The Ruins of Gorlan (The Ranger's Apprentice book 1)
He had always wanted to be a warrior. The Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, made him nervous. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now fifteen year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't realize yet is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied .
My thoughts~ I really enjoyed this book. These books have been on the shelves for years and I cannot believe it took me this long to finally start the series. There are ten books in the series.
The medieval setting is well thought out very believable. I am not sure if this is classified as fantasy, it has a few non-human species that I suspect will have a big impact on future stories, but we do not really get any magic.
Will is extremely likeable and easy to root for. In fact all the characters have a great story arc, are well developed, and play their rolls well.
In my opinion this is a compelling middle grade book that appeals to adults as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you have a middle grade boy and are having a hard time finding books for him give this one a shot.