Brotherband #1: The Outcastsby John Flanagan, PB $17.95
Having met the Skandians in the early stages of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, their viking ships and exceptional battle craft have been a recurring presence throughout John Flanagan’s much loved books. So much so that the lovable looters have now earned their own series; Brotherband.
When young Skandian boys turn sixteen, in order to learn the art of being a viking, they form a brotherband. The brotherbands are pitted against each other in a tense competition and are more than reminiscent of our own boy scouts, though perhaps with more battleaxes and horned helmets than is typical. It is in these groups that Skandians learn everything from seamanship and boatbuilding to war craft, weaponry and battle tactics.
When Hal and Stig turn sixteen it is their turn to learn the skills every Skandian worth his salt wants to master. But the brotherbands are about much more than just learning and as the friends form the Heron brotherband, they soon find themselves embroiled in petty power struggles and mind games, spending more time avoiding bullies and sabotage than concentrating on the true purpose of the brotherbands in the first place.
The Outcasts is part coming of age story and as the boys start down the road towards becoming men, in true John Flanagan style, trouble and adventure ensue!
For lovers of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, John Flanagan’s new series, Brotherband, is a welcome addition to our bookshelves. But the beauty of Brotherband is that though it is a spin-off from the Ranger’s Apprentice, it will bring a whole new raft (or perhaps viking ship) of fans to John Flanagan’s adventure packed writing. This is the kind of book your boys will actually want to read!