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The Outcasts: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1 (The Brotherband Chronicles) Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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About the Author
Read an excerpt from John Flanagan's Brotherband Chronicles: The Outcasts [PDF].
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Top Customer Reviews
And he makes good on those hints with "The Brotherband Chronicles: The Outcasts," the first part of a new series about a "brotherband" of oddball teenagers whom nobody else wants. Flanagan really shows how he's grown as a writer in this book -- while it has lots of training sequences and competitions between the brotherbands, he weaves in a darker tale about very sneaky pirates.
Hal has never fit in with the other boys in Hallashom, due to his mother being an ex-slave from Araluen. So he isn't happy to be starting out the brotherband training that all Skandian boys go through.
He's especially concerned because the arrogant, cruel Tursgud -- who particularly hates Hal -- will be competing against him. Hal has gotten some training in fighting from the one-armed tramp Thorn, but it might not be enough to keep him safe. And on the day when the three brotherbands will be chosen, Hal finds himself the leader of one group -- a group of outcasts that nobody else wants.
However, Hal has ingenuity, charisma and a lot of guts, and his buddies have their own unique qualities -- hot-tempered Stig, half-blind but strong Ingvar, pickpocket Jesper, quarrelsome twins Wulf and Ulf, sharp-tongued Stefan and the quiet Edvin. And as the boys struggle through the training, a mysterious ship filled with Magyaran pirates is plotting to infiltrate Hallashom and steal its greatest treasure...
"The Brotherband Chronicles - The Outcasts" is a thoroughly solid beginning to John Flanagan's new series, especially since it builds on the world he began with in the Ranger's Apprentice series.Read more ›
Stig and Hal become fast friends. Stig is hotheaded, loyal, and natural athlete. Hal is innovative, meticulous, and a careful planner. Together, they make a strong team. They make friends with other boys. By the time that the boys are of age for the Brotherband training, they're excited and eager to prove themselves.
For Skanians, Brotherband training is a rite of passage and a chance to make a name for themselves. The year that Hal and Stig participate, there is an unusual number of boys. Instead of two teams, Erak agrees to create three teams. The last team is made up of the boys that we're selected by the other leaders - much like those last chosen during gym class but with much higher stakes. Stig is Hal's loyal lieutenant and Hal agrees to lead the group. It becomes clear through his carefully thought out decisions that Hal has both the mind and personality to lead by example. Though their group, the Herons, face groups with greater strength and skill, the competition teaches the boys the power of teamwork and loyalty.
In The Outcasts, John Flanagan gives us another set of heroes to root for and adventures to enjoy.Read more ›
First, I think his Ranger series was a very good one but I think it's run out of steam. Now that Will is a full fledged Ranger, the series has lost it's starting premise of a young Ranger earning his wings.
This new series (with another book coming very soon) is all about another young hero, this time a young Viking from Skandia. The author this time has put together a very interesting young band of "apprentices": the protagonist Hal, his best buddy, a thief, an average boy, a pair of twins, a myopic giant, etc. The band of young brothers is put through a grueling test for them to earn their wings, in this case copper bands, and Hal leads them off to adventure.
Overall, a very nicely written book and a great start to a new series. I see all the other reviewers game them 5 stars as well so far and I totally agree. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
I loved Flangan's Ranger Apprentice series so I approached this new one with both glee and a bit of trepidation. After reading the description of the book I was a bit worried that Flangan was recreating Will Treaty (the main character in the Ranger Apprentice series) just in a different nation. I mean Hal sounds a good bit like him--an outcast, an Araluen, smart and quick on his feet, a leader...but he's much more as well. He's an inventor always seeking to improve things, a shipbuilder, and a swordsman like his dad. And even though some of the characters, such as Steig, have some traits similar to other Ranger Apprentice characters they stand on their own. My worries were clearly unfounded as Flangan has once again crafted a fantastic tale of adventure and intrigue.
It's clear that Flangan has grown as a writer as this book jam packed with action, adventure, and humor--such as Erak's storeroom of treasure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Half-Araluen, half-Skandian, Hal Mikkelson has always been an outcast. He is smaller and darker than the boys his age and has a penchant for inventing. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Ax20
Good Story. Clean adventure story with good values. Hold your interest.Published 8 days ago by mmtoo
I am an adult reader of John's books. I think his secret, like J.K. Rowling and Terry Pratchett, is that he does not write down to readers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by EclecticJay