He had always wanted to be a warrior. The Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways, made him nervous. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now fifteen year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't realize yet 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 .
I've been hearing about the Ranger's Apprentice books for a while. I kept getting them recommended to me, but never took the time to add them to my to-read list. While we were in Utah, I borrowed a couple of them from Jon's family and brought them back, deciding it was high time I found out for myself whether or not they really were as good as everyone said. They were. They are. :D VERY GOOD!
There are some similarities to familiar series (Chronicles of Prydain, Lord of the Rings), but somehow despite all the 'been done' elements, these books felt original, fresh, and very entertaining. I'd say these are very good boy books, but not only for boys because they are a series the whole family can enjoy. I've added them to my to-buy list for our home library. I'd pretty much call them essential at this point, actually.
My biggest disappointment was realizing that the second book has a terrible ending point! I immediately put the next few books on hold at the library and I'm hoping to get them read very soon.