Since I'm just joining The STACKS, I thought I'd start out by telling you about my favorite series (next to Harry Potter, but that goes without saying). A couple of years ago, I was in a bookstore looking for something to read when I saw a small blue book with a cloaked figure hidden in the shadows. The title was Ranger's Apprentice Book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan. When it comes to books, I love series and I love fantasy. I took a chance on the book and absolutely loved it. Now, five books into the series, I am absolutely hooked.
Since I don't want to spoil the series, I'll just briefly describe the intro to Book 1 before letting you know exactly why this has become my favorite series. When we first meet Will, the main character, he is an orphan living at Castle Redmont. As a child, he was taken in by the Baron of Castle Redmont and was raised with several other orphaned children. The story really begins as the castle wards are chosen for apprenticeships. Rejected by the Battle School, Will is instead chosen by the silent and mysterious Ranger Halt. The first books in the series are about Will's apprenticeship and the adventures that come his way.
I love the pacing in these stories. Even though a lot of time is spent on Will's training, there are fascinating descriptions of the world he lives in and plenty of action to move the story along. Each book is more interesting and exciting than the last (when the fifth came out, I read it in one night only to be so frustrated by the cliffhanger at the end that I'm asking a friend of mine to ship me a copy of Book 6 from Australia, where Books 6, 7, and 8 are already released).
Here in the US, the first five books are available. Their titles are:
The Ruins of Gorlan
The Burning Bridge
The Icebound Land
The Battle for Skandia
The Sorcerer of the North
If you are into action, are a sucker for spies or action, and love fantasy series, I highly recommend the Ranger's Apprentice series.
— Rob, STACKS Staffer