Three Lessons from the Ranger’s Apprentice Books

Since October I’ve been reading a book series called Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan.  He’s actually an Australian and theeleven-book series have become a world bestseller. Josh read them years ago, when John Flanagan was still writing the series, and Nomi picked them up earlier this year.  I’d been meaning to read them for a few years but had always had other books on the go.  Until that is, a friend who used to live up here came up to visit, and threw a Ranger’s Apprentice Party.  The pressure was on!  I only managed to read a few chapters of the first book before the party but I managed OK!

Anyway, since then, I’ve nearly finished five of the books and loved them.  Although they are very easy reading and wouldn’t want my entire reading repertoire to live at that standard, they’ve been fun and exciting stories.  And although they are my ‘recreational books’, they’ve prompted me to improve in three areas:

Excelling in [insert hobby or task here].  In Ranger’s Apprentice, the Rangers are all uncanny archers with beyond-belief accuracy.  For them to get brilliant at the bow and arrow though, they have to give it practice.  Lots and lots of practice!  Ever since I met Susan Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia, I’ve loved archery, so I perked up when I learnt about the Ranger’s skill.  I’d love to be able to shoot an arrow full stop, let alone as well as Will or Halt could.  Sadly, I haven’t had very many opportunities to unleash my archer ambitions yet, but I realised something else.  I mightn’t be a breath-taking shot, but I can practice to become a good seamstress.  A competent pianist.  I can work at becoming a decisive public speaker, a proficient writer, and a lightning-fast kitchen-cleaner.  Whatever it might be, I can be intentional about giving it 100% and working hard to get better at my jobs and hobbies.

Holding back my tongue.  Rangers like to hold all the cards.  Rangers have to be ingenious, witty and resourceful.  They keep their eyes and ears open and their mouths shut until just the right moment.  There is a fine line between showing prudence and biding time – like the Rangers were -, and being plain nosey and poking into other people’s business – like we often tend to be – but it has reminded me to pay attention to the Proverbs which are constantly warning us not to just say whatever comes to my mind and ‘pour forth knowledge’.  Solomon wrote that if ‘even a fool keeps his mouth shut he will be considered wise’, and Paul exhorted the Ephesians to ‘let no corrupt words come out of your mouths, but only that will benefit those who listen’.

Taking God’s word seriously.  This is kind of related to my second lesson.  What would happen if I read God’s word… and just obeyed it?  Sometimes we don’t listen to the Bible until we see it in action, and although there is nothing wrong with that (Paul wrote, ‘imitate me, like I imitate Christ’) we also need to step up, take responsibility and obey God’s word out of faith.

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What lessons have you learnt from the books you’ve read lately? 🙂

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13 thoughts on “Three Lessons from the Ranger’s Apprentice Books

    1. What books did you read? I’ve read book one, two, three, four, seven, five and onto book six (that’s the order I read them in… book seven is a ‘going back in time’ kind of book. I know I’ve read more than ‘nearly five’ that I mentioned above, but I wrote this post a week ago!)

      I’m not sure if I like them more than Wayne Thomas Batson’s books, but they are good and fun reading.

  1. Hi Jess!

    I have some friends who are insane about these books, and they finally got me to read the first book, Ruins of Gorlan. Yes, it was a fun read, but I was wondering if they sort of get better- does his writing style improve? What about the plot line? I sort of got a bit bored with the first book, not sure if I should get the second out at the library.

    Blessings,
    Meggie

    1. Hi Meggie,
      I actually quite liked the first book, but then again I don’t need lots of adrenalin to like a book! He does get wittier and more confident as the books progress. The plot lines are quite exciting, but some people have found book one and three a little slow in places.

      Nomi says: I found book three rather slow for reasons I will not explain as it will no doubt spill some beans. I can’t remember book one being slow at all – but I suck adventure and adrenaline from anywhere I can like a thirsty mozzie. 😉

      OK, it’s back to Jess again – I think I’ve heard you say you’ve read The Door Within books – I’m not sure I like the Ranger Apprentice books as much as The Door Within books but I’m still enjoying the Ranger books and I think John Flanagan has done a good job in developing his characters throughout the books.

      I hope this helps!
      Jess

      1. (heehee, I just had to add that little bit in there while Jess was momentarily entertained on the phone and not in the room… Oh, the joy of being a little sister. 😈

        1. Hehehehe… Yes, I do that to my Mum all the time, Naomi! 😀

          Thanks, I think I will give this series another go and stop being so critical to them. 🙂

          Blessings,
          Meggie

          P.S. Lucky I dont have any of my little sisters anywhere nearby right now!

          1. LOL!

            Don’t worry about being critical – maybe you just won’t like these books. That happens to me with movies sometime – there are some movies I just don’t like. And that’s OK. Being critical can be a good thing sometimes Meggie!

  2. I haven’t read all of the Ranger’s Apprentice series yet, but I need to! These are great lessons to be learned!

    Right now I’m reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens for a British Literature class I’m a part of. The main lessons I have been learning so far is to never take anything to excess. This is NOT a contradictory statement to the one you made about giving 100% because I agree with that 100%! Anytime anyone becomes fanatic about something (INSTEAD of just trying their best), it, and they, get over the top. Many of Dickens’ characters are this way, one is a religious nut with the wrong “religion”, several are super-proud of themselves with no real reason, others are fanatic about pleasing society which means they have no personal lives at all!

    It’s been a great read, with lots of things to learn. Your question is perfect, because it makes people think more about what they read. Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hi Eyebright!
      Thanks for your comment – I get what you are saying too and how it balances with my point.

      Have you ever read Great Expectations? I’ve read the first page and it really whet my appetite but I have been looking for another opinion. Josh is really enjoying A Tale of Two Cities at the moment. Looks like our family is about to become Dickens fans!

      1. I haven’t read Great Expectations, but I have listened to it! I loved it! It was my first Dickens book ever, and it was amazing to see how the plot comes together in the end. I think Dickens is a plot genius! Unfortunately I can’t get into A Tale of Two Cities, but other than that, Dickens is great.

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