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The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1 | [John Flanagan]

The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1

Will is an orphan and a ward of the castle. He hopes to someday become a great hero. But he is a small boy, and only the biggest and toughest are selected as warriors. He has other talents though, and they catch the attention of the mysterious Ranger Halt. Will soon masters stealth and accuracy with the bow.
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Publisher's Summary

Will is an orphan and a ward of the castle. He hopes to someday become a great hero. But he is a small boy, and only the biggest and toughest are selected as warriors. He has other talents though, and they catch the attention of the mysterious Ranger Halt. Will soon masters stealth and accuracy with the bow. His life depends on his keen intelligence and quick reflexes, because evil is lurking - the Great Enemy, Morgarath, is plotting her revenge and return to power.

Listen to more in the Ranger's Apprentice series.

©2005 John Flanagan; (P)2006 Recorded Books

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  •  
    William VILLA RICA, GA, United States 12-03-13
    William VILLA RICA, GA, United States 12-03-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Be warned if you are starting this series"

    So, I listened to this entire series (including the lost stories) and I really enjoyed it. The details given to things like stealth and archery discipline was really enjoyable. The full character development that the main characters experience was excellent and you really feel like you are growing up with them throughout the series.

    However, be prepared to spend 2 credits for every story after the first one. Yes, the books are just 1 credit each, but starting in book 2, you only get half of a story in each book. That was very annoying, but the books were long enough and I got some credits/books on sale so it was still worth it.

    I feel like this book is the only one that stands on its own as a complete story.

    I like the narrator for this (Keating), but I prefer the alternate narrator (Stuart Blinder). Unfortunately, audible did not have all of the books narrated by him (only 2 and 5). So, I stuck with Keating even when I got to book 5 since the change was too jarring (different pronunciations and accents on characters).

    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the medieval type fantasy genre with swords and bows. It is targeted toward the early to mid-teen age (I think) but I enjoyed it at twice that age. The language and the content is safe for family listening (depending on your tolerance for violence, it is full of action) so it would work well for family trips. It might be a little intense for listeners under 10. I'll let my kids listen to it in a couple of years (mine are 6 and 8 right now) but I doubt they will really enjoy it until they are a bit older.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Langenfeld 09-02-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Storyline gleams through rough writing, narrator"

    I was looking for a book to play during family car trips. I thought this fantasy coming-of-age book would fit the bill.

    There is a gem of a story in here, and paced nicely enough to keep you interested. This isn't the work of a polished author, yet there is real promise. The language can be a little stilted. There are more than a few holes, and some holes which the author evidently could not bridge without resorting to "here a miracle occurs". These are a mild distraction.

    The narrator could use a lesson or two from Simon Vance or Bronson Pinchot... It doesn't seem to matter which character is speaking, you can never seem to picture anything but a British university student desperately trying to land a role in the summer stock production.

    Distractions aside, I was pleased to see a story where the kid (hero) couldn't quite measure up to his own unrealistic expectations, and yet finds he is ideally suited to be a hero in his own right. I was also pleased to see interesting and engaging secondary characters whose aspiration was NOT to storm castles or slay the dragon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Mertz 06-27-13
    B. Mertz 06-27-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Adverb's Apprentice, Book 1"

    in "On Writing," Stephen King describes adverbs as "dandelions" in the lawn of your writing, where one or two is pretty but too many turns your yard into a tangle of weeds.

    In "Ruins of Gorlan," Flanagan uses adverbs in almost every dialogue attribution. Awkward ones, too. "She smiled brilliantly," "he said encouragingly," "he said cryptically," and my favorite, "he sighed resignedly."

    If you don't mind that every earnest statement is said "earnestly" and every smile is done "winningly" or "prettily," you'll be okay.

    We meet our hero Will on the day before his choosing day. Just like a hundred other YA books. All of his friends have painfully obvious vocations, all of their stereotyped talents aligned neatly in a row so that Will is the only character with teenage angst and confusion about his future.

    Cooks are fat, warriors are strong, scribes are skinny and mouselike. Rangers are dark and mysterious. They enter the room "mysteriously."

    This is that fantasy manuscript you tried to write when you were a sophomore in high school, where you gave up after you realized in chapter 4 that everything was a cliche and your writing was not refined enough yet.

    In the choosing ceremony at the beginning, each craft master looks at a child "thoughtfully" and then accepts each child stereotyped to match their craft. The kids don't need to prove they have any particular type of skill, they're just picked, in grand regal ceremony, at a glance. Except for Will, because he's too small, and because he's the main character.

    That's how far I made it: one hour. The story is probably charming and the characters might be likable, but I have to shrug my shoulders "resignedly," and shake my head "contemptuously," because the writing just isn't strong. It reads like a first draft.

    In other news, Keating narrates this very "charmingly," and if you're looking for a stereotypical fantasy romp, this might be it.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 04-29-13
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 04-29-13 Member Since 2014

    Estate planning lawyer and mom to two boys. My older son liked audiobooks as an infant, and I've listened to a lot since then.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exciting for both kids and their parents"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would strongly recommend this. It was one of our favorite listens as a family.


    What other book might you compare The Ruins of Gorlan to and why?

    It reminds me of the excitement my son felt about the Percy Jackson series, though of course the setting is quite different. I first bought it because of the medieval setting -- we have been listening to other books set in that period at my 10 year old's request, such as Castle Corona and some books by Avi. It has familiar Hero's Journey elements found in many novels, and the theme of the talent found in the unexpected place (here a boy who is small for his age), such as found in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.


    What about John Keating’s performance did you like?

    The narration was one of the best aspects. He has a pleasing voice and voices the different characters clearly without going over the top. The differences are subtle but we always know who is speaking. The Irish accent for Halt is especially fitting and adds to that character's compelling qualities.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes if I could have!


    Any additional comments?

    A great book for tween boys, but this middle-aged mom is liking it as well as her son. I've now got the teenage older brother listening too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S Burton Illinois 03-11-13
    S Burton Illinois 03-11-13

    elementary school art teacher

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clear your schedule for the entire series!"
    Any additional comments?

    Started with the first one and couldn't stop there! Wonderfully written and read. Nice combination of intensity, action, and description.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Howell 05-16-15 Member Since 2014
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    "loved it! Great story."

    Quick read compelling plot wonderful narration . excited to read the next book great characters for a young adult novel highly recommend for ages 12 to 15

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Laster III Oklahoma 05-15-15
    Kenneth Laster III Oklahoma 05-15-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    4
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    "great book"

    this was a great book. The whole series was pretty great. I would strongly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phyllis 05-11-15
    Phyllis 05-11-15 Member Since 2005
    ratings
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    "Loved it"

    Was absolutely an amazing book I love the plotline and how the story to twist interns the very end it gives the audience something crucial that the main character was looking for anyway out of all this I rate this a very good book and I'm like one of those thousand pages of weaker guys so you know it's kind of awesome

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scorbett 05-03-15
    scorbett 05-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Great book"

    I can't wait to read the rest of the series. John Flanagan is the best.I love it, sooooo good. Thanks

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Tashair 04-21-15
    R. Tashair 04-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great easy book.....kids/learning English"

    Great easy book for a young young adult or advanced child. Probably a good way to get children/youth into book series and keep them reading.
    It has its own world, kingdoms, hierarchy, and villains. Simple and limited character pool, with a consistent plot. Also would be good for ESL students or people learning English because of the lower level of complexity and repeated word use! Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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