So I was giving this series another chance. I had hoped that the momentum of the first would have corrected most of the issues I had with it…..but it didn’t. All too soon it became apparent that we were picking up right where it was left and I just can’t be bothered to deal with it.
Finally got around to starting this series and I’m surprisingly disappointed. You’re going to need to read this too and tell me if I’m wrong or crazy……or both.
Title: The Outcasts
Series: Brotherband Chronicles; Book 1
Author: John Flanagan
Audience: Young Adult
ROTS Setting: UU, Medieval, No Higher Magic
Synopsis: Hal is undertaking brotherband training. He’s always had a knack for inventing things but being half Araluen he’s always been a bit of a loner. If his brotherband can win he might finally be accepted.
Recommendation: Don’t know if I’ll read the next one.
This post goes along with Episode 1 of the ROTS Podcast. I am just going to be going over some of the same ideas and opinions we talked about.
Before we start talking about the actual books and series let me just say that John Flanagan (on the left) is a great guy but he has a similar name to Joe Flanigan (on the right) the actor who plays John Sheppard in Stargate Atlantis. Robert, please note the resemblance.
Below is the beautiful list Robert made/found of which countries correspond to their various real world counterparts. Our biggest argument is simply that they are all too similar and all seem to live in isolation. Araluen which pretended to be England seems to simply be lacking any kind of marine war power or trade power. That is until the main characters arrive. In many cased the culture and identity of the nations seems to have also been over simplified.
- Skandia=Scandinavian Countries
- Arrida=Egypt or other countries near the Arabian Peninsula
- Toscana=Merged Roman/Italian
- Eastern Steppes/Temujai=Mongolian Empire
Magic…. I have only have only big complaint about the magic in John Flanagan’s universe. Where is the rest of it? Honestly the magic was so underdeveloped that it might as well as have been nonexistent. The idea of telepathy and mind control is introduced and used (along with the Kalkara and Wargals)in the first 2 or 3 books and then? Poof. Never hear of it again. Unless you count the Rangers. Who are basically magic with all their abilities of “unseen movement” and archery. Some of the other things COULD be counted as magic but that is mostly because they are unexplained or inexpiable. Please see the ranger ponies and their breeding program for details. Also the saxe knife is too fictitious to not be magical. Not that they aren’t real, historical weapons just they don’t behave like reality.
Let me just wrap up with the characters like a ranger against many foes. Rapid fire!
- Will. Because of the jumps in timeline his development doesn’t flow well.
- Alyss. The OTHER girl who ends up getting the guy.
- Halt. A man larger than his myth until Pauline then degenerated into feelings, nothing but feelings.
- Horace, so under utilized its not even funny.
- Cassandra (Evanlyn). Why did she have a crush on Will and then keep crushing on him and there be no real love triangle.
- Gilan, the coolest character you never get to see the full potential of.
I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of a few of the things I felt robbed by in the Rangers Apprentice. Sadly as I am writing this you will never know what Robert has to say about it. He does say a few words in the podcast but what ever.
Ok Game of Thrones isn’t really my thing, I don’t usually enjoy that much graphic content. At least from what I’ve seen of the TV series. But A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms seems to be the kinda thing I might like. Even if I don’t read the books, you can still review the A Song of Fire and Ice Series.
Based on your review I went ahead and read the Ruins of Gorlan of the Ranger’s Apprentice Series. I started reading about 2 weeks ago and now I’m done book 12 if that gives you any hints of how I have liked it. But now onto the actual reply.
Please note I have added a SPOILERS disclaimer, in order to provide a more in depth look at the book. If you have not read this book I would recommend you do so before continuing on.