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The Outcasts
Cover of The Outcasts
The Outcasts
Brotherband Chronicles, Book 1
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From the author of the global phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice!They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice...
From the author of the global phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice!They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice...
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  • From the author of the global phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice!

    They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn't mean they don't have skills. And courage - which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing. John Flanagan, author of the international phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice, creates a new cast of characters to populate his world of Skandians and Araluens, a world millions of young readers around the world have come to know and admire. Full of seafaring adventures and epic battles, Book 1 of The Brotherband Chronicles is sure to thrill readers of Ranger's Apprentice while enticing a whole new generation just now discovering the books.

    Perfect for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone, Christopher Paolini's Eragon series, and George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter one Wolfwind emerged from the predawn sea mist like a wraith, slowly taking physical form.With her sail furled and the yardarm lowered to the deck, and propelled by only four of her oars, the wolfship glided slowly toward the beach. The four rowers wielded their oars carefully, raising them only a few centimeters from the water at the end of each stroke so that the noise of drops splashing back into the sea was kept to a minimum. They were Erak's most experienced oarsmen and they were used to the task of approaching an enemy coast stealthily.And during raiding season, all coasts were enemy coasts.Such was their skill that the loudest sound was the lap-lap-lap of small ripples along the wooden hull. In the bow, Svengal and two other crew members crouched fully armed, peering ahead to catch sight of the dim line where the water met the beach.The lack of surf might make their approach easier but a little extra noise would have been welcome, Svengal thought. Plus white water would have made the line of the beach easier to spot in the dimness. Then he saw the beach and held up his hand, fist clenched.Far astern, at the steering oar, Erak watched his second in command as he revealed five fingers, then four, then three as he measured off the distance to the sand."In oars."Erak spoke the words in a conversational tone, unlike the bellow he usually employed to pass orders. In the center section of the wolfship, his bosun, Mikkel, relayed the orders. The four oars lifted out of the water as one, rising quickly to the vertical so that any excess water would fall into the ship and not into the sea, where it would make more noise. A few seconds later, the prow of the ship grated softly against the sand. Erak felt the vibrations of the gentle contact with the shore through the deck beneath his feet.Svengal and his two companions vaulted over the bow, landing catlike on the wet sand. Two of them moved up the beach, fanning out to scan the country on either side, ready to give warning of any possible ambush. Svengal took the small beach anchor that another sailor lowered to him. He stepped twenty paces up the beach, strained against the anchor rope to bring it tight and drove the shovel-shaped fluke into the firm sand.Wolfwind, secured by the bow, slewed a little to one side under the pressure of the gentle breeze."Clear left!""Clear right!"The two men who had gone onshore called their reports now. There was no need for further stealth. Svengal checked his own area of responsibility, then added his report to theirs."Clear Ahead."On board, Erak nodded with satisfaction. He hadn't expected any sort of armed reception on the beach but it always paid to make sure. That was why he had been such a successful raider over the years—and why he had lost so few of his crewmen."All right," he said, lifting his shield from the bulwark and hefting it onto his left arm. "Let's go."He quickly strode the length of the wolfship to the bow, where a boarding ladder had been placed over the side. Shoving his heavy battleax through the leather sling on his belt, he climbed easily over the bulwark and down to the beach. His crewmen followed, forming up behind him. There was no need for orders. They had all done this before, many times.Svengal joined him."No sign of anyone here, chief," he reported.Erak grunted. "Neither should there be. They should all be busy at Alty Bosky."He pronounced the name in his usual way—careless of the finer points of Iberian pronunciation. The town in question was actually Alto Bosque, a relatively unimportant market town some ten kilometers to the south, built on the high, wooded hill from which it derived its name.The previous day,...

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books iamacow - This is an amazing book! Already read through the series 5 times. Highly recommended. If you like fighting books and books about training and stuff this is the book for you.
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 24, 2011
    First in the Brotherband Chronicles, a companion series to the bestselling Ranger’s Apprentice books, this nautical adventure from Flanagan takes place in the northern land of Skandia. The story concerns Hal Mikkelson, who’s half Skandian and half—well, it doesn’t really matter. He’s considered a half-breed, an “Araluen weasel,” which means that he has to work twice as hard as others to gain respect. Having turned 16, Hal must join a brotherband, a group of boys whose entire future—and, most importantly, their status as potential crewmembers and raiders on a wolfship—is dependent on how well they compete against other brotherbands, both individually and as a team. Although he’s brilliant, Hal is relegated to a group of castoffs and losers who look to him for leadership. Loosely modeled on Viking culture, the Skandians value courage, seamanship, and brute strength. This enjoyable, old-fashioned tale should have easy appeal for Flanagan’s many fans, who are already invested in the world he’s created. It features relatable though somewhat minimally developed characters, most of whom are clearly identified as either heroes or villains. Ages 10–up.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2012

    Gr 6 Up-Hal Mikkelson, 16, is appointed "skirl," or leader of his brotherband, eight seafaring Skandian boys left unchosen by their athletic and popular peers. Disadvantaged by Ingvar's impaired vision, Ulf and Wulf's constant bickering, Stefan's clowning, Jesper's thievery, and Stig's hot-headed impulses, the outcasts become Herons, after the wolfship Hal helped build and later purchased. Encamped to train and compete against much stronger 10-men teams, the Shark and Wolf brotherbands, the outnumbered Herons are bullied by childhood nemesis Tursgud, leader of the Sharks. Action scenes are plentiful as Hal enlists the hidden strengths of each team member to outsmart opponents in tactical competitions. Meanwhile, an unsavory pirate, Zavac, loiters in town, plotting to steal Hallasholm's Andomal, a precious piece of amber. When Erak the Oberjarl, a major character from the "The Ranger's Apprentice" series, entrusts the victorious Herons to sentry duty at the Andomal shrine, it is not surprising that Zavac makes his move. Hal's shame in failing to protect the town's treasure compels him to set sail after Zavac in an ending that is an obvious setup for another installment. Hal's mentor is Thorn, a one-armed, recovering alcoholic with a once-glorious past who promised his mortally wounded friend, Mikkel, that he would look after Hal and his mother. Well developed and vocabulary rich, with endearing new characters and a rousing adventure that assures new episodes, this book will delight Flanagan fans.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from November 15, 2011
    Grades 5-9 *Starred Review* Set in the Skandia, an alternate, medieval Scandinavia, the opening volume of the Brotherband Chronicles introduces Hal, who has always felt like an outsider but never more so than at the beginning of his warrior training. Two groups of 16-year-olds are chosen first by their leaders, while Hal's group consists of the eight misfits left over. Selected as their leader, he gradually grows into the role, taking advantage of their individual talents and compensating for their weaknesses. Just as they seem to gain the upper hand after grueling military training and intense competitions on land and at sea, a humiliating setback reminds Hal's brotherband of the training's purpose and sends them off to settle a score with a real-world enemy. In this offshoot of the popular Ranger's Apprentice series, Flanagan sets the stage for new adventures, peoples it with a large cast of well-developed characters, and tells a compelling coming-of-age story. Given the glossary of sailing terms that opens the book and Hal's pride in the boat he has helped build and design, readers can expect tales on the high seas. In addition, the new series offers a complex, believable world, a rich sense of camaraderie among thoroughly likable characters, and life-or-death challenges leavened with lighter moments. Once again, Flanagan delivers everything that made his first series so compelling and memorable.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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