Conor Broekhart was born to fly. Or, more accurately, he was born flying. Little wonder he became what he became. In an age of discovery and invention, many dreamed of flying, but for Conor flight was more than just a dream, it was his destiny. In one dark night on the island of Great Saltee, a cruel and cunning betrayal destroyed his life and stole his future. Now Conor must win the race for flight, to save his family and to right a terrible wrong...
This is swashbuckling new fiction from the amazing Eoin Colfer, ideal for readers aged 10-14.
Shortlisted 2009 Carnegie Medal
"The 1878 World's Fair in Paris was full of spectacles and inventions, but the most dramatic event for the Broekhart family was the early arrival of its first child, a son born in a hot air balloon who experienced his first near-death adventure when the balloon was shot from the sky. Eoin Colfer's latest novel grabs readers with this attention-getting beginning, then takes them several years into the future to a time when young Conor fashions a kite out of a flag to save Princess Isabella from a burning tower. Conor and Isabella spend their childhood roaming the secret passageways of the castle and taking all kinds of lessons: fencing, martial arts, weapons, and the science of flight for him; needlepoint, etiquette, heraldry, and some fencing for her. Their days pass in fun and learning, until Conor stumbled upon a plot to kill King Nicholas, Isabella's father, and frame Conor's teacher as the murderer. Conor is accused of treason by an ambitious and traitorous prime minister, and he is banished to the prison island of Little Saltee. There, he works in the diamond mines and fights for survival. Only his dreams of flight and his ingenious plans to build a flying machine keep him from going insane, until he can put his plans to use and escape. Once free, he must decide: should he head for America and begin a new life, or should he attempt to right the wrongs of the past? Witty dialogue, vivid details, and a quick plot maintain the story's momentum and appeal to even the most reluctant reader. While this story is a fantastic adventure in the classic sense, it should be noted that dark themes and some graphic violence may make it better suited to anolder audience than Colfer's principal fan base. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis, Children's Literature
Eoin Colfer was born and raised in Wexford in the south-east of Ireland, where he still lives with his wife and children. He began writing plays at an early age and, as an adult, continued to write. Artemis Fowl, his first book featuring the now world-famous young anti-hero, was an immediate international bestseller and won several prestigious awards. It was followed by four more hugely successful Artemis Fowl adventures, as well as the highly acclaimed The Supernaturalist, The Wish List and Half Moon Investigations, plus a series of books for younger readers.