By John Flanagan
Hal and his fellow Herons have returned home to Skandia after defeating the pirate captain Zavac and reclaiming Skandia’s most prized artifact, the Andomal. With their honor restored, the Herons turn to a new mission: tracking down an old rival turned bitter enemy. Tursgud—leader of the Shark Brotherband and Hal’s constant opponent—has turned from a bullying youth into a pirate and slave trader. After Tursgud captures twelve ARaluen villagers to sell as slaves, the Heron crew sails into action…with the help of one of Araluen’s finest Rangers!
Brotherband has been a fun read from John Flanagan, but it hasn’t gotten up to par with Ranger’s Apprentice for me…until this book. I loved this installment. Maybe it was just that in the previous 3 books I didn’t like the antagonist Zavac. But this just had more of the tone and pacing that I came to expect from Rangers Apprentice. Perhaps it also was the fact that I was familiar with the characters and Flanagan was able to pull more out of them because they were well established. Or maybe it was the fact that Gilan was a consistent character! Yay! When worlds collide eh? Loved seeing a familiar face (so to speak) and it was fun to see Gilan in a more prominent role than in Rangers. He was more of a secondary character and having him as the sole Ranger in this trip was great. I enjoyed the plot as well, saving the slaves from Araluen and having to play cloak and dagger with Hal and the Herons. This was a fantastic addition to the Brotherband series, the best so far, and I can’t wait to read the next book and see some more familiar faces!
I give it a 4 out of 5.