BYWAYS: Rangers

Up the Mountain A

The newcomer had a neat beard and auburn hair clipped close to his head. His green tunic was notched at the bottom, and a sword hung at his side. Ganix perked up when he noticed the golden stars decorating the man’s cloak pin. “You’re a ranger!”

“True!” he replied with a bow. “Warner Robins, at your service.”

Rangers were sort of like knights. They upheld the laws of Liberty and helped people in need. The freckle-faced boy thrust out his hand and said, “Hi! I’m Ganix!”

—excerpted from Byways #4, Up the Mountain: A Ganix Johns Adventure

Rangers. Liberty’s law enforcement is given over to an order of brave and honorable folk known as rangers. While some are given permanent posts in cities and towns, many more are travelers. Liberty is a big place. They rove through their districts, lending aid to travelers and checking on remote outposts and colonies. Some serve as guides. Others investigate crimes or track down criminals. Those with magical talent are often sent into the Wilds, which are filled with strange and wonderful (and sometimes dangerous) creatures.

Vanek JohnsReaders learn early on in the series (Book #1: On Your Marks: The Adventure Begins) that Vanek Johns served as a ranger. In his younger years, he traveled throughout all of Liberty. Uncle Vanek’s many connections were a big help to Ian Johns when the time came to set up Liberty’s postal service.

How to recognize rangers:

  • Green Tunic – upon passing final exams, every ranger is given a deep green tunic with a distinctive notched hem. Hip-length and belted, its weight and sleeves vary depending on the region in which the ranger serves.
  • Sword – while some rangers learn to use other weapons, the sword is traditional. Every young person who wants to become a ranger begins with lessons in swordsmanship. Skill with the blade often determines whether a ranger will travel or be posted in a town or city.
  • Cloak Pin – the closest thing a ranger has to  a badge is a golden cloak pin, which is decorated with the Order of Rangers’ emblem—a circlet of thirteen stars.

Here are two of Hannah Christenson’s sketches for the interior illustrations in Byways #4, Up the Mountain, in which Ganix meets a ranger who’s passing through.


Rangers and rogue magicians. Stowaways and stalkers.
Local legends and travelers’ tales. Chasers and Changers.

There’s much to come in the Byways books, which are adventures for young readers. Which brother will you be cheering on?

Available Now!


Book #1 • On Your Marks: The Adventure Begins
••••• Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Book #2 • Aboard the Train: A Ewan Johns Adventure
••••• Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Book #3 • Over the Bridge: A Zane Johns Adventure
••••• Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Book #4 • Up the Mountain: A Ganix Johns Adventure
••••• Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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