By John FlanaganPhilomel, 2012. 429 pgs. Young Adult
Summary:In the second book of the Brotherband series, Hal and his crew, the Herons, have set out after the ruthless pirate Zavac, who stole the Skandians' treasured artifact, the Andomal. If they can get the artifact back, they may actually be able to redeem themselves and show their faces in Skandia again some day. While the boys have successfully completed their brotherband training, they are still young and need to learn how to work together, use their skills and ingenuity, and hope luck is on their side as they hunt down the pirates. However, things become even more complicated when the pirates take to land when they find out about a secret emerald mine, killing the villagers who stand in their way. The Herons and the villagers, and a few Skandians sent to help, must defeat the pirates or risk losing everything.
Review:The more I read of John Flanagan, the more I like him. I didn't always care about the details of the battles or the ship terms, but the book still moved really quickly, and you just can't help but love the characters, from smart inventor Will to gruff old seaman Thorn to loyal best friend Stig and so many other characters. I also liked the fact that we perhaps have a hint of romance a little sooner than we did in the Ranger's Apprentice series. Nothing actually happened in this book, but a female character, Lydia, was introduced and both Hal and Stig are drawn to her but also want to maintain their friendship. This is an easy recommendation--fans of adventure, humor, and general awesomeness should definitely check out this series.
5 stars. Clean read...you know, other than the fact that Thorn doesn't bathe that often ;)