Ranger’s Apprentice Books in Order: How to read John Flanagan’s series?

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Ranger’s Apprentice is a fantasy adventure series written by Australian author John Flanagan (the author of The Brotherband Chronicles series) and published between 2004 and 2011.

The story follows the adventures of Will, an orphan who is taken as an apprentice Ranger, as he strives to keep the Kingdom of Araluen safe from invaders, traitors, and threats. In his adventures, Will is joined on his adventures by his mentor Halt, and his best friend Horace. The universe of the Ranger’s Apprentice expands to a prequel series and a spin-off.

How to read the Ranger’s Apprentice Series in Order?

This is the reading order for the main Ranger’s Apprentice book series. There’s also a prequel series (see below) and the Brotherband spin-off. At the end of this article, you’ll find the Chronological Order for all the series.

For now, this is the Ranger’s Apprentice publication order:

  1. The Ruins of Gorlan – 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing.
  2. The Burning Bridge – On a special mission for the rangers, Will and his friend Horace, an apprentice knight, travel to a neighboring village and discover the unsettling truth: All the villagers have either been slain or captured. but why? Could it be that the evil lord Morgarath has finally devised a plan to bring his legions over the supposedly insurmountable pass?
  3. The Icebound Land – Kidnapped after the fierce battle with Lord Morgarath, Will and Evanlyn are bound for Skandia as captives aboard a fearsome wolfship. Halt has sworn to rescue Will, and he will do anything to keep his promise–even defy his King.
  1. The Battle for Skandia – Still far from home after escaping slavery in the icebound land of Skandia, young Will and Evanlyn’s plans to return to Araluen are spoiled when Evanlyn is taken captive. Though still weak, Will employs his Ranger training to locate his friend but soon finds himself fatally outnumbered.
  2. The Sorcerer in the North – Several years have passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, first met, and Will is finally a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief to look after. The fief seems sleepy, until Lord Syron, master of a castle far in the north, is struck down by a mysterious illness. Joined by his friend Alyss, Will is suddenly thrown headfirst into an extraordinary adventure.
  3. The Siege of Macindaw – The kingdom is in danger. Renegade knight Sir Keren has succeeded in overtaking Castle Macindaw and is now conspiring with the Scotti. The fate of Araluen rests in the hands of two young adventurers: the Ranger Will and his warrior friend, Horace.
  1. Erak’s Ransom – In the wake of Araluen’s uneasy truce with the raiding Skandians comes word that the Skandian leader has been captured by a dangerous desert tribe. The Rangers – and Will – are sent to free him. But the desert is like nothing these warriors have seen before.
  2. The Kings of Clonmel – When a cult springs up in neighboring Clonmel, promising to quell the recent attacks by lawless marauders, people flock from all over to offer gold in exchange for protection. But Halt knows they have a less than charitable agenda. Secrets will be unveiled and battles fought to the death as Will and Horace help Halt in ridding the land of a dangerous enemy.
  3. Halt’s Peril – The renegade outlaw group known as the Outsiders has journeyed from kingdom to kingdom, conning the innocent out of their few valuables. Will and Halt are ambushed by the cult’s deadly assassins when Halt is pierced by a poisoned arrow. Now, Will must travel day and night in search of the one person with the power to cure Halt.
  1. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja – When Horace travels to the exotic land of Nihon- Ja, it isn’t long before he finds himself pulled into a battle that is not his. A kingdom teeters on the edge of chaos when the Nihon-Ja emperor is forcibly overthrown, and only Horace, Will, and his Araluen companions can restore the emperor to the throne.
  2. The Lost Stories – A collection of short stories dealing with the fate or the origin of some of the most popular characters and storylines from Ranger’s Apprentice.
  3. The Royal Ranger – Will is facing a tragic battle that has left him grim and alone. To add to his problems, the time has come to take on an apprentice of his own, and it’s the last person he ever would have expected. Fighting his personal demons, Will has to win the trust and respect of his difficult new companion-a task that at times seems almost impossible…
  1. The Red Fox Clan – After passing her third-year assessment as a ranger’s apprentice, Maddie is called home to Castle Araluen. Forced to keep her ranger training a secret, Maddie feels trapped by the monotony of castle life and longs to find a way out. But there are whisperings of a new threat to the kingdom. The mysterious Red Fox Clan has threatened Castle Araluen.
  2. Duel at Araluen – King Duncan and Princess Cassandra are trapped in the south tower of Castle Araluen and under near-constant attack from the Red Fox Clan. Sir Horace and Ranger Commandant Gilan are holed up in an old hill fort, surrounded by the enemy. And Ranger’s apprentice Maddie is the only one who can save them all.
  3. The Missing Prince – Will Treaty and his apprentice, Maddie have been urgently summoned to Castle Araluen. When they arrive they learn a shocking truth: the Prince of Gallica is missing–and the King of Gallica has asked for help. All reports suggest that the young prince has been taken prisoner by the dangerous and powerful Baron Joubert de Lassigny. King Duncan knows that sending troops to Gallica to rescue the prince could start a war, as could openly help Gallica resolve internal convicts. But there’s another way to save the prince: the Ranger Corps.
  1. Escape from Falaise – Will and Maddie are imprisoned at Chateau des Falaises. Baron Lassigny is scheming to recruit them as spies for hire, but Maddie raises the stakes when she challenges Lassigny’s garrison commander to a duel on horseback. Will is horrified – especially when he realizes the treacherous baron won’t fight fair.
  2. Arazan’s Wolves – Will and Maddie are sent to neighboring kingdom Celtica to investigate reports of terrifying direwolves – an ancient species thought to be extinct. What they discover is even more of a threat – a sorceress who has enslaved direwolves and Wargals to her will and is building an army of creatures both living and supernatural.

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years in Order

As you may have guessed with the help of a title like this one, “The Early Years” is a prequel to the Ranger’s Apprentice series. More precisely, the series follows Halt and Crowley and is preceded by the short story “The Hibernian” in the book The Lost Stories, but is definitively set before ‘The Ruins of Gorlan‘.

  1. The Tournament at Gorlan – When Halt and Crowley discover that the ambitious Morgarath has been infiltrating the Rangers in order to corrupt the Corps, the young Rangers travel north to find Prince Duncan, seeking a royal warrant to stop Morgarath before it is too late. By weakening the Rangers, the most powerful force in support of the King, Morgarath plans to steal the throne.
  2. The Battle at Hackham Heath – When the former Baron Morgarath escaped to avoid punishment for treason, an uneasy peace fell on Araluen. But Morgarath, now in hiding, is already planning his next move, recruiting an army of savage, overpowering beasts known as Wargals. Newly crowned King Duncan knows he must assemble his troops for battle.

Ranger’s Apprentice Books in Chronological Order:

Every short stories are in “The Lost Stories“.

  1. “The Hibernian” (short story)
  2. The Tournament at Gorlan
  3. The Battle at Hackham Heath
  4. “Death of a Hero” (short story)
  5. The Ruins of Gorlan
  6. The Burning Bridge
  7. The Icebound Land
  8. “The Inkwell and the Dagger” (short story)
  9. The Battle for Skandia
  10. Erak’s Ransom
  11. The Sorcerer in the North
  12. The Siege of Macindaw
  13. The Kings of Clonmel
  14. Halt’s Peril
  15. The Outcasts (Brotherband)
  16. The Invaders (Brotherband)
  17. The Hunters (Brotherband)
  18. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
  19. “The Roamers” (short story)
  20. “Purple Prose” (short story)
  21. “Dinner for Five” (short story)
  22. “The Bridal Dance” (short story)
  23. “The Wolf” (short story)
  24. “And About Time, Too…” (short story)
  25. The Slaves of Socorro (Brotherband)
  26. Scorpion Mountain (Brotherband)
  27. The Ghostfaces (Brotherband)
  28. The Caldera
  29. The Royal Ranger: A New Beginning
  30. “The Beast from Another Time” (short story)
  31. The Red Fox Clan
  32. Duel at Araluen
  33. Return of the Temujai
  34. The stern chase
  35. The Missing Prince
  36. Escape from Falaise
  37. Arazan’s Wolves
  38. The Lost Stories: Forward & Afterward

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  1. Would you recommend reading the entire main series before the Early Years series? I received the two Early Years books as a gift and was wondering I should read all the other ones first? Thank you!

  2. Where does the, red fox clan book, fit chronologically in the long 30 book reading order?

    Thanks for any information!

    1. The Red Fox Clan fits in the stories between the royal ranger and the forward and afterward of the lost stories. So it would be number 30.

    1. The author realized he wanted to tell a story from before book 5 afterwards. In the first pages before the book really starts he explains that book 7 is a little back in time.

  3. I started this series to make sure it was appropriate reading for my teenage grand daughter but am hooked after the first book only have the first five in paperback im an avid reader of all fantasy both adult and young adult with a private library that consists of hundreds of books from forgotten realms to the rangers apprentice and so many I cant name them all lol even a few autographed sets I would recommend so many authers and series to anyone

    1. Please tell me some. I am 11 years old and mad for fantasy. I read young adult books. Do you have any recommendations? Especially for mythology ifyou know any. Btw, I have read Rick Riordan and Rick Riordan Presents books so any other mythology books?

    2. I imagine you would enjoy reading the “Adventures wanted” sieries by M.L. Forman and also Fablehaven by Branden Mull. My Husband, Daughter (10) and I (along with all 9 of my sibblings and nephew (11) ) loved these books as well.

    3. A few series I loved when I was about 11 was the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage, the first book is Magyk, and the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott, the first book is the Alchemist.

    4. I suppose you’re about 14 now. But if you’re still into reading and fantasy, I have a few suggestions. The Inheritance cycle bye Christopher Paolini is pretty good. Other good fantasy series I read when I was younger include The Annals of Drakis by Tracy Hickman and the Five Kingdoms by Branden Mull.

      And of course Rangers Apprentice if you haven’t read it yet.

    5. Inheritance cycle is good! Just not as good as Rangers Apprentice though in my opinion…

  4. I always Return of the Temujai came after duel at Aurlen, because it made sense. however, whem i Was rereading the red fox clan i read an exchange between maddie and Hal where Hal mentions that the Temujai had never forgave them for takeing their leader captive, just like they do in return of the temujai. in battle for Skandia we see no indication that the leader was captured soo what else could Hal be talking about? so I think its possible that Return of the Temujai is before the red fox clan.
    im not sure though

    1. Return of the Temujai is before Red Fox Clan. In Return of the Temujai the Scandins only had 100 archers. In Red Fox Clan Hal said that Erak would like to increase the number of archers. Which was set at 100 since the Battle for Skandia. Also in Red Fox Clan Hal mentioned the event around the end of Return of the Temujai.

  5. “The Caldera” has a short story at the end of it that takes place about 2 years into Maddie’s apprenticeship with Will. That should have been included in the timeline.

  6. Thank you Casey McMasters for your message. I have just added the short story “The Beast from Another Time” in the chronological order. If you think the placement is not good, tell me! And, I’ve also added the book Escape from the Falaise, the new installement in the series, coming in november 2021.

  7. In the brotherband chronicles scorpion mountain king Duncan says that Horace is in Hibernia and I believe this would be during the kings of clommel ranger’s apprentice book

  8. In the chronological list why is the short story ‘ Death of a Hero’ listed after the two prequel books?
    Death of a hero, starts with Will on a tour of the villages and yet when I start with reading ‘The Hibernian’ then the two prequel books as recommended, Will has not even come into the story yet.

    1. In ‘Death of a Hero’, Will’s mentor, Halt, tells him a tale of his parents from immediately after The Battle of Hackham Heath. That’s why the story is placed at this stage in the chronological order.

    2. I still think that would come much later in the telling, as in somewhere after Will becomes a full apprentice.
      Anyway it’s just a story 😊

  9. Finally coming back to the series in 2022 and I’m amazed that there are still new books being made. Finished the main series and realized there are wayyy more books now and I love it. Reading the prequel after, then the sequel, and then probably the brotherband series. Thanks John for reigniting my love of reading again

  10. I just got the first two books in paperback, found them in pristine condition at goodwill and they looked interesting, now i’ve officially added them to me wishlist

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