Will has always wanted to go to Battle School because he believes his father died a warrior. Will lives in the ward with the other orphans of that fief, but nobody knows where he came from or who his family was. When the choosing day comes, he doesn’t get picked for Battle School, or anything else. He’s sure he’s destined for field work, but the Ranger, Halt, picks him to be a ranger’s apprentice. No one really knows what a ranger does, and a lot of stories circulate about them, including a couple that include black magic. Will soon learns that being a ranger is hard and dangerous work. Also, an enemy of the kingdom has come back. It’s up to the rangers to save the Araluen.
I loved the whole series. I finished the first book and immediately started the second. They are written in a way that not everything concludes at the end of each book. There is a separate plot for each book, but also an ongoing problem in the background. My favourite parts are Halt’s wit: “You know, Gilan, sarcasm isn’t the lowest form of wit. It is not even wit at all.”