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|Publisher||Random House (AUS & NZ)
Philomel (US & CAN)
Yearling Books (UK)
Beyaz Balina (TUR)
Gottmer Uitgeverij (NL)
Editora Fundamento (BR)
|Published||1 November 2004 – 1 October 2013|
|Media type||Print (paperback and hardcover)
|No. of books||12|
|Preceded by||The Tournament at Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years)|
Ranger's Apprentice is a series written by Australian author John Flanagan. The first novel in the series, titled The Ruins of Gorlan, was released in Australia on 1 November 2004 by John Flanagan. Twelve books have been released in Australia and New Zealand, with other countries following behind. The series follows the adventures of Will, an orphan who is taken as an apprentice Ranger, as he strives to keep the Kingdom of Araluen safe from invaders, traitors, and threats. He is joined on his adventures by his mentor Halt and his best friend Horace.
Author John Flanagan has stated that he will be writing a total of twelve books for the series, including a follow-up title taking place 16 years later. He is currently working on a new series in the same world, but with new characters and taking place in Skandia, called Brotherband.
The series has sold three million copies in 16 countries around the world. The series was originally twenty short stories Flanagan wrote for his son to get him interested in reading. Ten years later, Flanagan found the stories again and decided to turn them into a book. BookPeople, a bookstore in Austin, Texas, helped promote the book through a five-day camp. The series is well praised by critics.
A prequel to the series called The Tournament at Gorlan has been released on 6 October 2015.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (April 2015)|
Alongside others, Will is an orphan (called ward in the story) in Castle Redmont. At age 15, the orphans are expected to either become an apprentice of one of the masters at Redmont Fief or go off to work in the fields. After being denied apprenticeship at Battleschool, Will becomes a ranger . Rangers are the intelligence force and unofficial "spies" of Araluen. They have mastered the art of unseen and unheard movement, camouflage, knife throwing, knife fighting skills and archery. After being an apprentice for a few days, Will's teacher, a legendary Ranger named Halt, takes Will to see his new horse. With Tug, Will trains in the skills needed to pass his assessment at the annual Ranger Gathering. However, The Gathering is cut short with rumours of Morgarath's underlings, ugly creatures that look like dogs but walk upright, called Wargals. According to the rumours, they have broken through the Three Step Pass, the only known access into Morgarath's lair in the Mountains of Rain and Night by direct route from Araluen. Will, Gilan, and Halt pursue the Kalkara, two creatures with a transfixing gaze.
In the second book, The Burning Bridge, a war is approaching and Will, Gilan, and Horace, Will's friend, are sent to Celtica to ask for reinforcements. However, when they arrive, they realise Wargals, bearlike monsters working for Morgarath, have kidnapped and slaughtered some of the population and forced the rest to flee. They find an Araluen girl named Evanlyn, who tells them what has happened. Gilan moves on ahead of Will and Horace to report to the King. Meanwhile, Will, Horace, and Evanlyn ride about a day behind Gilan and encounter Wargals. They follow them to the Fissure; a deep gorge thought to be impassable. The Celtica miners were all captured to complete a bridge across the Fissure, and a tunnel through the cliffs above up to Morgarath's lair. The bridge and tunnel would allow Morgarath's army to assault the King's army straight from behind and destroy the King's forces. Will, Horace and Evanlyn burn the bridge, but Evanlyn and Will are captured by Skandians, fierce warrior mercenaries who are working for Morgarath. Horace rides back with the horses and meets up with Gilan and a group of infantry trying to rescue Evanlyn who is, in truth, the Crown Princess Cassandra. Horace tells Gilan what happened and they ride back to the main army. They inform the king and his advisers of Morgarath's plan, and the king dispatches an auxiliary force, led by Halt, to stop a force of Skandians that has come up from the coast to outflank the king's army.
Halt succeeds in destroying the Skandian force and he returns to the king with a plan. Halt's troops dress in the unmistakable horned helmets of the dead Skandians and take their shields, leading Morgarath to believe that the Skandians are ready to outflank the king. This goads Morgarath into ordering his Wargals to charge into the open plain. However, just as the armies are about to collide, the king's army parts in the middle, and Halt's cavalry charge down the open centre at the advancing Wargals. The Wargals, who are afraid only of horses, are demolished by Halt's cavalry, and by the king's horsemen who join in the assault. Seeing his army destroyed, Morgarath offers a flag of truce and prepares to challenge Halt to single combat to avenge his own defeat.
Halt nearly accepts Morgarath's challenge, but Horace challenges Morgarath instead. Because he is wildly inexperienced, while Morgarath is an accomplished warrior, Horace hopelessly outmatched by Morgarath. However, by diving under the hooves of Morgarath's steed, Horace manages to dismount him. Fighting of foot, Horace's sword is broken, but he uses a Ranger tactic, the "double knife defense", to stop Morgarath's next attack, and he stabs Morgarath through the heart with the knife.
Will and Evanlyn are taken as slaves to Skandia, a frozen, pine forested country north-east across the Constant Sea at Araluen border. Will is forced to work outside in the bitter cold of the Yard. He quickly becomes addicted to warmweed, a drug that gives a person warmth, but builds up addiction and destroys the mind. The Skandian who captured Will and Evanlyn, Erak, sets up a plot to rid Will of his addiction and escape with Evanlyn. The two succeed in escaping, and take refuge in a small log cabin for winter. While there, Will overcomes his addiction with much help from Evanlyn. To rescue Will and Evanlyn, Horace and Halt also set off for Skandia by crossing into Gallica and making their way north along the coast.
While foraging for food, Evanlyn is captured by a Temujai warrior. The Temujai are a fierce, nomadic tribe of horse warriors from the east and are masters of the recurve bow. Will tries to rescue her, but fails until Horace and Halt come along. Halt captures one Temujai and realises the Temujai are back to try and take over the western world again. 20 years earlier, they almost succeeded until politics and a serving of bad shellfish, got in the way. Halt agrees to help Skandia drive off the Temujai since Halt feels if the Temujai defeat the Skandians, they will then attack Teutland gallica and at last Araluen. The Skandians make use of Halt's knowledge of Temujai tactics, and Will takes charge of a force of archers to use in the upcoming battle against the Temujai.
During the battle, the Skandians surprise the Temujai with their archers, and they use the archers to destroy the Temujai tactical system. The Temujai manage to destroy the archers in a massive assault, but it is already too late, and the Temujai are forced to withdraw or risk having their previous conquests revolt. The Skandian "Oberjarl" Ragnak, is killed in the battle, and Erak is elected to succeed him. Erak makes a pact with the Araluens, and agrees to stop massed attacks against Araluen resulting in the end of constant Skandian raids against the Araluen coast.
Erak's Ransom takes place in between books 4 and 5, a few months before Will receives his Silver Oakleaf. Skandian Oberjarl Erak Starfollower goes on one last raid to Arrida. However, he gets captured for a ransom while he is attempting to raid Al Shabah, a province in Arrida. Because Erak believes that he was betrayed by Toshak, a Skandian, the raiding party goes to Araluen for the ransom money. Princess Cassandra goes to Arrida to negotiate prices with Selethen, the Wakir (leader) of Al Shabah. Will, Gilan, Halt, Horace, and thirty of Erak's men go along for protection. They are also there to deliver the ransom. After the negotiation is over, Selethen reveals that Erak was being held in Mararoc, a fort in the desert, so they travel there. However, Erak is stolen by the Tualaghi, a merciless nomadic tribe of devil worshipers. The rescue party, with the help of the Bedullin, a nice tribe, eventually kill the leader of the Tualaghi and free Erak. Princess Cassandra reasons that she no longer has to pay the ransom to the Arridi, because the Tualaghi held Erak when the Araluens saw him. Nevertheless, she decides to pay twenty thousand reels of silver each to the Bedullin and the Arridi. At the end of the book, Will is promoted to full Ranger and is awarded a Silver Oakleaf.
Note: The Gallic language is almost identical to the French language.
After receiving his Silver Oakleaf and being given Seacliff fief to take care of, Will takes on his first mission as a full Ranger throughout the books of The Sorcerer in the North and The Siege of Macindaw. A few weeks after arriving in the fief, Will is sent north to Macindaw to investigate claims of sorcery. The lord of Castle Macindaw, Syron, was struck down. Many believe a sorcerer to be the cause of the illness since Syron's ancestor was also murdered by a sorcerer who some think is Orman, Syron's son; or Malkallam, an old sorcerer who poisoned Syron's ancestor. Alyss is sent up to help Will, but is captured by the rogue knight Keren, responsible for poisoning Syron and Orman. Will manages to escape with Orman and his assistant Xander, and enlists the help of the sorcerer who is in fact a gifted healer called Malcolm. Horace is also sent up north by Halt to provide back-up.
To rescue the castle, Alyss, Horace and Will devise a plan. They receive the help of the Skandians that Will gave supplies to and use them to assault the castle. Horace explains that to successfully capture a castle, a three-to-one ratio is needed. With only about 25 Skandians and 35 soldiers in the castle this would seem impossible. Will hears a rumour of a Scotti Invasion so he captures General MacHaddish, who tells him the plan. Malcolm sets up some conjurations that draw the attention of the soldiers in the castle to one side, allowing Will and Horace to enter the castle on the opposite side. Soon the Skandians also enter the castle. Will quickly climbs up to the tower where Alyss is being held. However, Keren hypnotised Alyss into believing Will is the enemy, and orders her to kill him. As she holds a sword above her head to kill him, Will tells Alyss "I love you, I always have", and the hypnosis is broken. As Keren attacks Will, she throws acid into his face and Keren stumbles backwards and falls out the window while the Skandians, led by Horace, are able to take control of the castle.
Will returns to his fief with his first mission as a full Ranger a success. At his log cabin he receives a letter from Alyss stating that Will told her in a dream that he loved her, and that Horace has told her that although it seems like a dream, it might not be. At the end of her letter she writes "I love you, Will." Will leaves his log cabin again with Tug, to deliver his own letter to Alyss.
In The Kings of Clonmel and Halt's Peril, Will, Halt and Horace are sent to Clonmel to prevent a cult called the Outsiders from taking power. The cult offers to protect a village from bandits that are actually part of the Outsiders in exchange for gold. When the village has been stripped of its possessions, the cult runs off to the next village. In this fashion, they take over five of the six kingdoms of Hibernia. Halt, Will and Horace are sent to Clonmel, the last kingdom, to try to prevent the cult from expanding into Araluen. Halt tries to persuade his twin brother, King Ferris, to use his troops to drive the cult out. In the end, the cult loses power in Clonmel, but the leader, Tennyson, runs away to try to reach the other five sections, which he controls. During the confusion when Tennyson escapes, King Ferris is killed by a Genovesan assassin. Will, Halt and Horace leave Clonmel to chase the false prophet.
After reaching a smuggler's port and managing to get information on Tennyson's whereabouts, the trio hires a ship to take them to Picta, where a smuggler had taken him. The chase is on as the three pursue him through a drowned forest, and finally, at an encounter with Tennyson's hired assassins, Halt is shot with a poisoned arrow and incapacitated.
Due to Picta's geographical location being near Macindaw, Will does a tiring one-day one-night ride to reach Malcolm, the man that is the best healer in all of Araluen, if not the world. After bringing the healer back, Will learns that Halt was poisoned with a toxin that has another toxin extremely similar to it, and they both have antidotes, but the wrong one will kill him. Will then captures the assassin that fired the arrow, and forces him into telling which type of toxin he used by poisoning the assassin with his own poison, and Malcolm cures Halt. Later that night, the assassin tries to escape, but Will manages to kill him before he does.
The group, on the move again, manage to find that Tennyson is up to his old tricks again and is trying to swindle the money out of more countrymen. Using Halt's similarity to King Ferris, whom Tennyson murdered, they manage to discredit Tennyson in front of the farmers. They proceed to use their reputation as Rangers and drive the men off. Will manages to kill Tennyson by dropping the entire batch of Malcolm's self-made smoke bombs, causing a cave-in that kills Tennyson and his followers in the debris, giving Halt, Horace, and Will a heroes' welcome when they return to Araluen.
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
The Emperor of Nihon-Ja begins with Horace and George(from the Ward) in Nihon-Ja, speaking with their Emperor. Meanwhile, Will, Halt, and Alyss are watching a Toscan general demonstrate his military tactics while at a treaty signing between the Toscans and the Arridi, both allies of Araluen. During a ride in which the Emperor of Nihon-Ja accompanies Horace and George back to the city in which they could sail back home, they are told by the Emperor's Cousin, Shuikin, that there has been a coup against the Emperor. Furthermore, a Senshi (Skilled Nihon-Jan swordsmen) ambush nearly succeeds in killing the Emperor, but Horace intervenes and decides to help the seemingly ill-fated Emperor find a legendary, impenetrable fortress known as Ran-Koshi while George goes to the nearest city and sends word to the famous Ranger duo. Back in Toscana, the Crown Princess of Araluen, Cassandra, appears and enlists the help of the two Rangers, Alyss, and Selethen to go after Horace, using Gundar Hardstriker's ship (From Books 5 and 6). En route to Ran-Koshi, Horace's party befriends the local woodworkers known as the Kikori. For Halt's party, they encounter a pirate ship but make short work of it. After paying a Kikori village for their hospitality, people from that village catch up and tell the Emperor that a Senshi scouting party destroyed their village. From then on, Kikori of various villages came to join Horace's group on the trek to Ran-Koshi. Halt's group hits Nihon-Ja and they arrive at an inn, making a rendezvous with an ally of the Emperor. Horace, on the other hand, allows Shuikin and a few Senshi delay Arisaka's enormous Senshi party of around five-hundred while they buy more time by crossing a bridge and destroying it. In this encounter, Horace drops his sword into a ravine. Halt's group learns of Horace's whereabouts and Horace's group hits Ran-Koshi – . Horace's group settles in while Halt's group sails around and enters the plot of land nearest to Ran-Koshi. Halt's group is apprehended by a Kikori scouting patrol, but when presented to Horace, he recognises them and gives them a warm welcome. They set up a large wooden wall to stop Arisaka's army, and in the first day, they manage a victory with about two losses. Horace gets a new sword, which was Shuikin's dying present. The girls, (Cassandra and Alyss) set out across an enormous lake in a canoe to recruit a gigantic tribe of warriors allied with the Emperor: the Hassanu. Will, noting how the Kikori work together excellently, copies the Toscan general at the beginning of the book and forms the same fighting position as he does. They launch an attack against the second Senshi scouting party, and in this encounter, Will manages to intercept a flying arrow and Horace kills the enemy in single combat. Alyss and Cassandra manage to make it to the other side of the giant lake and establish contact with the Hassanu, but they find out that they are not willing to cross a forest en route to Ran-Koshi due to a "malevolent spirit." Alyss and Cassandra set out to kill the malevolent spirit. Arisaka's main party arrives near Ran-Koshi, but due to heavy snows, wait for spring to begin their assault. Alyss and the Princess discover that the "spirit" was actually a giant snow tiger, and after a fierce battle, kill it. Spring arrives, and Halt's group attacks Arisaka using their two shield walls. The battle seems evened out until Arisaka's reinforcements arrive. Then, as Will and co. are regrouping, Alyss and Cassandra arrive with the Hassanu. Before a bloody battle can start, the Emperor calls a truce in which they manage to convince everyone, including Arisaka's army, that the Emperor is truly a good man and Arisaka was a power-hungry fool. Arisaka is enraged by this and kills the man nearest to him. Will directly confronts him and kills him with a well-placed throwing knife. On the way back to Araluen, they discuss their nicknames given to them by the Nihon-Jan, with Horace's being Kurokuma (Black Bear/Eating Prowess), Selethen's being Taka (Hawk/Nose or Fighting Capability.), Alyss's being Tsuru (Crane/Obvious), Cassandra's being Kitsune (Fox/Because she's speedy), Halt's being ... Halt, and Will's being Chocho (Butterfly/Because his mind is as nimble as one). On the return trip to Araluen, Horace and Cassandra announce that they are engaged. The book ends with Will making a very, very poor attempt at proposing to Alyss and Alyss marching off in mock indignation.
Note: The Nihon-Jan language is basically Japanese using Romaji. They are also explained in the book.
The Lost Stories
The Lost Stories consists of 10 different short stories. It contains a foreword set in July 1896 in Redman County (Formerly Castle Redmont) situated in The Republic of Aralan States (Formerly the medieval Kingdom of Araluen) where Professor Giles MacFarlane has set up a digging expedition to uncover any important pieces of history. They had unearthed a granite plaque, carved with the likeness of a tusked boar, signifying that the area was once Castle Redmont. In the third season of digging, they had not found anything as important as that first one. The professor was losing hope until one of the young volunteers named Audrey rushed up to him and informed him of a cabin they had found outside the village limits. They discovered a secret compartment in the floor containing an ancient wood and brass chest. The chest contained The Lost Stories of Araluen, which picked up the stories of the Rangers after their return from Nihon-Ja.
The Royal Ranger
The Royal Ranger opens to a chilling contrast of the established Will. Years after the other books, he has become bitter and depressed after the loss of Alyss who died saving a girl from a burning inn lit by Jory Ruhl. Because of this, Will becomes obsessed with hunting the man down. Worried about Will's state, his friends attempt to help him. After multiple failed attempts, Halt suggests the bestowing upon Will of an apprentice. He also suggests Princess Madelyn (Maddie) for this role as her parents, Horace and Cassandra, are desperate to keep her under control. She is overwhelmed when she reaches the cabin as she was expecting a holiday of sorts rather than the cruel Ranger training. To enforce the gravity of the situation Will reveals to her that she has been disinherited by her parents until such a time as she can prove herself. As Maddie adjusts to life as a Ranger, she slowly helps to remedy Will's bitterness and soften his heart. It is not long before the pair are set on their first mission, to investigate the suspicious death of Ranger Liam. They soon discover the cause was a group of slavers kidnapping children, led by Jory Ruhl, using the story of the stealer in the night to frighten them into keeping quiet. When they confront the group, Maddie succeeds in freeing the children but Will is captured and condemned to be burnt at the stake. Once the children are safe, Maddie pulls off a daring rescue but is injured in the process. Will then manages to treat her wounds and kill Ruhl. When they return, Maddie is presented with her bronze oakleaf, officiating her apprenticeship. Her mother also offers to reinstate her as princess but, much to the Queen's surprise, she declines, instead wanting to continue her training.
||This article possibly contains original research. (April 2015)|
While the series focuses on the kingdom of Araluen and its fiefs, other nations have been mentioned and featured. Flanagan based all countries on real life nations. The kingdom of Araluen (England), Celtica (Wales), Picta (Scotland) and Hibernia (Ireland) are based on the British isles. Araluen is later known as the Aralan States. The northern of country of Skandia is geographically on the Scandinavian lands and its culture is mostly Norse, there are no phrases of a specific language used in the books, but there are some words that appear to be Danish/Norwegian in origin. Gallica mirrors the location of France, and the inhabitants features French culture and language. Teutland is the equivalent of early Holy roman empire. The country of Arrida, and Bedullin, appears to similarly located to Egypt and Bedouin, and its culture appears to mimic Almohads's and surrounding locales. Toscana appears to be the Byzantine Empire, and its army employs roman tactics. Iberion is Spain, it is little known of Iberion only that there is a flourishing slavery. The Temujai would appear to be similar to Mongolian empire. Nihon-Ja is, if not completely, highly based on Japan. There is little to no variation on Japanese culture and language.
Publishing history and origins
John Flanagan stated that he first wrote the series as short stories for his son to get him interested in reading. This continued for about 20 weeks. Ten years later, John Flanagan found the stories again and decided to turn them into the first book, The Ruins of Gorlan. However, he never knew that the one book would be able to turn into so many volumes. He still does not know how many books there will be in total. Instead, Flanagan states "I haven't set a limit. If I have an idea that will progress the characters, I'll write it. But I don't want to find myself jumping up and down on the same spot, as it were."
The inspiration for the series comes from many sources, including family, friends, and European times. Rangers are based on two groups of people, the Texas Rangers and the US Army Rangers of World War II. Although the US Rangers were based on British Commandos, Flanagan felt it would be better to use Rangers because of the medieval setting of the book. The mythical world of the story is based on England, Europe, and Scandinavia because Flanagan was inspired by "English and European culture and history". Besides this, John Flanagan is also interested in military subjects, which helped him write the battle scenes. Celtica's mining culture is like Wales while Gallica takes its name and language from medieval France in its chivalric age around the year 1300.
Some of the books' characters were based on Flanagan's family and friends. Will was based on Flanagan's son Michael; both are agile, quick and quite short. John Flanagan also made Will small in size because he wanted to show his son that there's an advantage to being small. The exchanges between Halt and Will are taken from conversations between Flanagan and his son as a teenager. Horace was inspired by Michael's best friend Jeremey. In the original story however, Flanagan made Horace a villain at first, but then in the first book, Morgarath became the real villain and Horace was "rehabilitated" as a main character. Skandians were taken from Norse culture and Vikings, which Flanagan found interesting as a child. The gods and deities of the Skandians were taken from Norse mythology and Greek mythology. The god Loka mentioned a few times is based on Loki, the god of deceit. The Vallas, the trio of gods, are based on the Moirai.
Rights to sell Ranger's Apprentice have gone to 16 countries including North America (where Oakleaf Bearers is better known as The Battle for Skandia), United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Denmark and Sweden. In Australia, the seventh book, Erak's Ransom, reached number two on Australian children's charts. The series has been on The New York Times Best Seller list for 77 weeks as of 13 December 2013. As of 2010, over 5 million copies had been sold in the United States alone.
John Flanagan states in an interview that the main theme is, "the eventual triumph of good over evil." He feels that although it does not always happen in real life, it should. Another theme especially prominent throughout Oakleaf Bearers is "the primacy of personal relationships over loyalties to one's country or duty." This is shown when Erak's friendship helps Will and Evanlyn escape which allows the Araluens and Skandians to drive away the Temujai. Other themes include courage, loyalty, and that a person can do anything if they tried hard enough. One review noted that "themes of loyalty, bravery, endurance and friendship leave young readers in safe hands as they learn to navigate dangerous waters on their own."
BookPeople, which also created Camp Half-Blood from Percy Jackson & the Olympians, created a Ranger's Apprentice Corps Training Camp based on the books. A total of 75 kids from the ages of 9–12 were chosen from 1,300 entries. A letter was sent to the kids from the voice of Will, actually written by John Flanagan, which stated they would learn "all the skills I was taught by Halt [Will's Ranger mentor] in the woods around Castle Redmont", including "archery, tracking, and the art of concealment and unseen movement." The 75 campers were divided into 12 fiefdoms where they were taught the skills and at the end, every kid received a T-shirt, a silver oak leaf pin, and a gold-embossed Ranger's Apprentice bookmark. This was the first literary camp that has sold out and has a waiting list besides Camp Half-Blood. There are also plans for another camp in the following summer.
Ranger's Apprentice has been well received by many reviewers. One part many reviewers praised was the vivid details during battles. Another review also praised the imagery and stated, "vivid imagery and detail make the medieval-like elements believable" A review for The Ruins of Gorlan stated, "filled with rich detail and plenty of edge-of-your-seat thrills" again praising the details.
Another aspect commonly praised is the fact that Will, the main protagonist still asks for the help of others. A review for The Icebound Land stated the same thing writing, "Though talented and intelligent, [Will] makes mistakes and he often needs help from those around him – making him a very realistic and appealing protagonist."
One reviewer from Booklist noted that although in The Burning Bridge the point of view constantly shifted, it is not confusing and also stated, "Will's vivid world will entice fantasy readers who are drawn by the lure of high adventure carried out by believable, down-to-earth heroes." In another review by School Library Journal, the review was on Oakleaf Bearers and praised the book on the high tensions raised and recommended it to people who enjoy action and adventure.
However, not all reviews were completely positive. One reviewer thought that the Wargals sounded and were too alike to Urgals in the Inheritance Cycle. The same reviewer also felt that the story was not very original stating, "from the very beginning, it was a story I'd heard before." At the end the reviewer stated, "The books aren't horrible. They're just nothing new."
In a review for The Ruins of Gorlan, the reviewer stated "the pace is a good balance between character development and action, and the rivalry between Horace and Will is developed in a satisfactory way." It also praised how the writing is very descriptive without being dry or slow.
The Ranger's Apprentice has won numerous awards. The series was one of the honour books for the Koala Winners in 2009. The seventh book, Erak's Ransom, was chosen as the Books of the Year for Older Children and the International Success Award. The first and fourth book won the Aurealis Awards while the third book was highly commended Then, the first, second and fifth book each earned the Children's Book Council of Australia Notable Book. The first book was also the Longlisted for the Ottakar's Book Prize for 2006–2007 and the first book also was nominated for the Grand Canyon Reader Award in 2008.
As of 7 January 2008, United Artists has optioned the film rights for The Ruins of Gorlan and is in talks with Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis to adapt and direct the movie. When John Flanagan first heard the news he said:
It's just so overwhelming to see that the Ranger's series is set to head off in yet another exciting direction. When I think how this all started as a series of twenty short stories written for my son Michael, it sets my head spinning to think there's the distinct possibility that it will now be translated into movies and seen by millions of people around the world.
John Flanagan stated in a Facebook Q&A that the funds for the movie have been acquired and auditions would be held in the Summer of 2015, in either Ireland or England.
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- "Kidsread.com – John Flanagan Interview". Kidsread.com. June 2007. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
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- "Children's Books – List – NYTimes.com". NYTimes.com. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
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- Phelan, Carolyn (15 May 2006). "Flanagan, John. The Burning Bridge. (Book review)". Booklist. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
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- "The Spotted Mushroom Review". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
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- Carly Mayberry (7 January 2008). "Haggis may direct Ranger's Apprentice kids movie". Reuters. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- "Timeline Photos - Ranger's Apprentice - Facebook". facebook.com.
- Official Australian Ranger's Apprentice website
- Author's Ranger's Apprentice website
- UK publisher's Ranger's Apprentice website