The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles #1)

by John Flanagan (Author)

Reading Level: 6th − 7th Grade
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.

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Publishers Weekly

First in the Brotherband Chronicles, a companion series to the bestselling Rangers Apprentice books, this nautical adventure from Flanagan takes place in the northern land of Skandia. The story concerns Hal Mikkelson, whos half Skandian and halfwell, it doesnt really matter. Hes 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 futureand, most importantly, their status as potential crewmembers and raiders on a wolfshipis dependent on how well they compete against other brotherbands, both individually and as a team. Although hes 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 Flanagans many fans, who are already invested in the world hes created. It features relatable though somewhat minimally developed characters, most of whom are clearly identified as either heroes or villains. Ages 10up. (Nov.)

Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission

School Library Journal

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.
John Flanagan
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.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication date
September 20, 2012
Brotherband Chronicles
BISAC categories
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV001000 - Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
Library of Congress categories
Seafaring life
Teenage boys
Imaginary wars and battles
Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award
Nominee 2014 - 2014
Young Reader's Choice Award
Nominee 2014 - 2014
Grand Canyon Reader Award
Nominee 2014 - 2014

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