Friday, January 24, 2014

Family Favorites Friday: The Ranger's Apprentice Book Review

Today, my son is reviewing a favorite book series:  The Ranger's Apprentice.  

The Ranger's Apprentice Series Review

The Ranger's Apprentice is a thirteen-book series written by John Flanagan. 

The first book was released in 2004 and the thirteenth and final book was released last year, 2013. 

The series centers around Will Treaty, an orphan boy who lives in a government-sponsored house for children who had tragically lost their parents. He lives in the fief of Redmont in the Kingdom of Araluen, which, although a fantasy world, is loosely patterned after medieval England.

 At the age of 16 Will is apprenticed to one of the Rangers, a group of secretive warriors who use the bow and stealth to protect the kingdom and serve the king. Through his apprenticeship to a his mentor, the gruff, battle-hardened, yet caring Halt, Will is thrown into a world of danger, deception, slavery, and foreign lands.

 Only the first four books and the seventh book (the seventh book is out of order, sort of like a flashback) are actually about Will when he is a Ranger's Apprentice. The other seven books deal with Will as a full-fledged Ranger and his adventures both on his own and with his former mentor Halt, as well as his many other companions throughout the series. 

A couple of the main supporting characters in the series are: Alyss, who grew up in the same orphan house as Will and shares many adventures with him and later becomes a love interest; Horace, who also grew up in the orphan house with Will and initially bullied Will but later became both Will's best friend and the most famous knight in the kingdom; Cassandra, otherwise known as Evanlyn, who was inadvertently captured by Skandians (reminiscent of Vikings) with Will; Oberjarl Erak, lord of Skandia and Will's close friend; Gilan, a young Ranger, and a whole host of villains throughout the series. 

From book one to the final book, Will helps save the kingdom of Araluen several times, is sold into slavery in a distant land, escapes and then saves said land, uncovers conspiracies, saves his friends innumerable times and vanquishes dozens of villains. In the final book of the series Will takes on his own apprentice, bringing the series full circle and bringing a sense of closure to the long series.

I first discovered this series when only a few of the books had been published, when I was only about nine or ten. 

Thirteen books and eight years later, I still enjoy the series and have read several of the books multiple times. 

One of the most whimsical and appealing points of the series is the dialogue and banter that goes back and forth between many of the characters, notably Halt, Will, Horace and Gilan. Their lively conversation and friendly insults gives the reader a close look at their relationships together.

 Through this and many other scenarios, the heroes of the Ranger's Apprentice series are shown to be far from perfect, and nowhere near invincible, physically or emotionally. The camaraderie and the humanness, the obvious flaws and imperfections in the heroes struggling for good, takes this series deeper than the average teen adventure novel, making this series enjoyable for children as well as teenagers and adults. 

I hope Jesse inspired you to get a copy of The Ranger's Apprentice.  I have also read all the books and have enjoyed them.


9peasMom said...

Yes, he did! Thanks Jesse!

karentrina said...

Our local library has this series. Enjoy!

Misja said...

Oh thank you!!! My 10 year old is a bookworm and I have a hard time finding good books for him to read. This sounds like something he will love. And our local library has the whole series!

Laura said...

Thank you, Jesse (and Karen)! I will tell G about these and we will check them out! :) I am always looking for new books for him to get into.

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