The Brother Band Chronicles by John Flanagan

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Swashbuckling adventure with mythical medieval Vikings? Sign me up.

The Brother Band Chronicles by John Flanagan. Philomel, since 2011.

  • Reading level: Age 12-15
  • Recommended for: From 12 years old

About the history of the Brotherband Chronicles

Hal Mikkelson is half Araluen and half Skandian. He has all been rejected.

In a society of Viking-like, stocky fighters like the Skandians, a thin type of inventor doesn't fit in of course. When Brotherband training for adults begins, Hal forms a team of similar outcasts: boys who each have something that differentiates them from mainstream Scandinavian society. Your "trainer"? Thorn, also an outcast, but an outcast with a long history as one of Skandia's most impressive warriors – before he lost his hand. As readers will expect, these outcasts form a brother band to beat all brother bands. But the first book only prepares the stage.

The following books show how Hal and his group (soon to join Lydia, a girl from another community) consistently defend the weak, outsmart the bad guys, and make friends that can't separate anything. Pirates, shameful villains, slave traders, cult leaders and more are defeated while Hal and his team work together against almost insurmountable odds.

Brotherband Chronicles: More than action

Like its companion series, The Ranger & # 39; s Apprentice Saga, The Brotherband Chronicles are fun adventure readings that offer solid images of heroism and friendship in the middle of the action. Flanagan emphasizes bravery, self-sacrifice, self-control and the importance of using the strengths of each individual. Remarkably, his boys and girls are different: the boys are naturally stronger because they are larger, but the girls are no less valuable. Lydia is a pretty keen shooter and becomes an indispensable part of the battle plan, even if she remains determinedly female.

Perhaps also noteworthy in light of our current national discussions, the different races and nationalities are definitely factors in these books when the boys travel to different countries. Both The Ranger & # 39; s Apprentice Saga and The Brotherband Chronicles speak actions and character louder than race or family history. Bad guys are bad guys because they're bad; Heroes are heroes because they defend the weak against the villains' wrongful acts. Different races form coalitions and the different strengths and insights each brings to the table form a stronger team in the end.

This series is more violent than The Ranger & # 39; s Apprentice, but that fits the stereotypical image of Vikings and pirates. The Skandians speak like seafarers, but their oaths are in the service of mythical gods like "Orlogs Bart!" They serve to offer more amusing characterization than to insult them.

The Brotherband Chronicles are perfect for young teenagers who are looking for a carefree summer reading. They should be available from your local library or should be easy to find. (Please note that at the time of this review I only read Book 5, so that I can no longer speak with the content afterwards. I have no reason to suspect a significant difference, but we always recommend readers to read critically! )

Overall rating: 4 (out of 5)

  • Worldview rating: 4
  • Artistic / literary evaluation: 4

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