Review Blog

Jun 18 2012

The Invaders by John Flanagan

cover image

Brotherband Book 2. Random House, 2012. ISBN: 978 1 74166 450 8.
Highly recommended for ages 10+. Following the conclusion of the first adventure of Hal and the Brotherband, in which Hal and the Herons were victorious in the Skandian competition and the subsequent loss of the priceless artefact, the Andomal, the Herons escape and endeavour to follow Zavac and the pirate ship the Raven to retrieve the bounty. When they find a safe anchorage, boredom sets in and the boys begin to fight amongst themselves. With a slight nudge from Thorn, Hal realises he has allowed the Herons to become lazy and lose the skills which they had learnt in training. Quickly, he recruits the ex-Maktig to take over the preparation of the team to enhance their battle skills.
When the inevitable reunion with Zavac occurs, not only have the Herons abilities greatly improved, Hal has completed yet another invention to help them with their sea battle. The town of Limmat, with its rich emerald mines, becomes the scene of a major battle between the pirates, the Herons and the townspeople. Thanks to the arrival of another Skandian ship, the battle becomes somewhat more evenly weighted and new friendships forged.
Flanagan writes with a modern voice, yet the ancient setting and characters seem totally engaging and acceptable. With the adult characters deferring to a young protagonist, the young reader would undoubtedly relate to the Heron team. Friendship, teamwork, creative problem solving, acceptance of differences and preconceptions are all themes which could be brought out in class if the book were to be used as a text for upper primary or lower secondary students. This is another enjoyable read which follows Flanagan's winning formula.
Jo Schenkel

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