The Ruins of Gorlan
The Burning Bridge
The Icebound Land
The Battle for Skandia
all by John Flanagan
I'm rereading these books because Matthew wants to read them. I'm making sure they are entirely appropriate. For the most part, they are. I'm using the white out on the curse words, mostly those that start with "h" and "d". These are all books in a series called The Ranger's Apprentice. I had told a friend a few days ago that" they aren't Christian, but they aren't anti-Christian either." You don't hear about the beliefs of the kingdom of Araluen. But everyone else seems to be polytheistic. Halt respects the beliefs of the other countries but we never hear about his own.
The Ruins of Gorlan introduces Will, Halt and Horace. The timing of the books is hard to figure exactly. There are knights and fiefdoms and a definite lack of cars. But they also measure using the metric system. (Of course, that could be becuase the author is Australian and he's writing for the youth there.) Will and Horace are 15 at the start of the book and are sort of enemies. They both apprentrice to different craftsman. Horace apprentices to the Battle school to become a knight and Will becomes a ranger apprentice under Halt. The boys become friends. This book outlines Will's adventures in tracking and fighting some pretty weird beings.
The Burning Bridge continues the story of Will and Horace. Halt is there too, but not as much. Will and Horace are sent on a diplomatic mission to Celtica. They find things not quite right as well as a girl named Evelyn and adventure ensues. The enemy from book one is still around and trying to get in through Celtica. Will burns down a bridge and gets captured with Evelyn in the process.
The Icebound Land follows Will and Evelyn into captivity in Skandia. Horace and Halt try to rescue them and have adventures in the process. The story goes back and forth between Will and Evelyn and Halt and Horace. The book has and interesting scene if you are having your young person read it. Horace and Halt see girls in very short skirts. Horace asks why and Halt insinuates it's so the girls can run easier than you could in long skirts. Halt is actually puling Horace's leg. Horace believes Halt and Halt lets it go as "Horace has plenty of time to learn about the seamier side of life.... He could retain his innocence for a little while longer." So is your young person going to question this sequence or let it go?
The Battle for Skandia finds our foursome in Skandia finally together but unable to leave. The Skandians are about to be attacked by another kingdom. They help the Skandians and have trials and tribulations along the way.