Occasionally, just occasionally when reading, something really surprises you. This happened to me last night when reading The Ruins of Corlan the first in the 'Ranger's Apprentice' series by John Flanagan.
First of all I want to put it out there that I ALWAYS JUDGE A BOOK BY IT'S COVER! (This does not mean I necessarily judge the writing or the author, more often that not I have the urge to write to publishers about sacking truly terribly book jacket designers). The 'Ranger's Apprentice' series have awful covers - both the new print run and the old one have horrifically staged and computer generated versions of the characters.
Second of all in this case - rubbish cover aside - the book was great! Really a pleasure to read. I really hope that they continue to be successful and enter the imaginations and bookshelves of many, many children. Too be honest, it is nothing too mind-blowing-ly original but written very succinctly, well and ultimately about a relatable group of characters despite their living in a world very different from ours. So if you have someone in your life in mid-late primary school who likes series of books that are set in a predictable but still good quality fantasy world then give it ago. Or better yet read it yourself. You might be surprised!
Also the cover image here is from the first print run, with the latest release all the others are wrapped in something even more computer generated and sparkly. WHY?!