At first I was thinking three, because there wasn’t anything particularly amazing that jumped out at me, but then after thinking it over, I really did like it quite a bit. I stayed up late reading and look forward to the next book. (There are twelve by the way! Holy cow!) We shall see if they are good enough to finish the entire series!

I would recommend this book to elementary through high school kids who like fantasy and adventure.

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