Slaves Of Socorro by John FlanaganSlaves Of Socorro by John Flanagan

Slaves Of Socorro

byJohn Flanagan

Paperback | April 7, 2015

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The fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Brotherband series, for fans of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones
Hal and his fellow Herons have returned home to Skandia after defeating the pirate captain Zavac and reclaiming Skandia's most prized artifact, the Andomal. With their honor restored, the Herons turn to a new mission: tracking down an old rival turned bitter enemy. Tursgud—leader of the Shark Brotherband and Hal's constant opponent—has turned from a bullying youth into a pirate and slave trader. After Tursgud captures twelve Araluen villagers to sell as slaves, the Heron crew sails into action . . . with the help of one of Araluen's finest Rangers!
John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia, hoping to be a writer. John began writing The Ruins of Gorlan, the first in the mega-selling Ranger’s Apprentice series, for his son, Michael, and is still hard at work on the series and its spinoff, Brotherband Chronicles. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. ...
Title:Slaves Of SocorroFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 7.75 × 5.06 × 1.22 inPublished:April 7, 2015Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142427268

ISBN - 13:9780142427262


Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Action-Packed and Riveting YA Adventure! "Slaves of Socorro" the fourth book in the "Brotherband Chronicles" is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that takes Hal,his bored and restless crew and the Heron to the shores of Araluen to act as the duty ship for eight to nine months. Under the terms of the treaty with Scandia the Heron and her crew is to be at the disposal of King Duncan, eradicating their shores of smugglers, slavers and pirates. The story heats up when Tursgud, Hal's nemesis during brotherhood training and his band of renegades attack a village along the Araluen coast, enslaving twelve villagers. In an adventure that takes Hal and the Herons to the shores of Sorocco a new battle begins that has Hal not only pitting his wits against the Shark Brotherband and its malicious leader but tests his crew's skills in the rescue of captives chained in an impregnable stronghold as well as in their daunting escape. Cleverly this master storyteller builds intensity and suspense not only in a thrilling and hazardous sea voyage that pits the Heron against the Nightwolf but also in a clash with slavers in Sorocco. In a plot filled with danger and violence the author often demonstrates the value of team spirit, unconditional friendship, and loyalty not only in the drama of unfolding events but in the wit and laughter of its heroes and heroine. With vivid description John Flanagan brings the gold souk and slave market in Sorocco to life, constantly building tension and excitement as Hal and his crew plan a breakout that could mean the destruction of the Heron. The action never stops in a page turner that climaxes in an explosive ending that sees justice served and a new adventure on the horizon for Hal and his fellow Herons. Like the plot the characters are extremely well-crafted, complex and unforgettable. Among the familiar faces is Hal Mikkelson the skirl who continues to be resourceful, smart, and determined; free spirited Lydia, independent and contrary; gigantic easy-going Ingvar, courageous and loyal; and Thorn fearless, rambunctious and sarcastic. Gilan is the soft- spoken, confident and capable Araulen Ranger sent by King Duncan to bring the Herons to his castle. He never expects to be involved in a mission to free Araluen hostages, but his skills and competence as a Ranger bring an added dimension to the story. I loved Kloof the brave, impetuous and unpredictable member of the crew. All add passion, energy and spice to this riveting adventure, and none more so than the chilling antagonists Mahmel the cruel and arrogant slaver and Tursgud the hot-tempered bully and leader of the Shark Brotherband. "Slaves of Socorro" the fourth book in this riveting series is entertaining and mesmerizing from the first chapter to the last. As a fan of John Flanagan's Ranger series and now the Brotherhood Chronicles, I can't wait to go on the next adventure with Hal and the Herons.
Date published: 2015-05-04

Read from the Book

Chapter One I think we should reset the mast about a meter farther aft,” Hal said.He peered down into the stripped-out hull of the wolf­ship, rubbing his chin. Wolftail’s innards were bare to the world. Her oars, mast, yard, sails, shrouds, stays, halyards, rowing benches, floorboards and ballast stones had been removed, leaving just the bare hull. She rested on her keel, high and dry on the grass beside Anders’s shipyard, supported by timber props that kept her level.A plank gantry ran along either side of the denuded hull, at the height of her gunwales. Hal knelt on the starboard-side gantry, accompanied by Anders, the shipwright, and Bjarni Bentfinger, Wolftail’s skirl and owner. Hal and Anders wore thoughtful, reflective expressions. Bjarni’s was more anxious. No ship’s captain likes to see the bones of his craft laid bare for the world to view. Bjarni was beginning to wonder whether this had been such a good idea. It wasn’t too late, he thought. He could always pay Anders for his work so far and ask him to return Wolftail to her former state.Then he thought of the extra speed and maneuverability the new sail plan would give his ship. He shrugged and looked anx­iously at Hal. The young skirl was so . . . young, he thought. And here Bjarni was, entrusting his precious Wolftail to Hal’s hands for a major refit. Of course, Anders was a highly experienced ship­builder. He ought to know what he was doing. And Bjarni had seen proof of the effectiveness of the fore-and-aft-sail plan that Hal had designed for his own ship, the Heron. Bjarni took a deep breath, closed his eyes and bit back the request that was trembling on his lips. Between them, these two knew what was best, he thought.“The mast goes where the mast support is,” Anders said doubt­fully. “How do you plan to move that?”The mast support was a squared piece of timber, a meter long, that stood vertically at right angles to the keel. It was used to hold the mast firmly in place, and was an integral, immovable part of the keel itself. When the original shipbuilders had shaped a tree to form the keel for Wolftail, they had trimmed off all the projecting branches, save one. They left that one in place, shortening it and trimming it so that it formed a square section that projected up to support the mast. Its innate strength came from the fact that it hadn’t been fastened in place. It had grown there.Hal shrugged. “It’s not a problem.” He climbed down into the hull and knelt beside the keel, indicating the existing support. “We leave this in place, so that the strength is retained, and we shape a meter-long piece to match it, and attach it behind the existing support.”Anders chewed his lip. “Yes. I suppose that’d work.”“But why set the mast farther astern?” Bjarni asked.“The new fore and aft yards will reach right to the bow,” Hal explained, “and that will put more downward pressure on the bow when you’re under sail. This way, we’ll compensate for that pres­sure.” He indicated with his hand, describing an angle behind the mast support. “We could even slope the edge of the new piece back a little toward the stern. That’d let us rake the mast back and give us even better purchase.”“Hmmm,” said Anders.The worried look was back on Bjarni’s face. He hadn’t under­stood the technical details Hal had spouted so confidently. But he understood “hmmm.” “Hmmm” meant Anders wasn’t convinced.“Never mind raking it back,” Bjarni said quickly. “I want my mast to stand square. Masts are supposed to stand square. That’s what masts do. They stand . . . square. Always have.”After all, he thought, a raked mast would be a little too exotic.Hal grinned at him. He’d overseen the conversion of four square-rigged wolfships to the Heron sail plan in the past months. He was used to the older skirls’ conservative views.“Whatever you say,” he replied agreeably. He stood and clam­bered up the sloping inside of the hull toward the gantry. Anders reached down a hand to help him.“Now, have you made up your mind about the fin keel?” Hal asked. He knew what the answer was going to be, even before Bjarni’s head began to shake from side to side.“I don’t want you cutting any holes in the bottom of my ship,” he said. “She might sink.”Hal smiled reassuringly at him. “I did the same to the Heron,” he pointed out. “And she hasn’t sunk so far.”Bjarni continued his head-shaking. “That’s as may be,” he said. “But I don’t see any good coming from cutting a hole in the bottom of a ship. It goes against nature.” He noticed Hal’s tolerant smile and frowned. He didn’t enjoy being patronized by a boy, even if he suspected that the boy might be right.“I don’t care that you did it in your ship,” he said. “It might just be luck that she hasn’t sunk . . .” He paused, and added in a mean­ingful tone, “So far.”Hal shrugged. He hadn’t expected Bjarni to agree to a fin keel. None of the wolfship skirls had done so thus far.“Suit yourself,” he said. He turned to Anders. “So, can you get your men started on an extension for the mast support? I can send you over a design sketch if you’d like.”Anders nodded slowly. Anders did most things slowly. He was a deliberate man who didn’t leap to decisions without pondering them. That was one of the things that made him an excellent ship­builder.“No need for a sketch,” he said. “I can work out how to man­age it.”Hal nodded. Anders was right, of course. The design work involved would be a simple matter for an experienced craftsman. He had really only offered out of politeness.“Well then . . . ,” he began. But he was interrupted by a boom­ing voice.“Hullo the ship!” They all turned to see Erak, the Oberjarl of Skandia, on the path that led from the town. Anders’s shipyard was set outside Hallasholm, so the constant noise of hammering and sawing—and the attendant curses as fingers were mashed by incautiously wielded mallets—wouldn’t disturb the townfolk.“What’s he doing here?” Bjarni said idly.Anders sniffed, and wiped his nose with the back of his hand. “He’s on his morning constitutional,” he said. Noticing Bjarni’s puzzled glance, he added, “His walk. He walks along here most days. Says the exercise keeps him slim.” A ghost of a smile touched the corners of his mouth as he said the last few words.Hal raised an eyebrow. “How can it keep him something he’s never been?”Erak was an immense bear of a man. Slim was not a word that sprang readily to mind when describing him. The Oberjarl was striding across the grass toward them now, flanked by Svengal, his constant companion and former first mate.“What’s that he’s got?” Bjarni asked. Erak was wielding a long, polished wood staff in his right hand, using it to mark his strides. The staff was about a meter and a half tall, shod with a silver ferrule at the bottom and adorned with a small silver knob at the top. At every third or fourth pace, he would twirl it between his powerful fingers, setting the sunlight flashing off the silver fittings.“It’s his new walking staff,” Anders explained. “There was a delegation in from Gallica two weeks ago and they presented it to him.”“But what does it do?” Hal asked. In his eyes, everything should have a practical use.Anders shrugged. “He says it makes him look sophisticated,” he replied.Hal’s eyebrows went up in surprise. Like slim, sophisticated was not a word that sprang readily to mind when thinking about the Oberjarl. 

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Brotherband 4: Slaves of Socorro:

"A sweeping novel of adventure, written with wit and a sure sense of storytelling." —Booklist