I started reading this series based on reviews, as I do many of my readings. While the focus of the series revolves primarily on the teenage characters, I found there is ample adult activity included to keep my interest and the author provides a good balance of youthful and more mature perceptions. The teen characters gain experience and maturity as the plot moves them through situations in the adult world.
With good plotting and character development, this series on the surface is a very good read with ongoing tales that keep you turning pages. But in the process the author has also provided us – youth and adult readers – with good lessons learned that are all folded smoothly into the story.
One reviewer states that one of her favorite things is the dialogue and the humor sprinkled throughout. It brings the characters alive and makes them more than fleshed out stereotypes. It makes the characters relatable to the reader and I remember times where I would have to set the book down because I was smiling so hard.
It is an interesting world the author has created, with the teen characters and readers learning of different skills and cultures, how friendships can evolve even against prior enemies, and even insights into battles and battle strategy. We watch the characters struggle and overcome adversity as individuals and in the bigger picture of their world as there is conflict between kingdoms, etc.
This imaginary world has big warriors with swords and lances on war horses, and less obvious heroes where the little guy or the girl provides critical skills to save the day, and those skills may be mental or physical. The reader learns to value and respect what each individual contributes positively to the situation regardless of age, size, gender, rank, etc. Conversely, individuals of any age, size, gender, rank, etc, might be the problem to overcome … or the culture of a kingdom might be seen with pros and cons.
The plot twists and turns with action coupled with teen and adult character introspection as the situations evolve. I like that the youth reader will also read the adult point of view. It also allows the adult reader to see a teen point of view. And with the young Ranger’s Apprentice a key character, I enjoyed reading that the mountain pony should be highly valued for that role, just as the big war horses are valued for their own role … just like individual people have various skills and abilities to contribute. Fundamental to the Ranger’s Apprentice’s situation is the ongoing reminder that training and practice is neccessary to develop and maintain skills, and there is always more to learn.
The Ranger’s Apprentice series has 10 books. Each book flows into the next as a subsequent chapter in time, while moving on to another challenging situation for the characters to address in their world during the next book. So I was deftly lured into reading the next book, and the next, and the next. This is a tale that is constantly evolving and it was fun to see change in myself as these books were coming out. I remember the first time I ever heard the story and the feelings I had when I was reading it for the first time are still with me as I read it for the 10th. It is a book that has captivated me with setting, characters, and story, which is something few novels are able to pull off.
According to the New York Times, a film adaptation is supposed to be in the works but there has been no word since the announcement back in May 2016. I would be excited to see a movie release and as I read through the books I picked out actors for my favorite characters. At this point I don’t care who plays what as long as I get to see a kickass movie based on a series I love.