I greatly enjoyed Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan which is book one is this series. Will, the main character, is, as the title suggests, a Ranger’s apprentice in the kingdom of Araluen. His Ranger mentor, Halt, is a clever and brave man who is teaching Will things like archery, stealth, and shrewdness. Now that Will has honed these skills, he is chosen by Halt’s former apprentice, Gilan, to go on a mission to Celtica, a neighboring kingdom. Along with him goes Horace, a comrade of Will’s and an attendee of Battleschool, which is basically knight-training.

However, even though the first part of the journey goes well enough, with both Horace and Will being taught fighting skills by Gilan, they encounter mysterious circumstances when they enter Celtica. When a young girl, who calls herself Evalyn, finds their camp, she tells them all they wished were not true. The evil Morgarath has sent his wargals, huge bear-like creatures, into Celtica and captured miners for some unknown purpose, while killing anyone who cannot escape.

Back in Araluen, Halt is restless without the joviality of Will. He is starting to anger the Baron whose lands he is stationed on. When Lady Pauline, an old friend of Halt, suggests that he escort her apprentice, Alyss, he consents. This seems to bring up his spirit by a few margins.

Will, Evalyn, and Horace are in for the adventure of a lifetime, though, when they discover Morgarath’s secret. Can they get word back to the Araluen forces about Morgarath’s false pretenses in time, or can they halt Morgarath’s forces for the time being?

Before you read this page-turner, I highly suggest you take a look at the first book so that you understand the plot. Either way, Ranger’s Apprentice: The Burning, Bridge is an excellent tale of war, treachery, and friendship.

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