My youngest son (11) insisted I read this book, the first in a series, which he discovered at school. As I am wont to recommend books to all and sundry, I figured I should return the favour. I also thought I could speed read and skim read and be done in an hour.
The surprising thing about this book and this author is that i didn't want to speed or skim, I read every word. It targets children about 10-12 I would think, but does not talk down to them or 'write down' to engage with them. It's thoroughly well written and engaging even for adults! A rare find.
As the title suggests, there is a Ranger (called Halt) and an apprentice (called Will) who live in a made up land of various kingdoms. It reads like a medieval story, with only a few made up creatures, making it more believable. There are battles, conflicts and relationships to navigate and good vs evil. All the elements of a great story. Flanagan initially wrote it as a short story to get his son into reading and it grew from there to 12 in the series thus far. He is also involved in writing the screenplay for the movie which is being developed at the moment.
My son has read five in the series of about 12, I am now starting number 2. Well worth it, we also take turns reading aloud to each other. It's a rare treat to find books that the kids love and are not tedious for parents to read.