The Ruins of Gorlan

The Ruins of Gorlan Book CoverThe Ruins of Gorlan
Flanagan, John
New York: Puffin Books, 2005

I discovered this book, the first in the Ranger’s Apprentice series a year or two ago.  I was taking advantage of my public library’s OverDrive service.  Offered by some libraries, OverDrive is a free service that allows a patron to borrow ebooks, audiobook and other materials from the library’s digital collections.  It is a wonderful program.  When I am restless and looking for something new, I search through my library’s digital collection.  The books are delivered to my eReader.  I also love their audiobooks.  I have checked out an audiobook and downloaded it to my phone.  We listened to the book on our road trip.

When I was choosing books for Elijah, I remembered this one.  I thought he might like to read a book about a brave, heroic young man.  The author wrote these books to get his son interested in reading.  I hope Elijah, doesn’t need to be enticed to enjoy reading.  Reading can take you places and provide adventures right from you own home.

The boy in this story, Will was small, thin and wiry.  He becomes the Ranger Halt’s apprentice.  While disappointed that he wasn’t going to become a knight in service to King Duncan of Araluen, he discovers that the kingdom needs other types of people to protect and serve. Will learns the ways of the Rangers and has important, dangerous and satisfying work to do.  This book and the others in this series are a bildungsroman, a story of Will’s work to grow into himself and his craft. He is intelligent, resourceful and intrepid.  I like Will and his young friends.  Read this book and others in the series to find out how they work together to save their kingdom.  This is an exciting series for a boy or girl.

John Flanagan

Googling this author, I couldn’t really find much more than what is in the back cover of my book.  He hoped to be a writer and had a successful career in television and advertising.  John wrote the Ranger’s Apprentice series to encourage his son, Michael to enjoy reading. John is an Australian and lives with his wife in Sydney.  You can visit this author’s website at  Here are some links to interviews with this author.


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