Ranger’s Apprentice Book Order | 2 Ways to Read John Flanagan’s Books

There are two ways that you can approach the Ranger’s Apprentice book order. The first is in order of publication by series, and the second is in chronological order. We have organized all of the Ranger’s Apprentice books for you below in both ways, so you can determine which is the best way for you to read these medieval fantasy YA books.

Latest & Upcoming Ranger’s Apprentice Book

Arazan’s Wolves (September 5, 2023)
The Ambush at Sorato (October 15, 2024)

Who is John Flanagan?

John Flanagan is the author of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, which has expanded to include a prequel series, two spin-off sequel series, and many short stories since the first book was published in 2004.

Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia with dreams of always becoming an author. Before he accomplished that dream, however, Flanagan worked in advertising and TV as a copywriter. He was the head writer on the successful sitcom Hey Dad…! for the entirety of its run.

Ranger’s Apprentice began in the form of short stories to encourage his son Michael, then twelve years old, to enjoy reading. Those short stories evolved to become The Ruins of Gorlan, the first book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. The main character, Will, is based on Flanagan’s son at the time.

The main series has now concluded, but Flanagan continues to write the spin-off series Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger.

Flanagan currently lives in Manly with his wife Leonie. In addition to their son Michael, they have two daughters, Kitty and Penny, and four grandsons.

About the Ranger’s Apprentice Series

As mentioned, the Ranger’s Apprentice series is about a young boy named Will. At fifteen years old Will is small in stature for his age. The series takes place in a medieval fantasy setting and the books begin as Will becomes an apprentice Ranger.

Will had always been slightly fearful of Rangers, due in part to the mystique surrounding their duties. However, once discovering that their responsibility is to keep the land and its people safe, Will flourishes into his own as a Ranger. Very early on in the books he is taken under the wing of Halt; thus, becoming the Ranger’s apprentice.

The main series has 10 books with one collection of short stories and an additional short story published within the main timeline. Ranger’s Apprentice is a New York Times bestselling series that has sold more than five million copies in sixteen countries.

#1 Ranger’s Apprentice Book Order By Series

The first, and recommended, way you can read the Ranger’s Apprentice books is in order of publication by series. This means starting with the main series before reading the prequel series, then moving onto the spin-off sequels.

If this is your first time reading the series, this is the recommended introduction into the world of Araluen. This is also the way that most book fans experienced the series for the first time. Reading the books in this order will make the most sense, as well as allow you to get to know the characters and the world in the way John Flanagan first intended.

Ranger’s Apprentice Book Order: Main Series

  1. The Ruins of Gorlan (2004)
  2. The Burning Bridge (2005)
  3. The Icebound Land (2005)
  4. The Battle for Skandia / Oakleaf Bearers (2006)
  5. The Sorcerer of the North (2006)
  6. The Siege of Macindaw (2006)
  7. Erak’s Ransom (2007)
  8. The Kings of Clonmel (2008)
  9. Halt’s Peril (2009)
  10. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (2011)
  11. The Lost Stories (2011) (Short Story Collection)
  12. Death of a Hero (2012) (Short Story)

Ranger’s Apprentice Book Order: The Early Years

  1. The Tournament at Gorlan (2015)
  2. The Battle of Hackham Heath (2016)

Ranger’s Apprentice: Brotherband Chronicles

  1. The Outcasts (2011)
  2. The Invaders (2012)
  3. The Hunters (2012)
  4. Slaves of Socorro (2014)
  5. Scorpion Mountain (2014)
  6. The Ghostfaces (2016)
  7. The Caldera (2017)
  8. Return of the Temujai (2019)
  9. The Stern Chase (2022)

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger

  1. The Royal Ranger: A New Beginning (2013)
  2. The Red Fox Clan (2018)
  3. Duel at Araluen (2018)
  4. The Missing Prince (2020)
  5. Escape from Falaise (2021)
  6. Arazan’s Wolves (2023)
  7. The Ambush at Sorato (Expected: October 15, 2024)

#2 Ranger’s Apprentice Books in Chronological Order

But there is another way you can read the Ranger’s Apprentice books. However, reading the books in chronological order is really only recommended if you have already read the series and are quite familiar with the world. It would be a new way to experience the series.

It is important to note that we have broken out all of the short stories that are included in the short story collection: The Lost Stories. All of the short stories included below, with the exception of Death of a Hero, are available in that collection. Death of a Hero is available on its own in a digital edition.

  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 Outcasts (Chapter Two)
  6. The Ruins of Gorlan
  7. The Burning Bridge
  8. The Icebound Land
  9. The Battle for Skandia / Oakleaf Bearers
  10. The Outcasts
  11. The Inkwell and the Dagger (Short Story)
  12. Erak’s Ransom
  13. The Sorcerer in the North
  14. The Siege of Macindaw
  15. The Kings of Clonmel
  16. Halt’s Peril
  17. The Invaders
  18. The Hunters
  19. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
  20. The Roamers (Short Story)
  21. Purple Prose (Short Story)
  22. Dinner for Five (Short Story)
  23. The Bridal Dance (Short Story)
  24. And About Time, Too… (Short Story)
  25. The Slaves of Socorro
  26. Scorpion Mountain
  27. The Ghostfaces
  28. The Caldera
  29. The Wolf (Short Story)
  30. Return of the Temujai
  31. The Royal Ranger: A New Beginning
  32. The Beast from Another Time (Short Story)
  33. The Red Fox Clan
  34. Duel at Araluen
  35. The Missing Prince
  36. Escape from Falaise
  37. Arazan’s Wolves
  38. The Ambush at Sorato (October 15, 2024)
  39. The Lost Stories: Forward & Afterward

Is There a Ranger’s Apprentice Adaptation?

The rights to this series have been acquired, but it has been a rocky and bumpy road with no official release date in sight.

Ranger’s Apprentice was initially supposed to be adapted into a film written and directed by Paul Haggis. However, John Flanagan confirmed in 2020 that plans have shifted for the adaptation to be a streamed series covering the first two books instead. After multiple changes in production companies and questions regarding funding since the rights were first acquired in 2008, it appears that Dick Cook Studios and Warner Bros. will be filming the series.

Production was slated to begin in July 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, Flanagan confirmed filming was still a go; however, no further information has been released.

While the initial contract stipulated that Flanagan would have no creative control over the adaptation, his relationship with Haggis indicates he will be involved to some extent.

A Summary of the Ranger’s Apprentice Book Order

While there are many books set within this world, it is best to begin within the main Ranger’s Apprentice series. This series has 10 full-length novels, one collection of short stories, and one final short story. Continue reading to find out more about each of the works set within the initial Ranger’s Apprentice timeline.

The Ruins of Gorlan Ranger's Apprentice Book Order

1. The Ruins of Gorlan

They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, is 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.

The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied…

The Burning Bridge Ranger's Apprentice

2. The Burning Bridge

Bracing for a final clash with the evil warlord Morgarath, the Rangers rally the kingdom’s allies. Will, along with his friend Horace, now are special envoys to nearby Celtica. But the simple mission soon takes an unsettling turn — the Celticans have disappeared, their town abandoned.

But the scheming hand of Morgarath, it seems, has been far from idle. He has found a way to bring his legions over the once impassible eastern mountains and is planning to ambush the king’s army in a rout.

Now with help many miles away, Will and Horace are the only ones standing in the way of the dark lord’s plans. They have shown great skill and courage in their training, but how will they fare in the face of true evil?

The Icebound Land John Flanagan

3. The Icebound Land

Kidnapped after the fierce battle with Lord Morgarath, Will and Evanlyn head 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.

Expelled from the Rangers he has served so loyally, Will’s friend Horace joins Halt as he travels toward Skandia. On their way, they must constantly fight against freelance knights. But Horace knows a thing or two about combat.

Soon he begins to attract the attention of knights and warlords for miles around with his uncanny skill. Even so, will they be in time to rescue Will from a horrific life of slavery?

4. The Battle for Skandia

For Will and Evanlyn, freedom has never felt so fleeting.

Still far from their homeland after escaping slavery in the icebound land of Skandia, the Ranger’s apprentice and the princess’s plan to return to Araluen is spoiled when Evanlyn is taken captive by a Temujai warrior. Though still weakened by the warmweed’s toxic effects, Will employs his Ranger training to locate his friend, but an enemy scouting party has him fatally outnumbered.

Will is certain death is close at hand, until old friends make a daring, last-minute rescue. The reunion is cut short, however, when they make a horrifying discovery: Skandia’s borders have been breached by the entire Temujai army. And Araluen is next in their sights.

If two kingdoms are to be saved, then the unlikeliest of unions must be made. Will it hold long enough to vanquish a ruthless new enemy? Or will past tensions spell doom for all?

The Sorcerer of the North Ranger's Apprentice Book Order

5. The Sorcerer of the North

Time has passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, led the Araluens to victory against invaders. Now, Will is a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief to look after. The fief seems sleepy — boring, even — until the Skandians show up and Will has to deal with the threat.

Shortly thereafter, Will goes on a secret mission. Joined by his friend Alyss, Will is thrown headfirst into an extraordinary adventure full of fearful sorcery. They must determine who is trustworthy to the king and who is trying to take his throne.

Will and Alyss must battle growing hysteria, traitors, and above all, time. The king is fading, but when Alyss is kidnapped, Will must make a desperate choice between loyalty to his mission and loyalty to his friend.

The Siege of Macindaw Ranger's Apprentice

6. The Siege of Macindaw

The kingdom is in danger, because renegade knight Sir Keren has succeeded in overtaking Castle Macindaw and is now conspiring with the Scotti. Therefore, the fate of Araluen rests in the hands of two young adventurers: The Ranger Will and his warrior friend, Horace.

But for Will, the stakes are even higher. For inside the castle is someone he loves that he must save. And now the time has come for this onetime apprentice to grow up.

Erak’s Ransom John Flanagan

7. Erak’s Ransom

In the wake of Araluen’s uneasy truce with the raiding Skandians comes word that the Skandian leader has been taken by a dangerous desert tribe. So, the Rangers — and Will — must free him.

But the desert is like nothing these warriors have seen before. Strangers in a strange land, they are brutalized by sandstorms, beaten by the unrelenting heat, tricked by one tribe that plays by its own rules, and surprisingly befriended by another. Like a desert mirage, nothing is as it seems.

However, one thing is constant: The bravery of the Rangers.

The Kings of Clonmel John Flanagan

8. 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 is all too familiar with this particular group, and he 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.

Halt’s Peril Ranger's Apprentice Book Order

9. Halt’s Peril

The renegade outlaw group known as the Outsiders has journeyed from kingdom to kingdom, while conning the innocent out of their few valuables. Will and Halt, his mentor, are ambushed by the cult’s deadly assassins when Halt is pierced by a poisoned arrow. So now Will must travel day and night in search of the one person with the power to cure Halt: Malkallam the Sorcerer.

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja Ranger's Apprentice

10. 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 — but one he knows in his heart he must wage.

A kingdom teeters on the edge of chaos when the Nihon-Ja emperor, a defender of the common man, is forcibly overthrown, and only Horace, Will, and his Araluen companions can restore the emperor to the throne. Victory lies in the hands of an inexperienced group of fighters, and it’s anybody’s guess who will make the journey home to Araluen.

The Lost Stories John Flanagan

11. The Lost Stories

Unconfirmed accounts of a group of Araluen warriors — tales of adventure, battle, and triumph over evil — have spread for centuries throughout the known world. Most notable is a mysterious clan: The phantom warriors, the Rangers.

And two names in particular pass the lips of every storyteller: Halt, and his apprentice, Will. They and their comrades in arms traveled throughout the kingdom and beyond its borders, protecting those who needed it most. But, if true, these rumors can be only part of the story.

However, it is only now, centuries after these men and women walked the earth, do we have confirmation of their existence.

Final Thoughts

So, there are the two ways you can approach the Ranger’s Apprentice book order. We would recommend the first reading order if you’re brand new to this medieval fantasy series. We hope this article helped you learn more about all the books in this fantastic series and where to start your reading journey

Looking for more books in order?

Check out this article of the Chronicles of Narnia books in order.

9 thoughts on “Ranger’s Apprentice Book Order | 2 Ways to Read John Flanagan’s Books

  1. Thanks for these very useful lists. I am confused though, I have another book that doesn’t seem to be listed here, called Oakleaf Bearers – it is supposed to be the 4th book in the main series and yet I see it missing from a lot of lists and box sets! Any idea about that? Thank you! 🤗

    1. Oakleaf Bearers and The Battle for Skandia are the same book with different titles. The title used in this list is the US book title as I use the US Amazon site to keep all of my lists updated. Sometimes publishers change titles and covers between countries because something about the book the way the author planned it doesn’t resonate overseas, so they change them to be more appealing to their target audience. I couldn’t exactly tell you why the name was changed from Oakleaf Bearers to The Battle for Skandia for US release, though. Hope that helps!

  2. Thanks for this list. It’s been super helpful, but where does The Stern Chase fit in chronological order? You listed it as the last of the Brotherband Chronicles books, but it’s missing from the chronological list.

    1. The Flanagan Wiki puts The Stern Chase just before The Red Fox Clan. So might be safe to say between that and The Beast from Another Time. *shrug*

  3. Nice lists, but, having finished The Lost Stories just today, I think “The Wolf” actually comes chronologically after “And About Time, Too…” (I think “And About Time, Too…” was put last for emotional, not chronological, reasons). Here’s why:
    -In “The Wolf,” Will tells Bob that he’s had Tug for 15 years. Will gets Tug when he’s 15 (the orphans have their Choosing Day when they’re all 15, and he gets Tug relatively early that first year), so that makes Will 30 (or possibly 31) in that story.
    -Per the dates in the Flanagan Wiki (which I’m pretty sure are accurate – I haven’t gotten into any of the other series outside the main one, yet, so I can’t back this with details), Will is about 27 years older than Madelyn. Madelyn is newly conceived in “And About Time, Too…”, with her mother not yet showing. That means Will is probably 26 in that story, since it’s probably 7-ish months before her birth.
    -Also, if you read both stories back to back (I listened to “The Wolf” on both morning and afternoon commute and “And About Time, Too…” on the remainder of the afternoon commute, today), there are a few expositional points made in “The Wolf” that seem to me to be hints that “And About Time, Too…” has already happened.

    Ergo, “And About Time, Too…” happens four-ish years before “The Wolf.”

    1. We’ve made adjustments to our timeline based on your comment and some more thorough research into the issues you addressed. Thank you!

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