Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan

Reviewed by L. Hanousek, January 2016

We’ve all heard of tournaments, but this one is different. Set around the Middle Ages, in a fictional kingdom called Araluen, a story begins. Called the Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan, this book is the prelude to a series already written, called the Ranger’s Apprentice. This book follows the adventures of Halt, a royal foreigner that didn’t want the throne to his country, so he trained as an Araluen Ranger. Crowley, a born Araluen and one of the few remaining Rangers that actually knows how to do his job, meets Halt. Both discover that they trained under legendary Ranger Pritchard, just at different times. They uncover a plot to overthrow the monarchy of Araluen, and have to rush to fulfill their duty to the King and his son, Prince Duncan. It all comes together in a climax at the jousting tournament at Gorlan.

The Tournament at Gorlan is a tremendous book that I would recommend to any adventure-lover of either gender. It is packed with action, suspense, great archery, and the story of how friends became friends before they were masters. If you read this and like it, just Google ‘Ranger’s Apprentice book series’ and read the other twelve books. Good reading!