June 8, 2006 by Penguin Group US
Source: Library ebook
He had always wanted to be a warrior. The Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, made him nervous. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now fifteen year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't realize yet is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied.
Review: May Contain Spoilers!
I discovered this book and series through author Darby Karchut. She told me this was one of her favorite series. So I thought, I must give it a read! I am very glad I did.
What I mainly enjoyed about this book, was the relationship between the two main characters, Will and Halt. When we first meet Will he is about to find out if his life long ambition of becoming a warrior apprentice is finally going to come true. But unfortunately, his wish is not to be and he learns that he has been chosen by, Halt, to become his Ranger apprentice. As the story unfolds, we see Will grow into himself and develop into a strong and more confident young man and Ranger apprentice. On the other side is Halt. I adore Halt. He is full of strength, love, humour and loyalty, but all wrapped up in a very understated small stature of a man.
I love that one of the main messages author, John Flanagan, portrays in this story is that not all heroes are big strong warrior types. Sometimes a hero can be an ordinary boy. Sometimes all it takes is courage and faith in yourself. I also love the fact that John Flanagan originally wrote this story for his son, Michael, as a way to get the reluctant reader excited about books. How cool is that?
Another aspect of this book, which stands out for me, is the bullying issue. I know that I have seen a few reviews in which readers were a bit disappointed in how Halt encouraged Horace to deal the same punishment back onto his tormentors. I for one did not have issues with this at all. This poor kid has been beaten, tormented and belittled for months. The final beating was extremely harsh and terrifying. A person can only be expected to endure so much! I don't agree with violence solving anything, but sometimes? Well, it is, what it is and they were beaten fairly.
I will admit to being left with a few unanswered questions, but this is only the first book of many in this series. I am sure all will come together for me in the following books. I look forward to diving into the next one.
If you are a fan of Fantasy, Adventure, endearing male protagonists and loving fatherly/son relationships? Then go pick up the Ranger's Apprentice series.
Rating: 4 stars!