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The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles 1)

The Outcasts (Brotherband #1)The Outcasts by John Flanagan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t reviewed this when I read it ages ago – awards reading!
Who’d have thought that a bedtime story, created for his son, could lead John Flanagan to a second amazing series? The Ranger’s Apprentice series is a must read for any middle-school child. Robust characters, great plotting, fabulous adventures, and the Brotherband Chronicles continue the tradition.
The Outcasts creates a new story based around the Skandians, introduced to readers through Erak from the Ranger’s Apprentice series. Erak is now the Oberjal of Skandia, living in the small village of Hallasholm. But The Outcasts is not focused on Erak, rather, the main characters are a bunch of misfit boys, the outcasts of the title. Teenage boys in Skandia are expected to undertake Brotherband training to prepare them for a life of raiding and fighting on the ocean. No one wants to be in a team with the Outcasts – even them! So how do you get a group of loners to work together long enough to put up a tent, let alone have a chance at the title of champion brotherband?
Teamwork, heirarchy and leadership are all key themes in this, the first of the series. Flanagan is skilful at introducing the characters as part of the story, and, of course, the story rollicks along at a grand pace. Recommended reading.

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