Review of The Outcasts by John Flanagan
Random House Nov 2011 9780399256196
“The Outcasts” by John Flanagan is the starting book to a series called “Brotherband” and is set in Viking times. The story revolves around a young boy named Hal, who although shows ingenuity, bravery and intelligence, is seen as an outcast by the citizensof his village. The only people who truly accept him are his best friend Stig, renowned for his short temper, and a cripple, who’s a recovering alcoholic with a tragic past.As we follow him on his path to becoming a warrior,we see him become the unwilling leader of a band of other misfits, ranging from a quick footed thief to an oversized, lumbering blind boy. Competing against far “superior” athletes, we see them band together in true determination and watch their friendship grow as they contend against those who deemed them unworthy.
Flanagan has created an easy read for virtually anyone to enjoy. It’s simple, endearing and genuinely fun with some fantastic characters that you can’t help but admire. Not only that but he manages to keep us in suspense during those dire moments where there is no knowing the outcome, which admittedly caused me a great deal of anxiety! Overall I can proudly state that I am eagerly awaiting the second book to this on-going series.