Flanagan, John. The Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan. New York: Puffin Books, 2005.
WHAT I LIKED: This is a great adventure fantasy and is probably written for middle school aged readers. In middle school, I would have loved this book. The writing creates excellent tension and I wasn't ever pulled out of the story but was instead fully absorbed in the story. I liked the concept of the ranger and a ranger's role in a kingdom.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I didn't like that there were almost no female characters. It grew tiresome reading about male characters through about 90% of the book. A female ranger would be AMAZING. Instead, all the women and girls in the book had soft roles--diplomat, and cook. YUCK.
I also didn't like that the solution to bullying was to beat the bullies senseless rather than reporting bullying to the proper authorities. Also, yuck.
RECOMMEND FOR: This could appeal to a wide audience of you're ok with minimal female roles.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: Readers who want to see women and girls taking part in the action.
2.5 darts out of 5