This book was another one I would look at in the store - pick it up, feel it's cover, smell the pages, then put down again. Just wasn't sure if I wanted to read it or if it would be worth the effort. Finally, with my Better Half standing next to me "That book looks AWESOME, I would totally read it," I purchased a copy to read on an upcoming long drive. What I got in return was my Better Half reading it in the passenger seat, all but hissing at me when I would quietly ask if he wanted to take over driving for a little bit.
Bottom line: These books are a fantastic boys adventure/fantasy series.
This first one does a fantastic job of setting up the world - characters, location, skills, enemies, adventure, impending conflict. It was nice to see the main character not get what he wants right off the bat (to be a warrior). Instead, after a fun scene, he is chosen to be a Ranger with the ever-elusive, super wise Halt. The action scenes are easy to read without getting too boring - as action scenes often drag on too long and are too bogged down with description. The monsters are frightening, the clues as to who this feared enemy Morgarath are welcomed.
And though there is hardly a female presence, The Ruins of Gorlan will leave both male and female readers wanting to put on the cloak and join the Rangers.