They have always scared him in the past—the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . .
For years, the Kingdom of Araluen has prospered, with the evil lord Morgarath safely behind the impassable mountains. For years, its people have felt secure. but the scheming hand of the dark lord has not been idle. . . . on a special mission for the rangers, will and his friend Horace, an apprentice knight, travel to a neighboring village and discover the unsettling truth: All the villagers have either been slain or captured. but why? Could it be that Morgarath has finally devised a plan to bring his legions over the supposedly insurmountable pass? if so, the king’s army is in imminent danger of being crushed in a fierce ambush. And will and Horace are the only ones who can save them.
Kidnapped and taken to a frozen land after the fierce battle with Lord Morgarath, Will and Evanlyn are bound for Skandia as captives aboard a fearsome wolfship. Halt has sworn to rescue his young apprentice, and he will do anything to keep his promise– even defy his King. Expelled from the Rangers he has served so loyally, Halt is joined by Will’s friend Horace as he travels toward Skandia. On their way, they are challenged again and again by freelance knights–but Horace knows a thing or two about combat. Soon his skills begin to attract the attention of knights and warlords for miles around.
Still far from home after escaping slavery in the icebound land of Skandia, young Will and Evanlyn’s plans to return to Araluen are spoiled when Evanlyn is taken captive. Though still weak, Will employs his Ranger training to locate his friend but soon finds himself fatally outnumbered. Will is certain death is close at hand, until Halt and Horace make a daring last-minute rescue. But their reunion is cut short by the horrifying discovery that Skandia’s borders have been breached by the Temujai army – and Araluen is next in their sights. Only an unlikely union can save the two kingdoms, but can it hold long enough to vanquish a ruthless new enemy?
Several years have passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, first met, and Will is finally a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief to look after. The fief seems sleepy – boring, even – until Lord Syron, master of a castle far in the north, is struck down by a mysterious illness. Joined by his friend Alyss, Will is suddenly thrown headfirst into an extraordinary adventure, investigating fears of sorcery and trying to determine who is loyal to Lord Syron. As Will battles growing hysteria, traitors, and most of all, time, Alyss is taken hostage, and Will is forced to make a desperate choice between his mission and his friend.
The kingdom is in danger. Renegade knight Sir Keren has succeeded in overtaking Castle Macindaw and is now conspiring with the Scotti. The fate of Araluen rests in the hands of two young adventurers: the Ranger Will and his warrior friend, Horace. Yet for Will, the stakes are even higher. For inside the castle, someone he loves is being held hostage. And now the time has come for this onetime apprentice to grow up.
In the wake of Araluen’s uneasy truce with the raiding Skandians comes word that the Skandian leader has been captured by a dangerous desert tribe. The Rangers – and Will – are sent to free him. But the desert is like nothing these warriors have seen before. Strangers in a strange land, they are brutalized by sandstorms, beaten by the unrelenting heat, tricked by one tribe that plays by its own rules, and surprisingly befriended by another. Like a desert mirage, nothing is as it seems. Yet one thing is constant: the bravery of the Rangers.
When a cult springs up in neighboring Clonmel, promising to quell the recent attacks by lawless marauders, people flock from all over to offer gold in exchange for protection. But Halt is all too familiar with this particular group, and he knows they have a less than charitable agenda. Secrets will be unveiled and battles fought to the death as Will and Horace help Halt in ridding the land of a dangerous enemy.
The renegade outlaw group known as the Outsiders may have been chased from Clonmel, but not before killing Halt’s only brother. Now Rangers Halt and Will, along with the young warrior Horace, are in pursuit. The Outsiders have done an effective job of dividing the kingdom into factions and are looking to overtake Araluen. It will take every bit of skill and cunning for the Rangers to survive. Some may not be so lucky.
Months have passed since Horace departed for the eastern nation of Nihon-Ja on a vital mission. Having received no communication from him, his friends fear the worst. Unwilling to wait a second longer, Alyss, Evanlyn, and Will leave their homeland behind and venture into an exotic land in search of their missing friend.
When they finally catch up with him, they find Horace entangled in a military coup. Determined to protect the imperial throne, Will and his band of Araluens must piece together and train a force in order to fend off the master Senji warriors intent on overthrowing the emperor.
Inspired by questions and letters his loyal readers have sent over the years, John Flanagan offers a gift in response: a collection of “lost” tales that fill in the gaps between Ranger’s Apprentice novels. For the first time, readers can learn the truth behind how Will came to be orphaned and what his real relationship to Halt is, or watch Alyss in action as the young Araluen diplomat disguises herself and becomes the perfect spy.