It was in… finally!
I clasped the book in both hands and grinned. I had been waiting for the first book in the series for months, and had always missed it when the children brought it back to the library. And now I had it.
I had been keeping my eye on that particular library shelf. The series took up the whole length, with the colourful covers promising adventure and journeys to places unknown. It seemed to be set in medieval times, with castles, princesses and sword fights. The main characters were the king’s Rangers, a secret group of highly trained men who used archery, and the art of concealment to be the James Bonds of the forest.
Months had gone by, and the first book in the series always seemed to miss me.
And finally, I had it in my hands. I slipped it behind the computer on the library book issue desk and dealt with the new Grade 5 class that came in.
“Miss,” said one of the girls. “Do you have the first book of the Rangers Apprentice series?”
My jaw dropped. It was as if she had X-ray vision, and could see the book hiding behind the computer.
I sighed and passed the book to her. After all, I am a librarian. I’m supposed to be encouraging the next generation with the written word.
The desire to finally read that book, and so unlock the whole series was too great though. I hid the book back behind the computer with the promise to her that I would read it on the weekend and bring it back on Monday. When that class had left, I quickly took it out under my name.
The very next person who walked into the library asked me if I had the first in the Rangers Apprentice series. It was one of those days!
I finished that book, and the others after that, and the series didn’t disappoint me at all. I loved the skill involved in archery. I welcomed the lessons in hiding from the enemy. The characters were (mostly) people you would really like to know in real life.
I particularly enjoyed how John Flanagan used real countries and nations to base his fictional ones on. So the Skandians were the Vikings, and the race from the north, the Nihon-ja are an obvious match for Ninjas!
I enjoyed all of them, but if I had to choose, my favourite one was The Royal Ranger. It was all about finding who you are and following your dreams, even if it seems impossible. It had the usual recipe for excitement, but also a lot of feeling.
I love the Rangers Apprentice series because it transports me to a world totally unlike mine. It is full of action, believable characters, well-described scenery and well written dialogue.
And the movie?
Apparently the rights have been bought, and production is supposed to start in 2015. Let’s hope they get it right!
To see the books on Amazon, click on these links.