My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This second instalment in the Brotherband series just makes me hungry for the next book, The Hunters!
John Flanagan has an easy, descriptive, exciting style that makes it very easy for the reader to be transported to the land of Skandia and the seafaring crew of the Heron. Hal Mikkelson and his crew of outcasts are hot on the trail of the pirate ship Raven, after the pirates stole the precious Andomal – an important relic from their village of Hallasholm. Hal and his Brotherband are seeking redemption after allowing the theft to happen under their noses. Accompanied by the crusty former warrior, Thorn, the crew find refuge during a storm cycle in a sheltered bay and start the process of getting themselves prepared for the conflict to come. This allows us to get to know the characters more, and particularly for Thorn to be fleshed out a bit more. He is a great character, with depths that Flanagan has only begun to plumb. Hal and Stig continue to prove themselves a great team, and the large, short-sighted and gentle-natured Ingvar finally gets to shine – thanks to a weapon innovation of Hal’s (The Mangler). Old foes are reunited and there is an epic battle for those who like such stuff. Me, I prefer the character interaction and the introduction of a new character, Lydia, into the mix has added some spice. Will the Herons get the chance to avenge themselves against the Raven? What will happen when Svengar and the crew of Wolfwind catch up to the outcast Herons? Will Lydia change the dynamic of the Heron crew for better or worse? As usual no spoilers here, but I will say fans of the first book will not be disappointed. I throughly enjoyed The Invaders and I can’t wait to start The Hunters (as soon as it is returned to the Library!). A great series going from strength to strength.