Flanagan spins off of his very successful Ranger's Apprentice series by introducing us more closely to the Skandians, most particularly Hal, who is half-Araluen and always been a bit of an outcast due to his half-breed status. Hal is a thinker and an inventor and is mentored by Thorn, his dead father's best friend. However, when Hal begins brotherband training, where all Skandians learn how to work as a team to be recruited into wolfship fighting crews, he still ends up in the small group of other outcast kids. But as training begins, the group learns how to use their strengths to outwit the bigger and bolder brotherband teams. This story is mainly to learn about the 8 members of the brotherband because by the end of the book, this group is faced with an overwhelming challenge that it will take many more books in the series to tackle. Filled with plenty of action, readers who liked the Ranger's Apprentice series will be more than happy to meet Hal, Stig and all their friends and to set off on new adventures with them.