History Main / RangersApprentice

21st Mar '13 6:06:54 PM Xtifr
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[[quoteright:326:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/400000000000000052527_s4_1568.jpg]]
-->''"You know the old saying: 'OneRiotOneRanger'."''
-->-- Commandant Crowley, ''Erak's Ransom''.


In a medieval Europe much like ours but with [[IstanbulNotConstantinople all of the names changed]], the young orphan Will becomes apprenticed to the elite Ranger Corps of [[strike:England]] Araluen after being rejected by the knights' Battleschool due to his small stature. Rangers, their work shrouded in secrecy and camouflaging cloaks, resemble nothing so much as a cross between [[RobinHood Robin Hood]] and the CIA. Will discovers that being a Ranger is not only as exciting and heroic as being a knight, it is also something he excels at.

Then he learns the BigBad is about to invade his country, has sent killer animal monsters after his beloved mentor Halt, and would like to kill every single Ranger (and Ranger apprentice) while he's at it. Things go downhill for Will from there.

Rather than just being about battles between good and evil, most of the books have the protagonists use not just martial prowess, but also stealth, cunning, and sometimes diplomacy to defeat their enemies. The author says he began writing the series to demonstrate to his then small young son that you didn't have to be big and strong to be heroic. Later books have a fair amount of mystery mixed in with the action, and the settings for the adventures range from the icy North to the scorching desert.

!Books in the Series:
* {{The Ruins of Gorlan}}
* {{The Burning Bridge}}
* {{The Icebound Land}}
* {{The Battle for Skandia}}
* {{The Sorcerer of the North}}
* {{The Siege of Macindaw}}
* {{Eraks Ransom}}
* {{The Kings of Clonmel}}
* {{Halts Peril}}
* {{The Emperor of Nihon-Ja}}

There are an eleventh (The Lost Stories) and twelfth book in the making. John Flanagan has announced that he plans to end the series there. Considering he said the same thing about the tenth book before, some fans hold onto hope that there will be more.

----
!!This series provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: [[spoiler:Keren]] to Alyss.
* ActionGirl: Evanlyn[[spoiler:/Princess Cassandra]], particularly in Book Seven. Alyss also knows how to use a knife with ease. Diplomats have to fight too sometimes.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Sir Keren]] is genuinely regretting his actions even before things start going badly for him. You almost feel he can be redeemed with time, right up until his [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath Family Unfriendly]] DisneyVillainDeath.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Picta and the Temujai, among others.
** Actually, by their own reckoning, the Temujai would be Always Lawful Evil.
** Although as of ''Halt's Peril'' it is implied that only the Picta ''warriors'' are really bad guys, and it is a major KickTheDog moment when an innocent couple of Picta farmers are mercilessly slaughtered by the current BigBad.
** The Tualaghi in Book Seven. They're nomads, like the allied Bedullin, but instead of traveling from oasis to oasis like the Bedullin, the Tualaghi travel from town to town, use most of their supplies and then just leave, leaving the townspeople with barely enough to scrape by.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: [[spoiler:Halt and Ferris]]. Of course, the latter is the EvilTwin.
* AnnoyingArrows: Averted - these arrows are plenty lethal. Played straight in the first book against the wild boar though.
* ArtifactTitle: Sort of. [[spoiler: There's a time skip in between Book Four and Book Five, in which Will completes his training and becomes a full-fledged Ranger, complete with silver oakleaf medallion. However, Book Seven jumps back to shortly before Book Five, showing Will's last adventure as an Apprentice.]]
* AutomatonHorses: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. Ranger horses may be able to run for incredible amounts of time without rest ([[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in-universe), but it's pointed out as early as book one that even they need periods of recovery. In addition, Will's horse Tug isn't afraid to get into the fight if he sees his master in trouble, which is also shown as early as book one.
** A Ranger will almost always put their horse's safety far above their own. For the horses, there is no "almost".
* BadassTeacher: Almost every mentor in the book, including Mr. Chubb, the cook.
* [[TheBerserker The Berserkers]]: Skandians.
* BigEater: Horace.
* BigFancyCastle: A few of them.
* BilingualBonus: Quite a few, actually.
** Halt's frequently-assumed pseudonym, Arratay, is pronounced suspiciously close to [[GratuitousFrench arretez.]]
*** Actually, it ''is'' "Arretez". He has no shame in admitting it's just the [[GratuitousFrench Gallic]] word for "Halt".
** In the Lost Stories (a collection of short stories mostly focused on the events after Book Ten), two Genovesans named Mordini and Serafino are sent to [[spoiler: assassinate Cassandra.]] Their names are Italian for Devil and Seraph (a class of angel).
** [[GratuitousFrench Gallic]].
** [[GratuitousJapanese Nihon-Jan]].
* BookDumb: Horace, at times.
* BoomHeadshot: Well, more like "Thwack, Headshot"; since this is set long before the invention of modern firearms. And surprisingly enough, it's not a Ranger that makes the epic headshot in Book Seven that took down the Tualaghi warlord. [[spoiler:It was Evanlyn/Princess Cassandra with her sling]].
* BowAndSwordInAccord: Gilan. He's the only Ranger trained in swordsmanship.
* BrickJoke: In Book Three, Halt tells Horace the girls in short skirts they see in Gallica are couriers, reasoning that he's [[ChildrenAreInnocent letting the boy keep his innocence a while longer]]. Horace calls him on it in Book Eight.
--> '''Horace:''' [[LampshadeHanging I've been waiting years to get him for that.]]
* BroughtDownToNormal: In Book Four, [[spoiler:Will is still suffering the after effects of drug addiction and has lost his Ranger conditioning]].
* BuildingOfAdventure: Castle Macindaw.
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler:Ferris and Halt]].
* CannotSpitItOut: A hopelessly complicated, mutual example with [[spoiler:Will and Alyss]] at the end of Book Six.
* CannotTellAJoke: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] by Baron Arald. He keeps telling jokes, and pretty good ones at that, but everyone [[NoSenseOfHumor takes him too seriously]] all the time to get them.
* ChekhovsGun: Evanlyn's[[spoiler:/Princess Cassandra's]] belt and necklace in Book Seven.
* ChekhovsSkill: In ''The Burning Bridge'', Will and Horace are taught the double knife defense. Near the end, Horace uses the skill to win a duel [[spoiler:against Morgarath]].
* ChekhovsArmy: The Temujai, used as a throwaway name early in the first book come back in painful force in Book Four.
* ChickMagnet: Horace, particularly after book 6. Add that he's one of Araluen's finest warriors and renowned heroes... oh, boy.
--> There were quite a few young ladies of the kingdom who felt it [a scar on his cheek] enhanced his appearance, rather than the opposite.
** Also lampshaded by Halt.
---> Halt never ceased to be fascinated by the way women, young or old, big or small, could not resist the temptation to feed Horace.
* ComingOfAgeStory: For Will. It does not stop the series from being for children, though, as there is no AudienceShift.
* CoolOldGuy: Malcolm and, in later volumes, Halt.
* CultColony: The camp of the Outcasts.
* CombatPragmatist: Will. Most of the Rangers, actually, considering the great majority of them carry little more than a bow, saxe knife and a throwing knife.
* DeadpanSnarker: The Series thrives on this trope, practically all important characters are this
* DontExplainTheJoke: Baron Arald suffers from this on occasion, since his jokes often go over the heads of those he tells his jokes to. Played straight in the fact that he does this in the presence of Lady Pauline, who actually does get the jokes but chooses not to laugh.
* TheDrunkenSailor: The majority of Skandians fit this trope.
* EmotionBomb: Morgarath and his creatures.
* EverybodyIsSingle: In fact, nobody's even ''dating''.
** Not so as of Book Seven and Eight, wherein Halt gets married, and Will [[spoiler:seems well and truly set to hook up with Alyss]].
** And now, in Book Ten, it seems [[spoiler: Horace]] and [[spoiler: Evanlyn]] are getting married.
** In ''The Lost Stories'', we see not only [[spoiler: Horace and Cassandra/Evanlyn's]] wedding, but also [[spoiler: Will and Alyss's]]
* EvilOverlord: Morgarath.
* EvilTwin: One of these pops up for [[spoiler: Halt]] in Book Eight, although with a bit of a subversion.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: A [[FallenPrincess fallen one]] at that.
** Cassandra also becomes a RebelliousPrincess.
* FakeKing: Interestingly inverted. When Halt dresses up as the king of Clonmel, he pretends to be Ferris, but [[spoiler:it is Ferris that pretends to be the rightful king - a title which belongs to Halt; which means that Halt pretends to be someone who pretends to be him... ]]Oh, dear.[[hottip:*: An explanation, then. Halt and Ferris are twins, but Halt was born several minutes earlier, making him the firstborn. Ferris hated this about him and attempted to have him killed in a series of "accidents". Halt quickly caught on, and sick of his brother's attempts on his life, basically said "You want the crown so bad? Here, take it!", and moved out of Hibernia.]]
** Foreshadowed all the way back in book three when Halt issues a challenge to a knight claiming to be Hibernian nobility. When questioned by Horace, Halt passes it off by saying that the knight couldn't prove he lied.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: In Book Six, [[spoiler: Sir Keren]] gets acid thrown in his face, and then [[DisneyVillainDeath falls through a tower window to the flagstones below.]] And here I was thinking these books were for kids.
** Then you must not have been paying attention to the thousands of people who have died throughout the series.
** The fake prophet from Book Eight and Nine, Tennyson, gets [[spoiler:hit with a box full of grenades, falls off a cliff and gets ''crushed/impaled by falling rocks.'']]
** The Kalkara in Book One. The first gets stabbed by two lances, then gets thrown onto a bonfire and is instantly incinerated. The second gets shot with a flaming arrow, and ''burns alive.''
* FiveManBand:
** First book only (after that, George and Jenny disappear entirely and Alyss is eventually replaced by Evanlyn; they reappear in Books Five and Ten, but still, they're both incredibly minor characters):
*** Will - TheHero;
*** Horace - TheLancer;
*** Jenny - TheBigGuy;
*** George - TheSmartGuy;
*** Alyss - TheChick.
** Overall:
*** TheHero: Will.
*** TheLancer / TheBigGuy: Horace.
*** TheSmartGuy: Halt and Malcolm.
*** TheChick: Cassandra and Alyss.
*** TheSixthRanger: Gilan.
*** TeamPet: Tug, Abelard, Shadow and Ebony. Blaze for Gilan.
* GangOfBullies: The group standing behind the transformation of Horace's character.
* GenreShift: The series begins in classic fantasy style - young orphaned hero has to fight against an evil sorcerer controlling an army of monsters. However, in later books there's not a shred of the fantastic to be seen, indeed one story deals with a plot about an old man using primitive science to fake magic. Strangely, it works.
* GentleGiant: Trobar, and, to a slighter degree, Horace.
* TheGoodKing: Duncan.
* GRatedDrug: Warmweed. Seriously. It's very bad for you.
** For those who don't get it. Warmweed is a marijuana-like substance that fills your body with the sensation of warmth. Since it's only known to grow in Skandia, where it's Winter pretty much all year round, it is ''very'' easy to get addicted to. Once it happens, you gradually lose sense of who you were, forget those closest to you, etc., until you become an EmptyShell.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Most of the rangers, at least the ones mentioned in the books. [[spoiler:Will begins to show a bit of this trope, considering he gives a man into slavery in Skandia. Granted, [[KickTheSonOfABitch the man nearly disemboweled one of his dogs and is suspected for a large string of murders.]]]]
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler:Halt and Lady Pauline]]. And by the eleventh book, [[spoiler:Horace and Evanlyn/Princess Cassandra, Will and Alyss.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Erak, and with him most of the Skandians.]]
** Horace, after some CharacterDevelopment by way of three [[JerkJock Jerk Jocks]] is Will's best friend by the end of Book One.
* HeroicWannabe: Will, at the beginning of his education.
* HesitationEqualsDishonesty: Will learns that this is a common view when he prepares to his travel as a bard.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Will and Horace.
* HypnotizeThePrincess: Happens to [[spoiler:Alyss]] in Book Five and Book Six.
* TheIdealist: Horace, for quite a long time, and sometimes to a degree of an IdiotHero.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: All the Rangers more or less, but especially Will.
** Possibly justified due to Ranger archery training, which could be considered a form of CharlesAtlasSuperpower. One of the many mantras of the Ranger Corps is ''"An archer practices until he gets it right. A Ranger practices until he never gets it wrong."
* ImprobableWeapon: The common kitchen wooden ladle is referred to as an unofficial staff of office for both Master Chubb and his apprentice, Jenny.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Jenny takes down three robbers with a roasting pan, a rolling pin, several knives and a leg of lamb.
* InTheHood: ("And then he drew back into the bushes and pulled his hood over his eyes, blending in so as to be invisible..." ''Every other damn chapter.'')
* InstantWakingSkills: The Rangers do this, but it is highly stressed that they aren't at full 'alertness' yet.
* InvisibilityCloak: Masking cloaks of the Rangers.
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: Araluen = England, Gallica = France, Celtica = Wales, Hibernia = Ireland, Picta = Scotland, Teutlandt = Germany, Arrida = North Africa (likely Tripoli), Skandia = Scandinavia, Nihon-Ja = Japan, Iberion = Spain, Toscana = Rome/Italy, the unnamed Temujai country, referred to as the Eastern Steppes = Mongolia ({{Genghis Khan}}'s name was Temujin), Indus (briefly mentioned in Book Ten) probably = India, etc. A map appears in later books that is reminiscent of a early map of the Old World. These all really could really be seen just as {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s.
** The names are not complete fiction, however; ie, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallic Gallica = Gallic = An old name for the rough area of France]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuscany Toscana is Italian for Tuscany]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_people Nihon-Ja = Nihon-Jan = Nihonjin = Japanese people]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberian_Peninsula Iberion = Iberian = rough area of Spain]], etc.
** It may be safer to call Araluen a [[TheKingdom standard medieval fantasy kingdom]].
* KickTheDog: Literally. When John Buttle almost kills Shadow, we learn that he is an evil man.
* JerkJock: Horace, as Will thinks of him in the first book. [[spoiler:He's really more of a LovableJock after his CharacterDevelopment arc in the same book.]]
* KnightErrant: Subverted by the adventures of Halt and Horace in Gallica.
* Knighting: Horace at the end of Book Four.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Horace.
* LadyAndKnight: Horace and Cassandra.
* LeftJustifiedFantasyMap: Very much resembling medieval Europe, including HordesFromTheEast.
* LoveEpiphany: [[spoiler:Alyss and Will]]. Followed by LoveConfession.
* LowFantasy: With the exception of BlackAndWhiteMorality.
** There seems to be some magic, but ''very'' little of it is mentioned. Averted by [[BigBad Morgarath]] and his mind control over the Wargal hordes in the first book.
* MasterApprenticeChain: Among the Rangers.
* MagicRealism: The only supernatural elements in the series are Lord Morgarath's armies and the[[BuffySpeak ...spirit...thing]] that Will encounters in "Halt's Peril".
* ManInAKilt: A non-Fanservice-y example is General MacHaddish of the Scotti Army in Book 6. Generally, the male populace of the country of Picta.
* MeaningfulName: The surname Will is given at his Ranger ceremony is [[spoiler:Treaty, in honour of the peace treaty he negotiated with the Skandians, which would be a very important milestone in Araluan history.]]
* MedievalEuropeanFantasy: Even though the names have been changed, it's pretty easy to tell which real-life countries the book's countries are based on. See IstanbulNotConstantinople above.
* MentorArchetype: Halt. He has some features of [[EccentricMentor]] and [[TheChooserOfTheOne]].
* AMinorKidroduction: Will, Horace, and Alyss are introduced in this way at the beginning of the first volume.
* MismatchedEyes: On a ''dog'' no less.
* MoralDissonance: In Book One, Halt tells Will "If you had lied [about stealing some cakes from the castle kitchens], you never would have become my apprentice." This despite Halt doing several worse things over the course of the series, such as having forged copies of several world leaders' personal seals, including that of his own king. What makes lying about stealing the cakes so bad? [[FridgeLogic If Will had lied he would have been doing so to avoid taking responsibility for his actions, making him no better than a petty thief. Halt, meanwhile, had performed his deeds to better serve his country.]] Deceit isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can be if you're doing it for selfish reasons.
* MustHaveCaffeine: Will, Gilan, and to a lesser extent, Horace are all huge fans of coffee. Halt also loves coffee, but doesn't show it much, being TheStoic. With honey, no less.
** Depending on the book, that is. Sometimes Halt uses honey; other times he claims it's a "perfect way to ruin good coffee".
* NoArcInArchery: Subverted. The books describe how the Rangers and other archers have to angle their shots upward to account for gravity acting on the arrow.
* NoOntologicalInertia.
* OddFriendship: Horace and Will.
* OneRiotOneRanger: the series actually uses this phrase to describe the kingdom's group of elite archers, spies, and tacticians. It's not exactly wrong, considering this happens several times during the series.
* OnlyOne: Halt and his apprentices are perhaps the only Rangers to have ever accomplished anything in the history of Araluen.
** [[HeroOfAnotherStory Debatably]], the other Rangers may be just as accomplished, but their actions aren't exactly common knowledge, with a few exceptions. Though, it does seem that the main characters are always the ones to fix the most remarkable matters.
*** Considering the Rangers are basically ye olde secret agents, their accomplishments would mostly be under the radar anyway.
** To be fair, it's not that other rangers are the only ones, it's just that Halt and Crowley are considered the best and those who Halt trains are going to be pretty damn good. Not to mention that Gilan has the advantage of being the son of Araluen's battlemaster and has been training since birth. Will on the other hand for the most part at the beginning got really lucky and eventually grew into his role because of his history placing him in positions where he is given important duties, not to mention that his accomplishments are watched by the whole kingdom.
* ParentalSubstitute: Halt for Will.
* PathOfInspiration: The Outsiders in Book Eight.
* PetTheDog: Again, literally - Will's acquaintance with Shadow begins when he heals her injuries.
* PoisonIsEvil: The only instances of poison being used is by the antagonistic and ruthless Genovesan assassins.
* ThePowerOfLove: Saved Alyss from being hypnotized by Keren and giving off all the group's secrets.
* PowerTrio: Halt, Will, and Horace form one of these in the later books. As of Book Eight, this becomes official in-story.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Erak and his crew, as is the vogue for most Skandians.
* PuppetKing: Ferris.
* RedHerring: The entire plot to ''The Burning Bridge''.
* RedOniBlueOni: Cassandra and Alyss.
* RescueRomance: [[spoiler:Alyss and Will]].
* RightfulKingReturns: Subverted in Book Eight, see Fake King, above.
* RunningGag: A minor one where everyone (except Alyss) calls Will's mandola (a stringed instrument similar to a lute) a lute.
* SapientSteed / BondCreatures: Ranger horses can't speak ([[CaptainObvious because they're horses]]), but it has been shown several times that they have human-level intelligence. Will's horse, Tug, in particular, has mastered the art of "saying something with a look".
** Nope. This trope has aparently been grafted into canon in the new book of short stories, where all ranger horses are clearly shown to be [[DeadpanSnarker Deadpan Snarkers]] (although they just as clearly can only speak to their rider)
*** [[FridgeLogic ... And, presumably, each other]]
*** One of those same short stories reveals that it's all in their heads. [[FridgeLogic All fifty-plus of them]].
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: This is the entire point of the Rangers, though the author does try to make them as realistic as possible.
* SeeTheInvisible: One Ranger can usually see through the other's camouflage.
* ShorterMeansSmarter.
* ShroudedInMyth: The Rangers, of course.
** The foreword of Book Eleven, ''The Lost Stories'', does this literally, telling about a group of late-19th-century historians searching for clues about the existence of the fabled Ranger Corps.
* StoryArc: The series' arcs usually last for about two books.
* StudentAndMasterTeam: Will and Halt, but also Alyss and Lady Pauline.
* SupportingLeader: Halt. Suspiciously similar to Aragorn, including [[spoiler:being the rightful king of Clonmel]].
* TeachMeHowToFight: Cassandra asks Will to teach her how to shoot.
* TeamChef: While all Rangers learn how to cook satisfying meals while in the field, Will in particular has a certain knack for it.
--> '''Halt:''' Just because we spend long days travelling doesn't mean we have to survive on hardtack and water. A good meal does wonders for group morale.
* TellMeAboutMyFather: The conversation between Will and Halt near the beginning of the first volume. Surprisingly, it does not develop into an important plot element.
** ''The Lost Stories'' has Halt reveal that [[ChildrenAreInnocent he held parts back in Book One]] and tell Will [[MissingMom the rest of the story]].
* TheApprentice: Duh.
* TheHerosJourney
* TheThemeParkVersion: A distinct feature of the series is the idealism. The Middle Ages setting apparently has gender equality, no racism, and slavery can be abolished by asking nicely. To be fair, it's clearly intended to be a fun kids' adventure series, not the next ''ASongOfIceAndFire''.
** Though, how much of it is supposed to be so much like ancient Europe is debatable, beyond the loose [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Fantasy Counterpart Cultures]].
* ToBeAMaster: Every one of the young characters in his own profession: Will as a ranger, Horace as a knight, Alyss as a diplomat - and Cassandra as a ruler.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Cassandra and Alyss.
* TrialByCombat: Happens a few times over the course of the series, usually fought by [[KnightInShiningArmor Horace]].
* TwoGirlsAndAGuy: Alyss, Cassandra and Will.
* TurnInYourBadge: Happens to [[spoiler:Halt]] after his refusal to fulfill his order.
* UnbrokenVigil: Will and Horace at Halt's side, while Halt is [[TalkingInYourSleep talking in his sleep]].
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Arguably, between Will and Cassandra in the second volume.
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler:Alyss and Will]].
* VillainDecay: The [[strike:Mongols]] Temujai go from "Holy Shit, an army of soldiers where Halt came from!!" when hinted in the first book to mooks on horseback, after they are shot down by the platoon by previously weed-addicted peasants with a few weeks of training. Every last one of their efforts in Book Four are neatly countered before they can be used to any advantage, thanks to the power of Rangers, Luck, and Rangers.
** To be fair, they were expecting the [[strike:vikings]] Skandians to ZergRush them. They didn't expect to have to actually use strategy. Furthermore, they only lost because their General had decided that they'd lost too many men to go through with their original plan.
** Also, it wasn't so much training they'd gone through as "Okay, when Will says "shoot" shoot!" And they only learned four positions.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Will and Horace still argue a bit after becoming friends. Particularly Horace, who loves the fact that he can suddenly make winning points in the argument. Of course, they are a much more mild example than most.
* WeHaveReserves: this is basically how the [[spoiler: Temujai]] fight in a nutshell.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Will ''lives'' for Halt's approval. Of course, as [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] near the end of ''Erak's Ransom'', this sort of thing happens to nearly everyone who works with Halt.
** It is mentioned in later books that both Will and Halt see their relationship as essentially that of father and son.
** In Book Seven, it's shown that Will would literally rather die of thirst, having gotten hopelessly lost in the desert, than disappoint Halt.
-->''"[Will] wondered briefly if the map Selethen had given him had been false and remembered that thought occurring to him during the preceding day. But he dismissed it almost immediately. Selethen was an honorable man, he thought. No, the map was accurate. The mistake had been his and now he would never know what it had been. Halt would be disappointed, he thought--and perhaps that was the worst aspect of this situation. For five years, he had tried his best for the grizzled, unsmiling Ranger who had become like a father to him. All he ever sought was Halt's approval, no matter what anyone else in the world might think. A nod of appreciation or one of Halt's rare smiles was the greatest accolade he could imagine. Now, at this final hurdle, he had let his mentor down and he didn't know how or why it had happened. He didn't want to die knowing that Halt would be disappointed with him. He could bear the dying, he thought, but not the disappointment."''
* WorthyOpponent: A few of these, most notably Erak the ProudWarriorRaceGuy [[spoiler: who later becomes a close ally of the protagonists]], and Selethen, [[spoiler: who ends up the GracefulLoser.]]

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<<|{{Literature}}|>>

to:

[[quoteright:326:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/400000000000000052527_s4_1568.jpg]]
-->''"You know the old saying: 'OneRiotOneRanger'."''
-->-- Commandant Crowley, ''Erak's Ransom''.


In a medieval Europe much like ours but with [[IstanbulNotConstantinople all of the names changed]], the young orphan Will becomes apprenticed to the elite Ranger Corps of [[strike:England]] Araluen after being rejected by the knights' Battleschool due to his small stature. Rangers, their work shrouded in secrecy and camouflaging cloaks, resemble nothing so much as a cross between [[RobinHood Robin Hood]] and the CIA. Will discovers that being a Ranger is not only as exciting and heroic as being a knight, it is also something he excels at.

Then he learns the BigBad is about to invade his country, has sent killer animal monsters after his beloved mentor Halt, and would like to kill every single Ranger (and Ranger apprentice) while he's at it. Things go downhill for Will from there.

Rather than just being about battles between good and evil, most of the books have the protagonists use not just martial prowess, but also stealth, cunning, and sometimes diplomacy to defeat their enemies. The author says he began writing the series to demonstrate to his then small young son that you didn't have to be big and strong to be heroic. Later books have a fair amount of mystery mixed in with the action, and the settings for the adventures range from the icy North to the scorching desert.

!Books in the Series:
* {{The Ruins of Gorlan}}
* {{The Burning Bridge}}
* {{The Icebound Land}}
* {{The Battle for Skandia}}
* {{The Sorcerer of the North}}
* {{The Siege of Macindaw}}
* {{Eraks Ransom}}
* {{The Kings of Clonmel}}
* {{Halts Peril}}
* {{The Emperor of Nihon-Ja}}

There are an eleventh (The Lost Stories) and twelfth book in the making. John Flanagan has announced that he plans to end the series there. Considering he said the same thing about the tenth book before, some fans hold onto hope that there will be more.

----
!!This series provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: [[spoiler:Keren]] to Alyss.
* ActionGirl: Evanlyn[[spoiler:/Princess Cassandra]], particularly in Book Seven. Alyss also knows how to use a knife with ease. Diplomats have to fight too sometimes.
* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler:Sir Keren]] is genuinely regretting his actions even before things start going badly for him. You almost feel he can be redeemed with time, right up until his [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath Family Unfriendly]] DisneyVillainDeath.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Picta and the Temujai, among others.
** Actually, by their own reckoning, the Temujai would be Always Lawful Evil.
** Although as of ''Halt's Peril'' it is implied that only the Picta ''warriors'' are really bad guys, and it is a major KickTheDog moment when an innocent couple of Picta farmers are mercilessly slaughtered by the current BigBad.
** The Tualaghi in Book Seven. They're nomads, like the allied Bedullin, but instead of traveling from oasis to oasis like the Bedullin, the Tualaghi travel from town to town, use most of their supplies and then just leave, leaving the townspeople with barely enough to scrape by.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: [[spoiler:Halt and Ferris]]. Of course, the latter is the EvilTwin.
* AnnoyingArrows: Averted - these arrows are plenty lethal. Played straight in the first book against the wild boar though.
* ArtifactTitle: Sort of. [[spoiler: There's a time skip in between Book Four and Book Five, in which Will completes his training and becomes a full-fledged Ranger, complete with silver oakleaf medallion. However, Book Seven jumps back to shortly before Book Five, showing Will's last adventure as an Apprentice.]]
* AutomatonHorses: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. Ranger horses may be able to run for incredible amounts of time without rest ([[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in-universe), but it's pointed out as early as book one that even they need periods of recovery. In addition, Will's horse Tug isn't afraid to get into the fight if he sees his master in trouble, which is also shown as early as book one.
** A Ranger will almost always put their horse's safety far above their own. For the horses, there is no "almost".
* BadassTeacher: Almost every mentor in the book, including Mr. Chubb, the cook.
* [[TheBerserker The Berserkers]]: Skandians.
* BigEater: Horace.
* BigFancyCastle: A few of them.
* BilingualBonus: Quite a few, actually.
** Halt's frequently-assumed pseudonym, Arratay, is pronounced suspiciously close to [[GratuitousFrench arretez.]]
*** Actually, it ''is'' "Arretez". He has no shame in admitting it's just the [[GratuitousFrench Gallic]] word for "Halt".
** In the Lost Stories (a collection of short stories mostly focused on the events after Book Ten), two Genovesans named Mordini and Serafino are sent to [[spoiler: assassinate Cassandra.]] Their names are Italian for Devil and Seraph (a class of angel).
** [[GratuitousFrench Gallic]].
** [[GratuitousJapanese Nihon-Jan]].
* BookDumb: Horace, at times.
* BoomHeadshot: Well, more like "Thwack, Headshot"; since this is set long before the invention of modern firearms. And surprisingly enough, it's not a Ranger that makes the epic headshot in Book Seven that took down the Tualaghi warlord. [[spoiler:It was Evanlyn/Princess Cassandra with her sling]].
* BowAndSwordInAccord: Gilan. He's the only Ranger trained in swordsmanship.
* BrickJoke: In Book Three, Halt tells Horace the girls in short skirts they see in Gallica are couriers, reasoning that he's [[ChildrenAreInnocent letting the boy keep his innocence a while longer]]. Horace calls him on it in Book Eight.
--> '''Horace:''' [[LampshadeHanging I've been waiting years to get him for that.]]
* BroughtDownToNormal: In Book Four, [[spoiler:Will is still suffering the after effects of drug addiction and has lost his Ranger conditioning]].
* BuildingOfAdventure: Castle Macindaw.
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler:Ferris and Halt]].
* CannotSpitItOut: A hopelessly complicated, mutual example with [[spoiler:Will and Alyss]] at the end of Book Six.
* CannotTellAJoke: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] by Baron Arald. He keeps telling jokes, and pretty good ones at that, but everyone [[NoSenseOfHumor takes him too seriously]] all the time to get them.
* ChekhovsGun: Evanlyn's[[spoiler:/Princess Cassandra's]] belt and necklace in Book Seven.
* ChekhovsSkill: In ''The Burning Bridge'', Will and Horace are taught the double knife defense. Near the end, Horace uses the skill to win a duel [[spoiler:against Morgarath]].
* ChekhovsArmy: The Temujai, used as a throwaway name early in the first book come back in painful force in Book Four.
* ChickMagnet: Horace, particularly after book 6. Add that he's one of Araluen's finest warriors and renowned heroes... oh, boy.
--> There were quite a few young ladies of the kingdom who felt it [a scar on his cheek] enhanced his appearance, rather than the opposite.
** Also lampshaded by Halt.
---> Halt never ceased to be fascinated by the way women, young or old, big or small, could not resist the temptation to feed Horace.
* ComingOfAgeStory: For Will. It does not stop the series from being for children, though, as there is no AudienceShift.
* CoolOldGuy: Malcolm and, in later volumes, Halt.
* CultColony: The camp of the Outcasts.
* CombatPragmatist: Will. Most of the Rangers, actually, considering the great majority of them carry little more than a bow, saxe knife and a throwing knife.
* DeadpanSnarker: The Series thrives on this trope, practically all important characters are this
* DontExplainTheJoke: Baron Arald suffers from this on occasion, since his jokes often go over the heads of those he tells his jokes to. Played straight in the fact that he does this in the presence of Lady Pauline, who actually does get the jokes but chooses not to laugh.
* TheDrunkenSailor: The majority of Skandians fit this trope.
* EmotionBomb: Morgarath and his creatures.
* EverybodyIsSingle: In fact, nobody's even ''dating''.
** Not so as of Book Seven and Eight, wherein Halt gets married, and Will [[spoiler:seems well and truly set to hook up with Alyss]].
** And now, in Book Ten, it seems [[spoiler: Horace]] and [[spoiler: Evanlyn]] are getting married.
** In ''The Lost Stories'', we see not only [[spoiler: Horace and Cassandra/Evanlyn's]] wedding, but also [[spoiler: Will and Alyss's]]
* EvilOverlord: Morgarath.
* EvilTwin: One of these pops up for [[spoiler: Halt]] in Book Eight, although with a bit of a subversion.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: A [[FallenPrincess fallen one]] at that.
** Cassandra also becomes a RebelliousPrincess.
* FakeKing: Interestingly inverted. When Halt dresses up as the king of Clonmel, he pretends to be Ferris, but [[spoiler:it is Ferris that pretends to be the rightful king - a title which belongs to Halt; which means that Halt pretends to be someone who pretends to be him... ]]Oh, dear.[[hottip:*: An explanation, then. Halt and Ferris are twins, but Halt was born several minutes earlier, making him the firstborn. Ferris hated this about him and attempted to have him killed in a series of "accidents". Halt quickly caught on, and sick of his brother's attempts on his life, basically said "You want the crown so bad? Here, take it!", and moved out of Hibernia.]]
** Foreshadowed all the way back in book three when Halt issues a challenge to a knight claiming to be Hibernian nobility. When questioned by Horace, Halt passes it off by saying that the knight couldn't prove he lied.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: In Book Six, [[spoiler: Sir Keren]] gets acid thrown in his face, and then [[DisneyVillainDeath falls through a tower window to the flagstones below.]] And here I was thinking these books were for kids.
** Then you must not have been paying attention to the thousands of people who have died throughout the series.
** The fake prophet from Book Eight and Nine, Tennyson, gets [[spoiler:hit with a box full of grenades, falls off a cliff and gets ''crushed/impaled by falling rocks.'']]
** The Kalkara in Book One. The first gets stabbed by two lances, then gets thrown onto a bonfire and is instantly incinerated. The second gets shot with a flaming arrow, and ''burns alive.''
* FiveManBand:
** First book only (after that, George and Jenny disappear entirely and Alyss is eventually replaced by Evanlyn; they reappear in Books Five and Ten, but still, they're both incredibly minor characters):
*** Will - TheHero;
*** Horace - TheLancer;
*** Jenny - TheBigGuy;
*** George - TheSmartGuy;
*** Alyss - TheChick.
** Overall:
*** TheHero: Will.
*** TheLancer / TheBigGuy: Horace.
*** TheSmartGuy: Halt and Malcolm.
*** TheChick: Cassandra and Alyss.
*** TheSixthRanger: Gilan.
*** TeamPet: Tug, Abelard, Shadow and Ebony. Blaze for Gilan.
* GangOfBullies: The group standing behind the transformation of Horace's character.
* GenreShift: The series begins in classic fantasy style - young orphaned hero has to fight against an evil sorcerer controlling an army of monsters. However, in later books there's not a shred of the fantastic to be seen, indeed one story deals with a plot about an old man using primitive science to fake magic. Strangely, it works.
* GentleGiant: Trobar, and, to a slighter degree, Horace.
* TheGoodKing: Duncan.
* GRatedDrug: Warmweed. Seriously. It's very bad for you.
** For those who don't get it. Warmweed is a marijuana-like substance that fills your body with the sensation of warmth. Since it's only known to grow in Skandia, where it's Winter pretty much all year round, it is ''very'' easy to get addicted to. Once it happens, you gradually lose sense of who you were, forget those closest to you, etc., until you become an EmptyShell.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Most of the rangers, at least the ones mentioned in the books. [[spoiler:Will begins to show a bit of this trope, considering he gives a man into slavery in Skandia. Granted, [[KickTheSonOfABitch the man nearly disemboweled one of his dogs and is suspected for a large string of murders.]]]]
* HappilyMarried: [[spoiler:Halt and Lady Pauline]]. And by the eleventh book, [[spoiler:Horace and Evanlyn/Princess Cassandra, Will and Alyss.]]
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:Erak, and with him most of the Skandians.]]
** Horace, after some CharacterDevelopment by way of three [[JerkJock Jerk Jocks]] is Will's best friend by the end of Book One.
* HeroicWannabe: Will, at the beginning of his education.
* HesitationEqualsDishonesty: Will learns that this is a common view when he prepares to his travel as a bard.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Will and Horace.
* HypnotizeThePrincess: Happens to [[spoiler:Alyss]] in Book Five and Book Six.
* TheIdealist: Horace, for quite a long time, and sometimes to a degree of an IdiotHero.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: All the Rangers more or less, but especially Will.
** Possibly justified due to Ranger archery training, which could be considered a form of CharlesAtlasSuperpower. One of the many mantras of the Ranger Corps is ''"An archer practices until he gets it right. A Ranger practices until he never gets it wrong."
* ImprobableWeapon: The common kitchen wooden ladle is referred to as an unofficial staff of office for both Master Chubb and his apprentice, Jenny.
* ImprovisedWeapon: Jenny takes down three robbers with a roasting pan, a rolling pin, several knives and a leg of lamb.
* InTheHood: ("And then he drew back into the bushes and pulled his hood over his eyes, blending in so as to be invisible..." ''Every other damn chapter.'')
* InstantWakingSkills: The Rangers do this, but it is highly stressed that they aren't at full 'alertness' yet.
* InvisibilityCloak: Masking cloaks of the Rangers.
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: Araluen = England, Gallica = France, Celtica = Wales, Hibernia = Ireland, Picta = Scotland, Teutlandt = Germany, Arrida = North Africa (likely Tripoli), Skandia = Scandinavia, Nihon-Ja = Japan, Iberion = Spain, Toscana = Rome/Italy, the unnamed Temujai country, referred to as the Eastern Steppes = Mongolia ({{Genghis Khan}}'s name was Temujin), Indus (briefly mentioned in Book Ten) probably = India, etc. A map appears in later books that is reminiscent of a early map of the Old World. These all really could really be seen just as {{Fantasy Counterpart Culture}}s.
** The names are not complete fiction, however; ie, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallic Gallica = Gallic = An old name for the rough area of France]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuscany Toscana is Italian for Tuscany]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_people Nihon-Ja = Nihon-Jan = Nihonjin = Japanese people]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberian_Peninsula Iberion = Iberian = rough area of Spain]], etc.
** It may be safer to call Araluen a [[TheKingdom standard medieval fantasy kingdom]].
* KickTheDog: Literally. When John Buttle almost kills Shadow, we learn that he is an evil man.
* JerkJock: Horace, as Will thinks of him in the first book. [[spoiler:He's really more of a LovableJock after his CharacterDevelopment arc in the same book.]]
* KnightErrant: Subverted by the adventures of Halt and Horace in Gallica.
* Knighting: Horace at the end of Book Four.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Horace.
* LadyAndKnight: Horace and Cassandra.
* LeftJustifiedFantasyMap: Very much resembling medieval Europe, including HordesFromTheEast.
* LoveEpiphany: [[spoiler:Alyss and Will]]. Followed by LoveConfession.
* LowFantasy: With the exception of BlackAndWhiteMorality.
** There seems to be some magic, but ''very'' little of it is mentioned. Averted by [[BigBad Morgarath]] and his mind control over the Wargal hordes in the first book.
* MasterApprenticeChain: Among the Rangers.
* MagicRealism: The only supernatural elements in the series are Lord Morgarath's armies and the[[BuffySpeak ...spirit...thing]] that Will encounters in "Halt's Peril".
* ManInAKilt: A non-Fanservice-y example is General MacHaddish of the Scotti Army in Book 6. Generally, the male populace of the country of Picta.
* MeaningfulName: The surname Will is given at his Ranger ceremony is [[spoiler:Treaty, in honour of the peace treaty he negotiated with the Skandians, which would be a very important milestone in Araluan history.]]
* MedievalEuropeanFantasy: Even though the names have been changed, it's pretty easy to tell which real-life countries the book's countries are based on. See IstanbulNotConstantinople above.
* MentorArchetype: Halt. He has some features of [[EccentricMentor]] and [[TheChooserOfTheOne]].
* AMinorKidroduction: Will, Horace, and Alyss are introduced in this way at the beginning of the first volume.
* MismatchedEyes: On a ''dog'' no less.
* MoralDissonance: In Book One, Halt tells Will "If you had lied [about stealing some cakes from the castle kitchens], you never would have become my apprentice." This despite Halt doing several worse things over the course of the series, such as having forged copies of several world leaders' personal seals, including that of his own king. What makes lying about stealing the cakes so bad? [[FridgeLogic If Will had lied he would have been doing so to avoid taking responsibility for his actions, making him no better than a petty thief. Halt, meanwhile, had performed his deeds to better serve his country.]] Deceit isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can be if you're doing it for selfish reasons.
* MustHaveCaffeine: Will, Gilan, and to a lesser extent, Horace are all huge fans of coffee. Halt also loves coffee, but doesn't show it much, being TheStoic. With honey, no less.
** Depending on the book, that is. Sometimes Halt uses honey; other times he claims it's a "perfect way to ruin good coffee".
* NoArcInArchery: Subverted. The books describe how the Rangers and other archers have to angle their shots upward to account for gravity acting on the arrow.
* NoOntologicalInertia.
* OddFriendship: Horace and Will.
* OneRiotOneRanger: the series actually uses this phrase to describe the kingdom's group of elite archers, spies, and tacticians. It's not exactly wrong, considering this happens several times during the series.
* OnlyOne: Halt and his apprentices are perhaps the only Rangers to have ever accomplished anything in the history of Araluen.
** [[HeroOfAnotherStory Debatably]], the other Rangers may be just as accomplished, but their actions aren't exactly common knowledge, with a few exceptions. Though, it does seem that the main characters are always the ones to fix the most remarkable matters.
*** Considering the Rangers are basically ye olde secret agents, their accomplishments would mostly be under the radar anyway.
** To be fair, it's not that other rangers are the only ones, it's just that Halt and Crowley are considered the best and those who Halt trains are going to be pretty damn good. Not to mention that Gilan has the advantage of being the son of Araluen's battlemaster and has been training since birth. Will on the other hand for the most part at the beginning got really lucky and eventually grew into his role because of his history placing him in positions where he is given important duties, not to mention that his accomplishments are watched by the whole kingdom.
* ParentalSubstitute: Halt for Will.
* PathOfInspiration: The Outsiders in Book Eight.
* PetTheDog: Again, literally - Will's acquaintance with Shadow begins when he heals her injuries.
* PoisonIsEvil: The only instances of poison being used is by the antagonistic and ruthless Genovesan assassins.
* ThePowerOfLove: Saved Alyss from being hypnotized by Keren and giving off all the group's secrets.
* PowerTrio: Halt, Will, and Horace form one of these in the later books. As of Book Eight, this becomes official in-story.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Erak and his crew, as is the vogue for most Skandians.
* PuppetKing: Ferris.
* RedHerring: The entire plot to ''The Burning Bridge''.
* RedOniBlueOni: Cassandra and Alyss.
* RescueRomance: [[spoiler:Alyss and Will]].
* RightfulKingReturns: Subverted in Book Eight, see Fake King, above.
* RunningGag: A minor one where everyone (except Alyss) calls Will's mandola (a stringed instrument similar to a lute) a lute.
* SapientSteed / BondCreatures: Ranger horses can't speak ([[CaptainObvious because they're horses]]), but it has been shown several times that they have human-level intelligence. Will's horse, Tug, in particular, has mastered the art of "saying something with a look".
** Nope. This trope has aparently been grafted into canon in the new book of short stories, where all ranger horses are clearly shown to be [[DeadpanSnarker Deadpan Snarkers]] (although they just as clearly can only speak to their rider)
*** [[FridgeLogic ... And, presumably, each other]]
*** One of those same short stories reveals that it's all in their heads. [[FridgeLogic All fifty-plus of them]].
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: This is the entire point of the Rangers, though the author does try to make them as realistic as possible.
* SeeTheInvisible: One Ranger can usually see through the other's camouflage.
* ShorterMeansSmarter.
* ShroudedInMyth: The Rangers, of course.
** The foreword of Book Eleven, ''The Lost Stories'', does this literally, telling about a group of late-19th-century historians searching for clues about the existence of the fabled Ranger Corps.
* StoryArc: The series' arcs usually last for about two books.
* StudentAndMasterTeam: Will and Halt, but also Alyss and Lady Pauline.
* SupportingLeader: Halt. Suspiciously similar to Aragorn, including [[spoiler:being the rightful king of Clonmel]].
* TeachMeHowToFight: Cassandra asks Will to teach her how to shoot.
* TeamChef: While all Rangers learn how to cook satisfying meals while in the field, Will in particular has a certain knack for it.
--> '''Halt:''' Just because we spend long days travelling doesn't mean we have to survive on hardtack and water. A good meal does wonders for group morale.
* TellMeAboutMyFather: The conversation between Will and Halt near the beginning of the first volume. Surprisingly, it does not develop into an important plot element.
** ''The Lost Stories'' has Halt reveal that [[ChildrenAreInnocent he held parts back in Book One]] and tell Will [[MissingMom the rest of the story]].
* TheApprentice: Duh.
* TheHerosJourney
* TheThemeParkVersion: A distinct feature of the series is the idealism. The Middle Ages setting apparently has gender equality, no racism, and slavery can be abolished by asking nicely. To be fair, it's clearly intended to be a fun kids' adventure series, not the next ''ASongOfIceAndFire''.
** Though, how much of it is supposed to be so much like ancient Europe is debatable, beyond the loose [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Fantasy Counterpart Cultures]].
* ToBeAMaster: Every one of the young characters in his own profession: Will as a ranger, Horace as a knight, Alyss as a diplomat - and Cassandra as a ruler.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Cassandra and Alyss.
* TrialByCombat: Happens a few times over the course of the series, usually fought by [[KnightInShiningArmor Horace]].
* TwoGirlsAndAGuy: Alyss, Cassandra and Will.
* TurnInYourBadge: Happens to [[spoiler:Halt]] after his refusal to fulfill his order.
* UnbrokenVigil: Will and Horace at Halt's side, while Halt is [[TalkingInYourSleep talking in his sleep]].
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Arguably, between Will and Cassandra in the second volume.
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler:Alyss and Will]].
* VillainDecay: The [[strike:Mongols]] Temujai go from "Holy Shit, an army of soldiers where Halt came from!!" when hinted in the first book to mooks on horseback, after they are shot down by the platoon by previously weed-addicted peasants with a few weeks of training. Every last one of their efforts in Book Four are neatly countered before they can be used to any advantage, thanks to the power of Rangers, Luck, and Rangers.
** To be fair, they were expecting the [[strike:vikings]] Skandians to ZergRush them. They didn't expect to have to actually use strategy. Furthermore, they only lost because their General had decided that they'd lost too many men to go through with their original plan.
** Also, it wasn't so much training they'd gone through as "Okay, when Will says "shoot" shoot!" And they only learned four positions.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Will and Horace still argue a bit after becoming friends. Particularly Horace, who loves the fact that he can suddenly make winning points in the argument. Of course, they are a much more mild example than most.
* WeHaveReserves: this is basically how the [[spoiler: Temujai]] fight in a nutshell.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Will ''lives'' for Halt's approval. Of course, as [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] near the end of ''Erak's Ransom'', this sort of thing happens to nearly everyone who works with Halt.
** It is mentioned in later books that both Will and Halt see their relationship as essentially that of father and son.
** In Book Seven, it's shown that Will would literally rather die of thirst, having gotten hopelessly lost in the desert, than disappoint Halt.
-->''"[Will] wondered briefly if the map Selethen had given him had been false and remembered that thought occurring to him during the preceding day. But he dismissed it almost immediately. Selethen was an honorable man, he thought. No, the map was accurate. The mistake had been his and now he would never know what it had been. Halt would be disappointed, he thought--and perhaps that was the worst aspect of this situation. For five years, he had tried his best for the grizzled, unsmiling Ranger who had become like a father to him. All he ever sought was Halt's approval, no matter what anyone else in the world might think. A nod of appreciation or one of Halt's rare smiles was the greatest accolade he could imagine. Now, at this final hurdle, he had let his mentor down and he didn't know how or why it had happened. He didn't want to die knowing that Halt would be disappointed with him. He could bear the dying, he thought, but not the disappointment."''
* WorthyOpponent: A few of these, most notably Erak the ProudWarriorRaceGuy [[spoiler: who later becomes a close ally of the protagonists]], and Selethen, [[spoiler: who ends up the GracefulLoser.]]

----
<<|{{Literature}}|>>
[[redirect:Literature/RangersApprentice]]
15th Mar '13 2:44:15 PM TheSilentOne
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Added DiffLines:

* DeadpanSnarker: The Series thrives on this trope, practically all important characters are this
31st Jan '13 8:12:46 AM whenicaughtmyself
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** [[spoiler:Horace]], after some CharacterDevelopment by way of three [[JerkJock Jerk Jocks]] is one of Will's closest friends by the end of Book One.

to:

** [[spoiler:Horace]], Horace, after some CharacterDevelopment by way of three [[JerkJock Jerk Jocks]] is one of Will's closest friends best friend by the end of Book One.



* HeterosexualLifePartners: Will and Horace.



* ManInAKilt: A non-[[Fanservice]]-y example is General McHaddish of the Scotti Army in Book 6. Generally, the male populace of the country of Picta.

to:

* ManInAKilt: A non-[[Fanservice]]-y non-Fanservice-y example is General McHaddish MacHaddish of the Scotti Army in Book 6. Generally, the male populace of the country of Picta.
31st Jan '13 7:44:11 AM whenicaughtmyself
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* BowAndSwordInAccord: Gilan. He's the only Ranger trained in swordsmanship.



* CombatPragmatist: Will. Most of the Rangers, actually, considering the great majority of them carry little more than a bow, Saxe knife and a throwing knife.

to:

* CombatPragmatist: Will. Most of the Rangers, actually, considering the great majority of them carry little more than a bow, Saxe saxe knife and a throwing knife.


Added DiffLines:

* NoArcInArchery: Subverted. The books describe how the Rangers and other archers have to angle their shots upward to account for gravity acting on the arrow.
31st Jan '13 7:34:44 AM whenicaughtmyself
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* TheRuinsofGorlan
* TheBurningBridge
* TheIceboundLand
* TheBattleforSkandia
* TheSorcereroftheNorth
* TheSiegeofMacindaw
* EraksRansom
* TheKingsofClonmel
* HaltsPeril
* TheEmperorofNihon-Ja

to:

* TheRuinsofGorlan
{{The Ruins of Gorlan}}
* TheBurningBridge
{{The Burning Bridge}}
* TheIceboundLand
{{The Icebound Land}}
* TheBattleforSkandia
{{The Battle for Skandia}}
* TheSorcereroftheNorth
{{The Sorcerer of the North}}
* TheSiegeofMacindaw
{{The Siege of Macindaw}}
* EraksRansom
{{Eraks Ransom}}
* TheKingsofClonmel
{{The Kings of Clonmel}}
* HaltsPeril
{{Halts Peril}}
* TheEmperorofNihon-Ja
{{The Emperor of Nihon-Ja}}
31st Jan '13 7:25:29 AM whenicaughtmyself
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Added DiffLines:

* PoisonIsEvil: The only instances of poison being used is by the antagonistic and ruthless Genovesan assassins.
31st Jan '13 7:16:35 AM whenicaughtmyself
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* TheHero'sJourney

to:

* TheHero'sJourneyTheApprentice: Duh.
* TheHerosJourney
31st Jan '13 7:15:09 AM whenicaughtmyself
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Added DiffLines:

* TrialByCombat: Happens a few times over the course of the series, usually fought by [[KnightInShiningArmor Horace]].
31st Jan '13 7:00:42 AM whenicaughtmyself
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-> There were quite a few young ladies of the kingdom who felt it [a scar on his cheek] enhanced his appearance, rather than the opposite.

to:

-> --> There were quite a few young ladies of the kingdom who felt it [a scar on his cheek] enhanced his appearance, rather than the opposite.



-> Halt never ceased to be fascinated by the way women, young or old, big or small, could not resist the temptation to feed Horace.

to:

-> ---> Halt never ceased to be fascinated by the way women, young or old, big or small, could not resist the temptation to feed Horace.
31st Jan '13 6:59:36 AM whenicaughtmyself
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Added DiffLines:

-> Halt never ceased to be fascinated by the way women, young or old, big or small, could not resist the temptation to feed Horace.
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