Ranger’s Apprentice fans rejoice! Bestselling author John Flanagan is returning to the world of Ranger’s Apprentice with a new prequel series, Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years. It brings readers to a time before Will was an apprentice, and lays the groundwork for the epic battles that are brewing when Ranger’s Apprentice starts.
In the first book in this new series, The Tournament at Gorlan (in stores now), readers will discover the beginnings of one of the original series’ best characters — Will’s bristly, sarcastically funny mentor, Halt. Not yet a Ranger himself, young Halt bands together with Ranger Crowley to take on a scheming Baron who is out to dismantle the Ranger’s Corps, oust the current king, and take the throne for himself.
Earlier this week, I got the chance to chat with John Flanagan about his new series. So, scroll down to see what he had to say.
It’s set fifteen to twenty years before The Ruins of Gorlan (Book 1 in the Ranger’s Apprentice series) and it describes how Halt and Crowley first met, then revived the Ranger Corps. In the process, they came into conflict with Morgarath, who was trying to usurp the throne. Lots of action. Lots of humour. Lots of excitement.
Had you always planned on writing an origin story for Ranger’s Apprentice?
No. But over the past few years, I’ve been asked about how Halt and Crowley met and reformed the corps, and who their mentor was. Those questions gave me the idea. It’s been great developing the growing relationship between Halt and Crowley. They’re a great pair – Halt is dour and serious, Crowley is always joking and whistling.
The Tournament at Gorlan seems to come full circle with the first Ranger’s Apprentice book. What else can fans of that series look forward to?
Meeting a young King Duncan — a young Halt and Crowley of course. Meeting a dozen new rangers, who form the core of the new corps, if you like. And, most important, meeting Pritchard, a ranger who taught both Halt and Crowley their skills.
Will there be more book in this series?
At least another book, taking us up to the Battle of Hackham Heath, when Morgarath is defeated and driven back into the mountains. And maybe a third book, expanding on some of the stories that I’ve hinted at — the battle with a witch that’s mentioned in The Sorcerer in the North, the story of the giant Crowley defeated and chained to a millstone, and Halt’s mission to steal horses from the Temujai. Maybe three or four long short stories.
What’s the status with the next Brotherband book?
I’ve just delivered the sixth Brotherband book, set in a strange new land to the west that bears a strong resemblance to the USA. That should come out in mid-2016.