I received this book for free from Philomel Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Tournament at Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years, #1) by John Flanagan
Series: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years #1
Published by Philomel Books on October 6th 2015
Number of Pages: 384
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Young Adult
Source: Philomel Books
Purchase: At Amazon
When Halt and Crowley discover that the ambitious Morgarath has been infiltrating the Rangers in order to corrupt the Corps, the young Rangers travel north to find Prince Duncan, seeking a royal warrant to stop Morgarath before it is too late. By weakening the Rangers, the most powerful force in support of the King, Morgarath plans to steal the throne.
Yet when Halt and Crowley arrive in Gorlan, they discover just how close Morgarath’s scheme is to success. Morgarath has a plan to discredit the Prince and alienate him from his father. At the same time, the Baron of Gorlan has been conspiring to win the trust and admiration of the Council of Barons to further his plan. If the young Rangers are to prevent the coup from succeeding, they will have to tread a dangerous path, which leads them to a thrilling climax at the annual tournament at Gorlan, where a series of bitter duels must be fought and won.
This origin story brings readers to a time before Will was an apprentice, and lays the groundwork for the epic battles that will culminate with The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge—Books 1 and 2 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.
I haven’t read any other books in this series. But after finishing this one, I now want to go out and buy them all!
The characters and world-building was amazing. I loved everyone, even the bad guys. And the book was funny, I laughed out loud for most of the day. And it only took me a day to finish reading, because once I started I didn’t want to put the book down until it was finished.
The descriptions of Rangers and the way the jousting tournament works was spot on. There was no over-sharing like in some books, and everything written served to make the story more real. There was a lot of descriptions about what the characters were eating, and their camps. Which might drag on a bit for some people, but it made the story more realistic for me. And all the descriptions of food kept making me hungry!
Halt and Crowley are tied for my favorite character. I loved how they poked fun at each other, but worked really well together and could be serious when there was need. (Okay, so Halt was serious a lot more often than Crowley, but still!) They were the perfect duo and I can’t imagine any of the other characters filling either of their roles.
This is totally the kind of book where once you finish it, you want to run right out and get everything else the author has ever written. If you haven’t read this yet, you need to do so!