The Tournament at Gorlan (Ranger’s Apprentice Early Year)
John A. Flanagan
After being dismissed as a Ranger of the King, Crowley travels with Halt to try to stop the influence of Morgarath spreading. As they discover that the rot is deeper than they thought, they must gather all the Rangers they can to confront the man facing them. As being a Ranger becomes more dangerous and the plots more costly, it’s not obvious if there will be a clear winner.
I’m not sure how I felt about this novel. It had been long enough that I no longer really remembered the original Ranger’s Apprentice story, so I would say that I read this novel as a stand alone. I’m not sure I want to read the sequel to this one – I simply didn’t get vested enough in the characters.
I think something that spoke false to me, but would have been good for other younger readers, was the terminology used. There was too much stating of what the leadership role was, what fishing skills were important, and less on the actual characters’ voices.
It was too simple. I knew what was going to happen, and I never felt a sense of urgency. Everything would turn out fine, regardless of what the characters did! I felt like I didn’t really get to ‘know’ any of the characters. I certainly loved Halt. Which I suppose I was supposed to, but it helped that most of the novel was from his perspective.
For a novel that didn’t seem to have much magic in mind, the epilogue left me feeling somewhat unbalanced. There were barely any hints about it beforehand (just something that seemed like filler to expand the character).
So with that in mind, I’m giving it 3-4 stars. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing particularly outstanding either. I’ve lent this to my partner’s brother to find out what he thinks of it as a younger reader and having read all of the other books in the series. I’ll keep my twitter updated with the results!
I received a complimentary copy from the wonder folks at Penguin Random House Australia.