Review Blog

Jan 18 2013

The Hunters by John Flanagan

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Brotherband Book 3. Random House, 2012. ISBN 9781742750620.
Highly recommended for ages 10+. Continuing in his role as skirl, Hal has to lead the crew of the Heron in their quest to find the pirate, Zavac, and his ship the Raven. The aim of Hal's crew is to retrieve the Andomal and return it to the Oberjarl, thereby restoring its own good name. In doing so, they face many obstacles as not only are they travelling way behind the pirate, he creates multiple diversions and problems to slow their progress en route. Not everyone they meet proves to be trustworthy but, again, some useful alliances are formed.
As with the Ranger's Apprentice books, Flanagan has found an eager group of readers, keen to devour as many adventures as he can create. This initial trilogy needs to be read sequentially to enable the reader to develop an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the characters and the aspects which make them humorous and likeable in their own ways. Flanagan again uses similar themes throughout the series. Friendship, loyalty, persistence, team work, individuality and the acceptance of the skills and interests of others as well as pre-conceived notions about them are all themes which are considered in this book. The concept of one of the boys knitting had me falling about laughing (as did his crew mates) until Flanagan revealed the purpose for the inclusion of this hobby. These breaks with traditional stereotypes add to the enjoyment of the story and lighten the tension throughout. I continue to look forward to each new book Flanagan releases.
Jo Schenkel

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