What? No, that didn’t happen to me with The Ruins of Gorlan and The Burning Bridge.
Why I Thought I’d Hate It:Because my best friend recommended it.
That sounds terrible, but it’s not an offense against her. She loves, adores, and promotes many awesome books and if that weren’t the case we probably wouldn’t be friends the same way we are friends right now.
Unfortunately, I also have this thing where I am a malevolent reader. I have to discover books under specific circumstances with specific things to make me want to open them. I was not compelled by the immediate introduction—I sort of had to figure it out on my own.
What Changed:I was cleaning my room and realized I still had the books and realized I NEEDED to give them back—but it’s not like I was going to give them back without having read them. Like it was three months. I had no excuses.
Why It Turned Out I Loved It:John Flanagan is FUNNY. He is INTELLIGENT. His stories are filled with ADVENTURE and EXCITEMENT and CULTURE and WORLDBUILDING and AMAZINGNESS. It is FANTASTICAL and I LOVED IT.
Vague, but true.
To specify a few things, I think it’s necessary to say that I love that John Flanagan never culminates into one of those “battle-to-end-all-battles” tropes. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Grisha Trilogy, The Inheritance Cycle, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Matrix—THE SUPER SPECIAL HERO is geared towards defeating THE GREATEST EVIL OF ALL TIME in the MOST INTENSE BATTLE EVER that will END ALL EVIL FOREVER.
What I like about Ranger’s Apprentice is that the story culminates into many battles, but no matter what, it’s just another day in the life of being a Ranger. It is Will’s job to deal with these evils. And evil doesn’t come condensed into one man alone—bad things show up, they deal with them, and they prepare for the next time they’re needed. It’s just another job. And there’s a great deal of honor in ordinary jobs.
I mean, as ordinary can be. There’s internal corruption and politics and enemies, which is different than just being an accountant or something.
And again, I have to emphasize that John Flanagan makes me LAUGH. His characters each have very intricate lives, but they also are sass-masters who are bringing the country to this joyful, crazy place. It makes me happy.
There's also a happily ever after: I own all the books now so I don’t have to kidnap them from my best friend!