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Will is small for his age, but agile and energetic. All his life, he has dreamed of becoming a great knight like the father he never knew, so he is devastated when he is rejected as an apprentice to Castle Redmont's Battleschool. Instead, he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger whose uncanny ability to move unseen is thought to be the result of black magic. Reluctantly, Will learns to use a Ranger's secret weapons: a bow and arrow, a mottled cloak and a stubborn little pony. It may not be the sword and battle horse he longs for, but when Will and Halt set out on a desperate mission to prevent the assassination of the King, Will finds that a Ranger's weapons are not so useless after all...
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About the Author

John Flanagan's bestselling Ranger s Apprentice adventure series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. The series has come a long way since then. Now sold to more than twenty countries, the series regularly appears on the New York Times Bestseller list and has been shortlisted for children's book awards in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer, lives with his wife, Leonie, in the Sydney beachside suburb of Manly. He is currently writing further titles in the Ranger s Apprentice series as well as the exciting new Brotherband series.

Reviews

Gr 4-8-Right from the start, listeners will become engrossed in the first book (Philomel, 2005) of John Flanagan's projected series (Philomel Books, 2005), which is reminiscent of Tolkien minus the allegory. On Choosing Day, when wards of the castle become apprentices, 15-year-old Will doesn't get his first choice of attending Battle School, where knights are trained. Instead, he is apprenticed to Halt, the mysterious Ranger, whose lessons on stealth and intelligence gathering lead Will to a new understanding of honor and valor. As the evil Morgarath is planning a war and killing off the kingdom's leaders, Will's courage and determination are tested. Filled with rich detail and plenty of edge-of-your-seat thrills, Flanagan's word choice and writing style lend themselves to the quasi-historical time period and setting. The characters are developed believably, only veering slightly into stereotypes with the bullies at the Battle School. John Keating's erudite and compelling voices make this well-paced story come alive. Listeners will eagerly await the next installment in the series. A fine choice for middle schools and public libraries.-Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, Oxford, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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