Ranger's Apprentice is the first volume in John Flanagan's series about 15 year old orphan Will, and his training to become a member of the elite Ranger Corps. In this book, Will not only must learn how to become an expert tracker and knife thrower, he must also conquer his stubbornness and learn to respect his elders. Highly Recommended.
I have read the first four of eight books and recommend each of them. The third installment, The Icebound Land is a particularly gripping tale of Will's capture by the enemy Skandians, his enslavement, first to the Skandians, then to the drug, warmweed, his recovery from addiction and eventual rescue.