Thursday, October 25, 2012

{Books We Love} Ranger's Apprentice Series

This blog is mainly about sharing the things that we love with the world, and as such, this blog would not be complete without sharing some of our favorite books! Rather than come up with a review number or star system, we simply decided that we will only share those books that we really like. We hope you enjoy them as well!

The Ranger's Apprentice Series
John Flanagan

The Ranger Apprentice series is not a new one, but it is so good! If you haven't given the books a try yet, you really need to! There are already 11 books in the series, 10 of which are full novels, and the last of which is a series of short stories that happen either before, during or in between the novels. A twelfth book has been announced, and that one will be set twenty years after the tenth novel. I love that idea, that we actually get to check in on these characters twenty years later! 

John Flanagan started writing the series because he wanted to interest his young son in reading, and I really think the books are so well written that not only was he able to succeed in that goal, but that his books will interest readers of all ages, both male and female. I really enjoyed the first couple of books in the series, but I think the third book was the one that showed me that Flanagan was an author that could write a good series. No filler books from this guy! Every book had a solid plot and love-able characters, a lot of them already known, but often many of which were new. 

I really don't know how to sum up the entire series, but the first book of the series, The Ruins of Gorlan, had this information from the publisher: 

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 the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people.

And so it begins! Throughout the series, we get to follow Will on his path from a brand-new apprentice to a full-blown Ranger himself, and share in his adventures along the way. I really like the Harry Potter books, but I think the Ranger's Apprentice has an advantage on Harry Potter. In every book but the last, Harry started out his school year at Hogwarts, so it was kind of hard to read book after book of Harry Potter without taking a break. Ranger's Apprentice does not have that limitation. The Ranger's are sent all over the kingdom, and as such, we never had the opportunity to get a little bored with the setting. You can read the entire Ranger's Apprentice series, without a break, and still not get burned out with the world of Araluen. 

The Ranger's Apprentice series has been successful enough that Flanagan is currently writing a spin-off series called The Brotherband Chronicles, the third book of which comes out next week! You can bet I'll be one of the people lining up to buy it on October 30!

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