A Gateway to a War-Torn World

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Action, adventure, battle,and blood.

Action, adventure, battle,and blood. These are the four main elements of John Flanagan's epic novel series "Ranger's Apprentice."The Ranger's Apprentice series, which just published its tenth book this summer, takes place in medieval times. This superb series is about a young boy named Will, whose fondest desire is to be a knight. He was placed in a ward in the prospering village of Redmont which is one of the 50 fiefdoms, or territories, that makes up the country of Aurlan, ruled by King Duncan.

 

However, the country had one problem. A big one.

 

Morgrath, a rebel leader who was forced into the Mountains of Rain and Night 15 years ago at the battle of Hackman Heath has been showing signs of rebellion. His Wargals (who are half man and half dog) have been increasingly attacking Aurlan sentries. Will's father was killed in the battle of Hackman Heath. Will thinks he has to follow in his father's footsteps and become a knight but he is scrawny, and thanks to his small size and weakness, he is rejected from battle school. Instead, he is chosen as an apprentice to a ranger named Halt. There is one ranger in each fief and they are said to practice the dark arts. Halt is another story. While each ranger is feared, Halt is pure legend. He is said to be 8 feet tall and kill bears with a lift of his hand. However, Will soon learns the rumors are false — Halt is small and doesn't kill anyone unless he has good reason.

 

Will becomes a powerful fighter skilled in knives and archery. But Morgrath isn't going to be stopped by a single arrow. Will the young apprentice win or will he see utter defeat even as the world turns black around him?I loved the suspense and the action in the first book and the entire "Ranger's Apprentice" series. It was always surprising and I never knew what was going to happen next. It was also not one of those books where you think it's impossible for the good guy to lose. At times, the good guy seems about to suffer defeat.

 

I highly recommend this series to boys between ages 9 and 13, but be warned that it does have a teeny bit of romance among all the action and adventure. All in all, it is a great series and it will bring great joy to the reader. Once you open the book, you can't close it.