Title: Scorpion Mountain (Brotherband, #5)
Author: John Flanagan
Summary: From John Flanagan, author of the worldwide bestselling Ranger’s Apprentice — an all-new adventure featuring the Brotherband crew and one of our favorite Rangers!
Hal, his Brotherband crew, and the Ranger Gilan have freed the twelve Araluens sold into slavery. Returning to Araluen, Gilan is given a new mission by King Duncan: protect his daughter’s life. Princess Cassandra has survived one attempt on her life already, and now whispers of a second attempt have reached the kingdom. A deadly sect known as the Scorpion Cult is thought to be behind the assassination threat.
Not waiting to see if the knife will strike true, the Brotherband again team up with Gilan to track down the would-be killers.
In this fifth book in the Brotherband Chronicles, old friends reemerge to take on new enemies as the worlds of Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband join forces in battle!
Genre/Pages: High Fantasy/448
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 of 5)
My Review: I loved this book. It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed so hard at a book. Only a few highly skilled authors can actually make me laugh out loud — John Flanagan most definitely being one of those. Add to that, a healthy heaping of beautifully written high fantasy, and I do adore YA high fantasy because it is so rare, and characters that you fall in love with… well, let’s just say that the world Flanagan creates is one you will want to return to time and time again.
Hero/Heroine: Hal. Well, odd thing is… Hal kinda sorta took a background role in this latest installment of the adventures of the Heron Brotherband. His friends, Gilan, Lydia, Thorn, Ingvar, Ulf & Wulf, especially, really shone through in this as more than the “side characters” you’d expected them to be. So, with the exception of Stefan, Edvin, and Jesper, who almost ALWAYS seem to have lesser roles, the Brotherband was all pretty equal as the heros/heroines of this story. And I loved it! It takes a lot of skill to make you be interested in the concurrent lives of so many different characters, and I think John does a fabulous job of it.
Plot: My brother, an author, said something about the climax happening at the 50% mark rather than the 75% mark, and how that makes this book not QUITE as good as the others. Personally, though? Though I understand the reasoning behind that, I kinda thought it was cool how this was done. Like a real mission, real life. Wasn’t quite what you expected. So if you’re super into the ‘science’ of writing, maybe this won’t be your personal favorite book that John has ever written ever, but even he was forced to admit that is still amazing. Plus there was that awesome King Duncan avs. Thorn scene. You don’t wanna miss that. And — Gilan! Duh!
Content Advisory: Some violence. Teenagers involved in battles. But nothing graphic or too scary. An assassin’s cult.
To Sum it Up: If you haven’t read any of John Flanagan’s books, please, please, please, go check out my review of his very first one — I promise, you’ll thank me later. If you are a fan, and want to know what I thought of the book: well, it was pretty dang good. You get to see some major character development, and a lot of fun charactery dynamics and interacitons. Add to that sword play (or murder, depending on who you are), strategy and battle scheming, inventions, wolfships, and a Ranger’s bow and you have the recipe for a non-stop action read. It was brilliant, and I loved every second of it! I recommend this book for ages 9+.
Scorpion Mountain Reading Posture: Enthralled Reading 70%, Lost to Reality Reading 30%
Have you heard of this book before? Have you read it? Did you like it?