The Ruins of Gorlan is the first book in John Flanagan's series of the Ranger's Apprentice. The novel follows a group of orphans and the paths they have taken during the middle ages. The protagonist, Will, always had his heart set on being a brave warrior, as he believed his father to be, but to his surprise and initial discontent, is chosen to be the apprentice of the ranger Halt. Not much is known about the rangers, but it is speculated that they practice dark magic because of their always elusive behavior.
Will's training as a ranger begins with tedious tasks such as housework, but eventually escalates to stealth and weapons training. Will's training was first put to the test when he and his hunting party were confronted by two large boar. He shot an arrow at the larger of the two, effectively distracted it and saving his friend, Horace, whom at the time he was feuding with.
The climax of the novel is when Lord Morgarath, an evil man bent on conquering the kingdom, attempts to advance with his dreaded Kalkaras, massive beasts immune to most weapons. Will plays a vital role in killing one of the beasts by shooting an arrow through its eye. Later, at a celebration the Baron announces that Will would be allowed to become a warrior's apprentice as he had originally wanted to do. But because of all he had learned under Halt, he declines and decides to stay a ranger. Halt then tells the story about how Will's father bravely saved Halt in a battle, sacrificing his life.
1. If you had the chance to do something that had always been your dream, but in return you had to give up something you loved now, would you do it?
2. Will found out that his father was not actually a traditional warrior, but he was still proud. Would you be proud if you found out your father was not some one who you thought he was?