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The Outcasts: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1 Hardcover – November 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

John Flanagan is the award-winning author of Ranger's Apprentice series and its new spin-off series Brotherband. He lives in the beachside Sydney suburb of Manly. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. John began writing Ranger’s Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series and its spinoff, Brotherband Chronicles. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.
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Read an excerpt from John Flanagan's Brotherband Chronicles: The Outcasts [PDF].

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Series: Brotherband Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399256199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256196
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn't until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency he worked, however, that his talent was revealed. It turned out one of the company directors agreed with John's assessment of the executive, and happily agreed to train John in copywriting. After writing advertising copy for the next two decades, John teamed with an old friend to develop a television sitcom, Hey Dad!, which went on to air for eight years. John began writing Ranger's Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
John Flanagan ended his "Lost Stories" collection by hinting at a new hero we hadn't yet seen -- a half-Skandian, half-Araluen boy.

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.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Gaby at Starting Fresh blog VINE VOICE on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'd loved John Flanagan's Ranger Apprentice series and had high hopes for the first book in his new series, The Outcasts. This time, Flanagan tells the story of Skanians, a race and culture similar to the Vikings, through the point of view of Hal. Hal's father, Mikkel, was a renowned warrior who had traveled with Erak and was killed in battle while Hal was a very young child. Mikkel's best friend Thorn promises to look after Mikkel's son and wife. Hal grew up with his Araluen mother, always a bit of a stranger in his home. Until he somehow saves the life of Stig, another outsider of sorts.

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.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nothing. I loved this book. The characters,the plot, I can't wait for more. It is great for anyone 12 and older. I'm twenty and I have always loved these sort of books. Adventure,friendship, using your brains for something other than video games.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John B. Goode TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It is rare that an author can write another great series but it appears that John Flanagan hits another one out of the park!

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on November 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Hal doesn't really fit into the typical mold of a Skandian nor does he really fit in well anywhere for that matter since his mother is an ex-slave from Araluen. So when he comes of age and begins brotherband training he's a bit worried, especially about Tursgud who makes Hal's life miserable every chance he gets....and is bound to be one of the leaders of the brotherbands. So its with a just a wee bit of surprise and trepidation that Hal finds himself a leader of a brotherband, a brotherband of other outcasts. Like him. No one takes this brotherband seriously, yet each of the boys has their own unique talents and bit by bit they begin to show the others what they're really made of. Meanwhile a mysterious ship filled with Magyaran pirates has made landfall...what have they come for? And what role with Hal and his brotherband play?

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.
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The Outcasts: Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1
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