The Ruins of Gorlan

(2005)
Ruins of Gorlan book cover

Book 1 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series

The first book of the ten book series follows the adventures of Will, an orphan who becomes an apprentice Ranger under the famous Ranger Halt.  The story takes place in a fictional world based on European medieval times.  It deals with the training and education of Will in the skills needed to be a protector of the Kingdom.  Will learns from Halt the many skills needed to become a Ranger, including how to become invisible and an expert in the use of weapons, especially the short knife and the bow and arrow. At the Gathering, a Ranger meeting where Will’s skills are tested, the Rangers receive a message that a band of creatures called the Kalkara have killed some important Arluen people.  The Kalkara, led by Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, are bound to take revenge on the kingdom of Araluen.  Halt, Will, and Will’s friend, Horace from Battleschool, join together to defeat the Kalkara.

There is one major theme and two underlying plots that unfold throughout the book.  The major theme is one of good-versus-evil.  The other two themes include the introduction of Will’s rival battleschool apprentice, Horace and the identity of his father.

The book is full of adventure, storytelling, magic, and extensive characterization.  Any fantasy reader will enjoy the story and will want to read the additional books in the series.  The next book in the series is “The Burning Bridge

The series are for middle school readers in the grades of 4th through 8th grade.

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