The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice, Book 1) Review
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As a newborn baby, Will was left on the castle steps to become a ward of the kingdom. When he grows old enough to be placed in service to the kingdom, he prays with all his might that he’ll be chosen for Battleschool. Unfortunately, he’s too small to serve in the king’s army, but he has other skills—skills that have not gone unnoticed by Halt, one of the mysterious rangers.

While Will trains to become a ranger—soldiers who seem to have magical skills—Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, gathers his forces for an attack on the kingdom. His fighters, the Wargals, are a furious, merciless bunch, more animal than human. But the Kalkara are far worse. Even seasoned warriors take pause when faced with one in battle—for they’re notoriously hard to kill.

Soon, Will and Halt are called to hunt the Kalkara, and Will has to rely on his newly-acquired skills to make it out alive when the hunters become the hunted.

After a slow start to fill in back story, The Ruins of Gorlan becomes a totally engrossing read. Epic on a small scale and adventurous, the plot is steeped in imagination and intrigue at every turn of the page. I simply couldn’t wait to get back to this story.

Will shows a brave heart and natural skill at a young age. Inquisitive and sensitive in a good way, Will is a young man whom you’ll grow to love—and you’ll want to continue to follow him from book to book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Halt, meanwhile, reminds me of an older version of Strider from The Lord of the Rings, which is a big plus, since Strider was my favorite character in the trilogy. Halt is tough on Will, but he’s never harsh to the point that you’ll hate him for it. He’s just mysterious enough to keep you drawn to his character, and you’re going to want to learn more about him in future books.

Young boys with adventure in their hearts will thoroughly enjoy The Ruins of Gorlan—and, if you’re a bit of a tomboy (like me), you gals will also love it. I’m definitely going to head to the store to pick up the next few books in the series.

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