The Battle for Skandia - John Flanagan Okay that's more like it.

Battles, witty banter, suspense, battles, intrigue, battles.

a very good read.

An interesting aside: many other reviewers have criticized Flanagan's use of real cultural names as stand-ins in his books (i.e. Skandia = scandanavia, Hibernia, Gallica, Scots, Celts, etc. etc.)

I'm not yet sure what I think. After all, authors like David Eddings do the same thing--rather than inventing a new culture, they use an existing one and only put different names on them (Chereks = scandinavians, Tolnedrans = romans), so maybe being forthright about it is okay. I don't know. the jury's still out on that one.