“The Caldera” by John Flanagan is the sixth, and by far the best book in the Brotherband Chronicles series. The series is about a boy who grew up in Skandia, (Scandinavian area) but his mother was an Araluen (American) slave. So, he grew up under backlash about his dead father and Araluen mother. He was excluded from groups, an outcast, bullied by Tursgud, son of the Maktig (Supreme warrior). He went to Brotherband training with his best, and only friend, Stig. Brotherband Training is where Skandian boys train to be on a wolfship, or raiding ship. The crew they get in Brotherband training will serve them for the rest of their lives, and Hal (the main character) gets in with a bunch of outcasts. Hal is the only one with any leadership and navigating skills, so he is voted in as skirl, or leader, of the Brotherband. His adventures continue, and so do the books.
The sixth book is the most exciting of them all. Stig’s runaway father showed up in the middle of the night asking for help. There was a young emperor taken by pirates in the land where he was from, and if he was not back with his mother in six months, Olaf ( Stig’s dad) would be killed. Olaf was the captain of the palace guard and thus, he was held responsible for the kidnapping. Hal agreed, and the Herons set off on a quest, while Stig got to know his father. I will not tell you how the mission went, but I can tell you that breaking out of jail, an active volcano, and a lot of action were involved to make one heck of a story.
The Brotherband chronicles series is based off of the more popular Ranger’s Apprentice series, also by John Flanagan. This book was 385 pages long, and a great read for everyone aged 10 to 15. I think this because if you are younger than ten, you will not understand some of the terminology, and will probably not be as avid of a reader as necessary to be on the sixth book of a series with books in the late 300’s of pages. If you are older than 15, you will not be as interested in these books, and might not even read books at all, so you will not get as good of an experience as those aged 10-15. I LOVED this book, and all others before it. I have read the 12 book Ranger’s Apprentice series that Brotherband Chronicles is sequel to multiple times, and loved all of them. Mr. Flanagan even has a series about the time before the Ranger’s Apprentice series (two books called The Early Years). He is a great author, and I recommend you read his books.