Ranger’s Apprentice

Yesterday, I planned a quick run to Target after meeting some friends for lunch. I knew it would be close to baby’s naptime, but it would be a quick in-and-out and then she could fall asleep on the way home.After forgetting my list, scraping through a tired baby breakdown, losing my wallet, finding my wallet back at the restaurant, and finally getting everything in the car and home, I was in serious need of a comfort book. So I picked up The Burning Bridge, book 2 of John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, and all was right with the world.

I discovered Ranger’s Apprentice last year. I wasn’t so sure about it by the end of the first chapter; but the second chapter had me hooked, and, by the third book, the series had made its way onto my Harry Potter shelf. There are twelve books in the series, and I loved every one of them (with the possible exception of some of the short stories in #11).

As with so many of my favorite books, the characters are what sold it for me. There are so many characters that you get to know throughout the book, and each one has his or her distinct voice and personality. With twelve books, there’s plenty of room for characters to grow stagnant, but Flanagan keeps them growing and changing with each new obstacle. Their relationships morph, both deepening and fading with the passing of time. The dialogue can be a little cheesy at times, but the way it builds up the characters more than makes up for the slight eye-roll it inspires from time to time.

Twelve books may seem like a long series, but the books are a quick and compelling read. I think I checked the last five out from the library at once because I was finishing them in a day or two and couldn’t stand to wait. Add them to your summer reading list!