Skip to main content

Brotherband Chronicles, Book 2: The Invaders

Review

Brotherband Chronicles, Book 2: The Invaders

Hal and the rest of the Herons reveled in their victory as the champions of the annual Brotherband competition in Skandia. This group of misfits pulled themselves together in order to beat some of the strongest and fiercest warriors of all the land, only to have it all come crashing down in front of them. As winners of the Brotherband competition, the Herons were left to guard the most sacred artifact in Skandia: the Andomal. And it was stolen right under their noses by the clever thief Zavac, the captain of the pirate ship Raven. Rather than face humiliation and essentially become outcasts in society, Hal and the rest of the Herons decide the only way to restore their former glory is to pursue Zavac and the Raven and recover the Andomal.

"The camaraderie among the Herons...is what makes the Brotherband Chronicles special in its own right. Of course, the epic sea battles, the cleverness and ingenuity of the Herons, and the unflinching desire to correct past mistakes only add to the winning formula that fans of Flanagan have come to appreciate."

Even though navigating the tricky ocean waters is in the Skandian blood, it becomes apparent that even if the Herons did catch Zavac, they would be grossly unprepared to fight. During a raging storm that would prevent any sort of pursuit, the Herons try to regain the form that had won them the competition. In addition to their training, Hal has plans to create a special weapon that just might prove to be the tipping point to win the upcoming battle.

The crew of the Raven has other plans, which involve getting their hands on something particularly shiny: emeralds. In a routine pirate invasion on the sea, Zavac stumbles upon the knowledge that a mine rich with emerald deposits is hidden in a local town of Limmat and instantly makes plans to invade. The invasion is practically over before it begins, and with firm control over Limmat’s defenses, Zavac instantly starts to extract as many emeralds as he can. Little does he know that Hal and the Herons are hot on his tail and will stop at nothing to recover the Andomal.

Without any real clue as to how to catch and overcome the Raven, the Herons make their way to Limmat, but happen to stumble upon a drifter at sea. Hal is as surprised as anyone else when they find out it’s a girl, Lydia, and a survivor of the Limmat invasion. Armed with her knowledge about the area and Hal’s secret weapon in tow, the Herons decide its time to try and fight. There’s just one little problem, though: the Herons are just a bunch of gangly misfit teenagers. Sure, they’re more coordinated and work together as a group better than they did before, but will that be enough to overthrow the deadly pirates?

In times of desperation, it is quite easy to try and forge your own way and figure things out for yourself. John Flanagan makes it quite clear that in order to achieve the impossible, you have to work together. The camaraderie among the Herons is even more prominent and endearing in this second installment of the companion series to the Ranger’s Apprentice books, and that is what makes the Brotherband Chronicles special in its own right. Of course, the epic sea battles, the cleverness and ingenuity of the Herons, and the unflinching desire to correct past mistakes only add to the winning formula that fans of Flanagan have come to appreciate.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on June 1, 2012

Brotherband Chronicles, Book 2: The Invaders
(Brotherband Chronicles #2)
by John Flanagan