Tim Roast's Reviews > The Outcasts

The Outcasts by John Flanagan
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Mar 06, 12

Read in February, 2012

If you think Vikings on boot camp then that's pretty much what this book is.

The book begins with a guide to sailing terms with definitions to terms such as starboard and yardarm. Well, personally I would have put this at the end. Anyone picking this up and reading from the beginning might plough through this technical bit before giving up because it is a little bit of a chore, or was for me at least, and that would be a real shame.

After that false start the book follows 16-year-old Hal, a thinker, who ends up in charge of a brotherband - brotherband teams being formed each year from the 16-year-olds in the town to compete against each other at a training camp with the purpose of training them for their futures as sea-faring warriors, such is the Skandian life. Unfortunately Hal ends up with the left-overs, the outcasts, the boys no-one else wanted in their team and he has reduced numbers too compared with the other two brotherbands. Nonetheless using Hal's ingenuity they perform well through the assessments.

Simultaneously their town Hallasholm is being targeted by pirates which leads on nicely to the tale that will be covered by the next book in the series.

The book has a bit of humour in it too which I enjoyed, especially during the night attack assessment.

The hardcover version is beautiful with a nice shiny, well-designed cover and a spine with a number 1 at the top. It's obviously been designed for the bookshelf so that you can get the other books in the series, line them up and complete the collection. I notice the next couple of books are coming out as paperbacks though so you may want to get the paperback version of this one too.
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