Inky's Choice: the Brotherband series by John Flanagan
5 reasons (and more) to read the Brotherband series by John Flanagan:
1. It is fun. It's got Viking-like warriors, pirates, hunting, fighting, action, and swashbuckling adventure! *whew!*
2. It's also funny. LOL worthy, in fact.
3. Ever been picked last for a team? The Outcasts is the book for you! Brotherband is great at making you feel less alone in the world.
4. John.Freakin'.Flanagan. AKA, guy who wrote Ranger's Apprentice.
If you loved RA, you'll be pleased to know that Brotherband is set in the same world. (Although it focuses on Skandia rather than Araluen.)
And if you've never read RA (!!), Brotherband can be read by itself.
5. The first three books in the series follow the saga of Zavac the pirate - now you can read them all at once. Hurrah! Pesky cliffhangers begone!