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From the inside jacket:  As champions of the Brotherband competition, Hal and the rest of the Herons were given one simple assignment: safeguard the Skandians’ most sacred artifact, the Andomal.

They failed.

To redeem themselves, the Herons must rack down the thief Zavac and his pirate crew and recover the Andomal.  But that means traversing stormy seas, surviving a bitter winter, and battling a group of deadly bandits willing to protect their prize at all costs.

In the second chapter of John Flanagan’s companion to the blockbuster series Ranger’s Apprentice, the Herons learn that even Brotherband training and the help of Skandia’s greatest warrior may not be enough to ensure that they return home with the Andomal – or their lives.

Ben:  Truly exciting, adventurous, I read for three hours straight and loved it.  If you ignore this book, you are a sad person.  I really liked the fact that there were a lot of sailing terms. You could almost be there in the action.  It was easy to follow and not confusing.

Mom:  I like to read John Flanagan for a couple of reasons.  First, there is little in the way of objectionable material.  No swearwords, no sexual suggestiveness, no moral relativism, just a good clean adventure.  There is some violence, because this is a book about battles and fighting.  But the good guys are really good and the bad guys are really bad and deserve what they get.

That brings me to the second reason I enjoyed this book.  Mr. Flanagan’s main characters are good people who are trying to do good things.  They have flaws and faults, but they are  constantly trying to improve and change and they are aware of how their actions affect those around them.  I think most teenage boys connect to that and would like to sail with them.  If you just want to escape for a few hours, this book (and all of the Ranger’s Apprentice series and the first Brotherband Chronicles) will do the trick.

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