an absentee father

Brotherband, The Caldera by John Flanagan; 2017; $18.99; 414 pages; Philomel Books; New York, NY; 978-0-399-16358-6; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 12/28/19-12/31/19

Why did I read this?  Because I have really enjoyed this series and realized that I had missed some books by John Flanagan.

This was an exciting book that has an unexpected twist at the very beginning.  Stig, a member of the brotherband and first mate of the Heron, has his father return.  He had abandoned his wife and son many years ago and stolen from the community.  He has returned to ask the help of the brotherband to retrieve a kidnapped child.  As they fight pirates and make plans to rescue the child it seems that Stig’s father has changed and may be a new man.


What is with the title of the review?  Stig’s father abandoned his family when Stig was very young and now that Stig has reached manhood his father comes back into his life.

I love and hate cliffhangers

Ranger’s Apprentice, The Royal Ranger, The Red Fox Clan by John Flanagan; 2018; $18.99; 346 pages; Philomel Books, New York, NY; 978-1-5247-4138-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 1/21/19-1/23/19

Why did I read this?   Because I really enjoy reading the stories of John Flanagan.

This is the opposite end of the time spectrum from the last book I read.  In The Battle of Hackham Heath we were introduced to Will Treaty, now he is one of the senior Rangers in the Corp.  He is now training his own apprentice, Maddie.  What very people few know is that Maddie is actually the Princess Madelyn.  This gives the story an added layer as Maddie’s alter ego is able to gain intelligence as people think she is a typical spoiled Princess who is not very intelligent.  Their is a movement afoot who are trying to bring down the royal family.  Maddie is in an interesting predicament at the end of the story.  Her mother is trapped in a tower of her own castle while her father and most of the castle’s garrison are away and trapped in another fort in the far country. This story ends on a severe cliffhanger.


What is with the title of the review?  I like cliffhangers because they make me very interested in reading the next book, but I hate them because they don’t bring the story to a satisfactory conclusion.  The sequel is already out in Australia but won’t be published in the United States until May. However it looks like I may be getting it via China  a few months early.

Halt finds Will

Ranger’s Apprentice, The Early Years, The Battle of Hackham Heath by John Flannagan; 2016; $18.99; 346 pages; Philomel Books, New York, NY; 978-0-399-16362-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Rockwood; 1/18/19-1/21/19

Why did I read this? Because I have read most of the rest of the Ranger’s Apprentice series.  I missed two Ranger’s book and a Brotherband books, so I am catching up on the books.

The evil Baron has retreated to the mountains and enlisted some almost mindless man beasts to fight with him against King Duncan.  Halt goes up the mountain to find out what he can about the Baron’s plans and about the troops he is assembling.  Through an awesome battle and through some great reconnaissance Halt becomes the most respected Ranger in the kingdom.  This is another great story of the Kingdom of Araulen, Halt, Crowley and introduces us to Will Treaty.


What is with the title of the review?  The main character in the main Ranger’s Apprentice series is Will Treaty, and we get introduced briefly to him at the conclusion of this story.



Brotherband, The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan

Brotherband, The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan; 2016;$18.99; 383 pages; Philomel Books, New York, NY; 978-0-399-16357-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 7/8/16-7/11/16

Why did I read this?  Because I have read every other book that John Flanagan has written and look forward to each new book.

The latest adventure of Hal Mikkelson and the crew of the Heron finds them encountering a severe storm on their way home and being blown way off course.  After coming perilously close to dying on the open ocean from lack of food and water, they make landfall in a place that has water and food.  After a short time Lydia and Thorn find signs that there are other people about.   After an initial confrontation they come to an understanding and work together to fend off an attack from a marauding tribe who has been attacking them for years.  The crew of the Heron, become friends with those are helping and one even falls for a native maiden and help defeat the other tribe.  Each group teaches the other important lessons before the Heron and its crew sail for Skandia.

Grade A



Ingvar rising

Brotherband, Book 5, Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan; 2014; $18.99;451 pages; Philomel Books, New York, New York; 978-0-399-16356-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 10/31/15-11/3/15

The princess of Araulen has a contract out on her and as the duty ship the Heron and Ranger Gilan are called upon.  King Duncan tasks them with traveling to the headquarters of the cult of assassins who hold the contract.  On the way they encounter many obstacles before arriving at Scorpion Mountain.  Hal once again uses his mind to conquer the obstacles that confront the brotherband.  The assassins insists that they only way a contract can be terminated is by the death of the target, but Gilan comes up with another way to terminate it.  During the course of the story Hal comes up with a innovative way to make Ingvar an even more productive member of the crew.


Did I enjoy it?  Very much,  each of these books highlights various members of the crew and highlights how the mind is often mightier than the bicep.

What is with the title of the review?  Ingvar is a member of the Heron brotherband, who due to his nearsightedness has been relegated to the sidelines much of the time and only used sparingly.  Hal comes up with a way to make Ingvar an even more important member of the crew.