Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flanagan
I love this series. It’s the kind of love that makes any of them a comfort read. I’ll grab any of the series to read when I’m kind of at a loss for what to read. That’s a comfort read for me. 🙂 The series follows Will, a young orphan from the Kingdom of Arulen, as he becomes a Ranger’s apprentice and grows up. I’m really not sure I can do this amazing adventure of a series justice with my small words, but I want to, since it makes me happy.
For me, what makes a good series or story are the characters. They can make or break the story. If they don’t have depth or connectability, I don’t love them. However, I love Will. His optimism and joy for life stays with him through good times and bad. He is so likable and so human. Despite being a Ranger, (kind of like a secret agent slash Special Ops slash archer slash a couple other things), he stays grounded with a twinkle and a snappy comeback. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that the series is set in a medieval precursor of Europe.
Will’s teacher, Halt, is…I’m not even sure how to describe him. He’s like Obi-Wan Kenobi, but sharper, more sarcastic, WAYYY more sarcastic, funnier, and with the driest sense of humor ever. He and Will have the best relationship, with Halt kind of adopting the younger man. Almost every time Halt says something, I want to howl with laughter. He’s just so great. Of course, there are other characters in the series. Horace is another of my most favorites. He and Will are best friends who really have each other’s backs and look out for each other, no matter what.
There are girls, of course. Because what kind of story would this be without a little romantic angst? Emphasis on little. It’s really more of an action-adventure, brotherhood and bonding, with a bunch of danger, bad guys, fighting, and snarky quips tossed in there for good measure, shaken, and served up. And I love it. It’s kind of like an Errol Flynn movie, come to think of it. Like, Errol Flynn playing Robin Hood. Ahh…. Ahem! Sorry!
The series has twelve books and let’s see if I can list them in order off the top of my head. 😉 Here goes:
The Ruins of Gorlan
The Burning Bridge
The Icebound Land
The Battle for Skandia
The Sorcerer of the North
The Siege of Macindaw
The Kings of Clonmel
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
The Lost Stories (kind of a filler, since book 10 was supposed to be the last one, I think)
The Royal Ranger
Yes! I rock! 😉 Anywho, I love them all, except The Royal Ranger. No, nein, non. We doesn’t like it, Precious. It kind of lost the feel of the rest of the whole darn series. I won’t get into why, but yeah. Me no like.
Strange but true; I now mentally associate The Kings of Clonmel and Halt’s Peril with the song Hello Seattle (remix) by Owl City. Listening to the song makes me think of the books and reading the books makes me hear the song playing in my head. The only way I can explain this strange phenomenon is that I listened to Hello Seattle on repeat the whole time I read the two books for the first time. So yeah. Good stuff, y’all. 🙂 Read them…you will love them…