Today we have a guest review! My lovely blogger friend Rhonda has graciously agreed to give us a recap of The Ruins of Gorlan, from The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. Speaking of covers, this one creeps me out in a Darth Sidious and his lurking pet monster kind of way. In other words, awesome.
RL: 7.0 CSM: n/a Rating: PG Content: death of animals, injured protagonists
I found a new series for my 10 year old son to read. Woo hoo! (Oh, wait. My 12 year old daughter recently informed me that an adult saying “woo hoo” sounds creepy.) Hot dog! (Would that be better?) Of course in a few weeks when my son has run through the series, I’ll be back to the drawing board, but for now, life is good.
The series he is reading is The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan. I purchased the first book of the series, The Ruins of Gorlan a few months ago and it sat on my son’s dresser sadly as he refused to read it. The cover of the book looks a bit dark and ominous, and he didn’t want to take a chance on it. I finally decided to read it myself to give him my opinion. It had everything my young boy could want. My son loves historical fiction and fantasy books as well as war movies and the Military and History channels. He also loves books that revolve around friendships. In The Ruins of Gorlan, a young orphan boy, a castle ward, is chosen to be apprentice to a Ranger. Rangers are very mysterious and misunderstood men, and the young boy, Will isn’t so sure that his appointment isn’t actually a punishment. He would much rather go to battle school like his fellow ward mate, Horace. As the story progresses, Will learns what being a Ranger, as well as a friend, really means, and he proves himself to be an excellent candidate for both. There are many humorous and sweet moments as well as dangerous and suspenseful ones in this story. There are six books in the series, and I know my son looks forward to following Will as he grows as a person and a Ranger. I think I will read the rest of the books too. Don’t tell my daughter. If it’s creepy for an adult to read young adult fiction, I don’t want to hear about it.
There is some violence and blood in the book. There’s a hunting scene with the death of animals; bullying of a character; and some main characters are injured in the final battle. However, as my son puts it, “You don’t really have to worry about those things.” None of them goes TOO far, and justice prevails. I would say that ages 9+ would enjoy this book. It has an AR level of 7.0, which surprises me. The content and language both seem more tame than many books rated at lower levels. So if you’re looking for books rated for higher grade levels, but not too advanced in content, The Ruins of Gorlan is an excellent choice.
Thank you, Rhonda! Dark Omen has this one on his TBR list. Given the high reading level, and suitable content, this seems like a great read for advanced readers 9+.
If your child becomes a Ranger fan, you might want to check out the Ranger’s Apprentice website, which has games, downloads and a teacher’s guide!
Also, Rhonda’s son has his own blog! Welcome to the future, people. Neal reviews books as well, kindly letting us know whether they are worth the $$$ spent. He’s a fan of adventure and danger; kissing not so much. Keep up the great work, Neal!